Raising the Tank!

Brian is a Pro! You got a tank – He can raise it. Brian’s getting so good at standing our tanks up. I think we should get some more so he can practice!

Valiant moving company. We are tank re-arranging specialists. One piece of advice for those starting a brewery: Have your forklift ready with extra long extensions and a stereo.

VBC Update

It is completely true that when you’re busy time simply flies by! It couldn’t be any more of a fact then now. Since the last blog more has been accomplished then we can possible post in one shot. However those things that we’ve accomplished need to be talked about and shared. Why? Because all these accomplishments, the endless hurdles and quick thinking strides is really what defines and shapes Valiant Brewing Co. as we get closer to opening.

We are entering an exciting time right now in our involvement with Valiant. Yes we are getting closer to brewing but our lives are now becoming a default structure around Valiant. This wasn’t the case a couple months ago since a clear direction wasn’t seen but now the vision is so prominent that there is No Stoppen! It’s about every day that we are doing some brewery task like making phone calls, lining up quotes, purchasing items, finalizing wall colors, following up on status from workers, getting permits approved, taking delivery of equipment, meeting venders, facebooking (is that really a word?) and dreaming almost every night about the future.

We thought it would be interesting to go back over the last couple of months and come up with a quick summary of some of those highlights that we find important. Also sharing this information may be helpful for those who might be marching down the same path, now or in the future.

May 1st, 2012: We purchased a complete 20 bbl brewhouse from Premier Stainless Steel. Owner Rob Soltys truly makes top notch equipment. The only down side is that he’s practically booked solid almost 6 months in advance not to mention that production takes around 6 months. Premier is trying their best to expand and make sure that their equality remains top focus. For us it was important to have a local manufacturer, one that we could visit without too much driving (Premier is located right next to Stone Brewery in Escondido). Secondly as with all the equipment manufacturers, Premier has built up their name and stands behind it. Some of Premier’s original brewhouses are still going strong – ever heard of Pizza Port in Solana Beach? Yup that’s a Premier system.

June 17th, 2012: Our building plans were submitted to both the OC building department and the OC Health department. The Health department clock starts however the building department will not review our plans until our CUP (conditional use permit) is approved. At least now we can focus on what equipment needs to be ordered.

August 6th, 2012: Valiant Brewing Co. had their public hearing at the Orange County Planning Commission office for the approval of our Conditional Use Permit. The outcome was wonderful – all five commissioners approved us thereby granting us the ability to operate as a microbrewery under the type 23 TTB license. In addition, we got approval to have our tasting room which is right in the middle of the action inside the brewery. This was the beginning per say since up until this point we couldn’t do anything since we didn’t know if we were going to be approved and this approval is needed in order to begin all the other approval paths.

August 21st, 2012: We started getting Health Department and Building Department comments on our plans. What that means is a list of corrections is given to us and we need to resolve each and every one of them. Some of the corrections are simple while others are not! We struggled in this phase until late September. This by far was the most intense phase since almost every day we were either working with our architect, civil engineer, venders or studying books again like Seismic Loads and Foundation Shear Forces, it did bring back the college years studying mechanical engineering.

September 6th, 2012: The first shipment of our brewery equipment showed up. We had a full day working with our friends and family in unloading the four massive tanks and becoming expert forklift drivers. We took receipt of our 40 bbl brite tank, 40 bbl hot liquor tank, 40 bbl fermenter and our special 10 bbl brite tank. It was fun driving the forklift through our industrial area and past my neighbors with these tanks hanging as wide as the parking slots would allow. We had several neighbors who we didn’t know in person, congratulate us in making it this far. Actually the best comment was a concerned neighbor who thought that a brewery wasn’t going to happen but after seeing the tanks – he was happy!

September 10th, 2012: Visited our local ABC office for some minor clarification on our paper work. After our meeting, we were told that everything is approved and that the only outstanding item is a final walk-through at the brewery.

September 17th, 2012: Got our official approval from the Health Department and the City Building Department!!! This is one big task and milestone. We did not take receipt however of our building permit since we were told that our plans had to be re-routed back to the fire department for their second approval. OK so not everything goes as planned but at least they have approved us the first time around and nothing had changed since then. Once our plans come back, we will be issued our building permit.

September 24th, 2012: Had our official “interview” with the TTB. This is a big item too since after your interview, you should receive the official type 23 license. We haven’t gotten it yet but we will for sure let you know.

That sums up all those top level items. So many more should be talked about but for the interest of your eyes, we’ll save that for another entry.
Thank you for reading and following us on our journey.

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