Friday, May 29, 2009

Status of the Brewery

“When are ya’ll gonna start selling biere?”


Short answer – hopefully soon.


I recently read an article about a very low-budget zombie movie premiering at the Cannes film festival.  It was shot on a shoestring budget of seventy dollars.


Seventy dollars.


The director counted on volunteer zombies, borrowed film equipment and makeup, and the labor of friends and volunteers to help keep his cost so low.  By all accounts the movie is a well-crafted, though low budget flick.


I talked to a representative of the trade association for craft beers and he said that most small breweries fail because they can’t service the debt that they incur starting up.  We have decided to forgo this debt and go the low budget route.


So like the zombie filmmaker, we too are resorting to begging and borrowing to build our low-budget brewery – though it will cost us a little more than seventy dollars to finish.


We got a very much used intermodal container from the Union Pacific railroad – for free!  These are the containers you see on railcars and on the backs of big diesel trucks.  Ours if forty feet long by eight feet wide.  The railroad had used this container as an office for its railroad police so the railcar already had windows, a cutout for an air conditioner, and a hole for a household front door cut in the side.  The car was the perfect size for our brewery project. 


We jacked the railcar up and leveled it on brick pillars.  We grinded some rust off and patched some holes in the roof.  A lot of caulk and Kool Seal later and the container is leak-proof.  However, I had a buddy of mine from work weld some angle iron on the top so that later we can put up some joists and rafters for a more permanent roof.


We did this work on typical Louisiana spring days.  Man was it hot and humid.


Then we went to work on the interior.  The floors were made of solid thick oak strips, but were in pretty sad shape.  The wood was buckled and rotten through in spots, so we ripped it out.  We also removed the plywood walls and then pressure-washed the interior.  All of the bare metal was then primed with Rust-Oleum.


Up to this point all of our volunteer zombies have been rewarded with cold beer.


In the next week or so we should start laying down the plywood sub-floor and then insulating the walls.


With proper budgeting and the help of friends, relatives and volunteers we plan to have enough work completed so that we can start brewery operations by the end of August. 


Just gotta keg a lot more beer.

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