No the story wasn’t finished for our CUP day, remember our next task was to head over to the police department to hand them a fat check and according to Orange planning department, fill out some paper work (AMP).
All was good, excited that we started the paperwork, talking about what the future holds for VBC, checking out the local street scene as we drive only a couple miles to where I thought the police station was. Located right off Chapman, I turned into the parking lot to the sight of an indoor shooting range and a HUGE sheriff’s badge over hanging an opposing building. That said, however I thought I’d scope out the place before taking the family out of the car because we were noticing that printed on the main doors of the police building that it said “Training Facility”. I really thought nothing of it until I walked inside and it smelled like a gym locker. Needless to say, we were nowhere near the right location. Just as I was figuring this out, my family walked inside. I quickly grabbed a phone number of the local police station from an assistant working there and walking back to our car I asked my wife, give me the keys. She looked at me “you have them”. No sure don’t, there they are in the ignition!
So there we are, keys locked in the car, kids are now starting to get a little upset from being taken out of the car so many times, we haven’t made one step closer to getting this AMP thing filled out and it will be 5pm in a couple of minutes. Luckily we had our phones ready and AAA was close by to assist us to slim jim our car open in front of the police station – this shot says it all.
We eventually got back in our car, thank you Mr. AAA dude, and found out that the police department which we wanted to go to was right down the street; yeah we drove past it coming to this place – go figure!
The visit to the police station has a humorous twist to it as well since the lady assisting us had no clue of what we needed. She was trying her best as we gave her the City’s instructions on our CUP paperwork. Around and around we tried to get the “paperwork” we needed, finally we figured out all she needed was a copy of our receipt from the city and money. Feeling like we just got taken advantage of, there goes another $1,600; we left with understanding that we’d be contacted from an investigator soon.
So now here we are, waiting for the police department to conduct an investigation on us and local surroundings which should take them a minimum of 3 – 4 months, waiting for our CUP to be approved, what’s next? Time to start getting the brewery ready for action – can someone say floor drains! More to come…
Now I understand why so many breweries write these blogs. It’s not because we like reading about ourselves, but more along the line that the experiences that we go through are simply meant to be shared. Yesterday we had some ground breaking progress for VBC, we went through with submitting our Conditional Use Permit for the city or Orange. I know that doesn’t sound like much but take the fact that a year ago May we were about to sign a lease in the city of Irvine; we pulled out and 3 months later almost signed a lease for a building in the city of Lake Forest, you can see this day was long in the coming.
There I am taking ownership as we walk into the city of Orange’s planning department to off load our CUP (conditional use permit) packet. I seriously was ready to take on the world. I felt organized, with the help of my wife, confident and so ready to make beer that when those sliding doors open it was like “here I am – Let’s do this thing”. But in reality I pushed my daughter thought the doors in her stroller, signed the login in sheet, answered maybe two questions and that was it! At the end of it all, stood around looking goofy for my children, then got handed back our receipt with our CUP reference number and were told to go now and fill out some AMP (Alcohol Management Plan) paperwork from the police department of Orange along with more $$$ for their service. Simple enough right! Pack up the family and head down the road to the police department.
Backing it up just a little, the time frame for us to open our doors has taken full precedence because of the amount of time needed for approving the use of even operating as a brewery in the city of Orange. Most adjacent cities allow a brewery to open its doors as a production brewery, yes a permit is needed for a tasting room but a brewery can start producing beer ASAP upon getting their ABC license. City of Orange requires the CUP for all alcohol related businesses. I guess you can say we are lucky, stressed to no end because of the time line but happy the process has started. So the city told us that it usually takes 6 months to approve our use, ok but the police department takes 3-4 months for their investigation work which is needed by the city in order to continue their approval. Do you see that inner loop? Well we’ll do our best to keep the process moving and hope that around September of this year, 2012 that we can open our doors.
This is somewhat a complex question for me to answer. Yeah I can say, it’s because I’m passionate about beer, I enjoy the challenges that comes with creating fairy big beers that are drinkable, or I like being part of an industry that is growing at a pace that’s faster than light partials traveling through space (ok that’s a little over exaggerated), waking up at 2am with coffee in hand excited about firing up the kettle knowing that another creation will be taking place today, being around good friends and exploring the cultures of life while pouring grains into the mill. Yes these are all very good reasons why I like brewing but it goes to show that brewing, as a whole, means much more to me then I can talk about if trying to answer this question in one sentence – it simply cannot be done.
It’s interesting given my experiences and background with automotives, more directly drag racing of how the two (brewing and racing) are similar. Drag racing itself is simple, drive a vehicle as fast and safe as you can 1,320 ft while hoping that you can beat your opponent. However prior to going down the track, you have endless amounts of time in building the car, performing maintenance, ensuring all your safety equipment is still up to date, packing for the weekend at the track, setting up the pits, etc… All this so you can drive down the track for a total of 7 seconds! Yes large amounts of time spent for such little in return but we love it. Brewing is very similar to this in that you spend a great deal of time ahead, during and after making beer to ensure that the one perfect moment, when someone takes a sip of our beer, gives them that unique experience that only comes from all that hard work. This moment, quick in time compared to everything leading to that one event is what is so precious to us and why we love brewing!
I’d like bore you with all the technical stuff that comes into play with brewing, remember I’m a gear head and the more knobs, switches and valves I can push/pull the happier I am but that is only interesting to a small number of you but is important to understand about me. However I’ll spare that time for when we get the chance to talk in person or perhaps for a future update.