Sunday, May 13, 2012

If It Weren't For Bad Luck...

...I'd have no luck at all.  I know that's a cliche, but for the last few weeks it has been my fate.  Things were finally coming together.  Back on the 22nd I was pretty stoked to get started.  I was tentatively targeting to launch during American Craft Beer Week (which starts tomorrow).  It took a few days to get a few last minute things squared away and get ingredients ordered, but by the end of April, I was ready to brew.  Key word in that statement is "was ready".  I was conducting the final tests through the brewery and filling the boil kettle for the first time (with water) and found out that it leaks!  Of all the used equipment in this place, the only tank that's new leaks!  Go figure.

So after a few calls to the tank manufacturer and a few welders, I found somebody to fix it and the manufacturer is going to pick up the bill.  No big deal, but it will cost us a few days (which I really can't afford)...

Until I go to fill it again.  Apparently it leaks in TWO places.  So we have it fixed again.  Then we fill it again.  Apparently it leaks in THREE places.  So the welder is coming back today (yes, on Mother's Day Sunday) to weld it again.  Hopefully this will be it because I don't know if I can handle much more of this...

As I have said before, there will be setbacks and unforeseen problems that arise in this process.  I understand and accept them.  But is it too much to ask that a brand new tank be able to hold water without leaking?  Well I guess so.  It speaks to the sad state of affairs that the manufacturing world is in.  First, I had to have the tank made in China because all the American manufacturers I spoke to were "too busy" to even give me a quote in most cases.  Couple that with the fact that most of the American manufacturers are having most (if not all) of the fabrication done in China anyway.  I did a lot of research into these tanks before I made this purchase and there were a lot of mixed feelings out there in the brewing world about their quality but most agreed it was "worth the risk".  I guess somebody has to get stuck with the lemon and apparently it was my turn.  If you're in the planning phases of starting a brewery and you are looking into Chinese equipment, all I can say is you better build a contingency into your financials "just in case" there are issues with the equipment when you get it...

In the end it will get fixed.  We WILL brew SOON.  Still, it kinda sucks when you're building up to the precipice and everything you've worked for is about to come to fruition and then SPLAT.  I've already had to turn down some potential sales because I can't tell anyone for sure when I will have product.  I'm loosing the well timed momentum that I was getting from some of the local press.  I have yeast sitting here losing viability by the day...

On the bright side, the extra time has allowed me to get all the needed approvals for the Peppercorn Saison so we will be launching that beer after all.  The taphandles are all done and ready to go so I'll leave you with this pic of the initial line-up.  Hopefully you'll see these in your local drinking establishments sooner than later...

I'll let you know when just as soon as I know myself...

What do you think?  I wanted to keep them simple but still distinctive.  And yes, those are QR codes at the bottom.

3 comments:

  1. Hang in there Scott! We'll always be thirsty!

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  2. We love Local beers....stop by Local 127 & Lavomatic in OTR drop samples and see if you can get a tap handle;-)

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  3. good choice on the beer handles. id like the 3-sided approach. i've paid more attention to the handles of late and i've notice some of the taps unless it's turned just right you can't see it. anything to catch the eye of the consumer from any angle can only help. i also like the QR code. i haven't tried it yet but i hope it links to all the details of the beer that some people like. i think it would cool and good marketing if it linked to a video clip or youtube channel of you explaining the particular beer ingredients and how it was made, etc...

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