Some people think that owning a brewery sounds like a ton of fun, and a lot more play than work. We aren’t gonna lie… it’s pretty amazing. After all, there are few jobs out there where sampling beer during the day is part of the job description. Likewise, few jobs out there would not so much as raise an eyebrow if you were to, say, bust out your air guitar in the middle of the office and drop to your knees for a heartfelt solo to the killer song playing on your ipod. (um..not that we would ever do that.. : )
That being said, there is a ton of hard work involved in starting and running a brewery. Many of our friends who follow us on Facebook and this blog seem to know that beer making can be a labor-intensive process – so much so that beer making was even highlighted on an episode of Dirty Jobs. One of the other not so glamorous parts of starting a brewery is all of the cleaning, painting, and scrubbing needed to get everything just right. Since we moved into our warehouse space this past November, my hands (as well as Annette’s hands) have gone from soft (dare I say girly??) hands to, well, man-hands! This is hopefully a temporary phenomenon. If not, it is something we can live with, since the effort we have put in so far has been very rewarding. Let me roll back to November, and explain a little bit about what we have been up to on the cleaning / painting front.
We are renting about 2400 square feet of warehouse space in North Hampton, NH. Apparently, the tenants before us made propellers for boats. I don’t know too much about how a propeller is made, but I do know it is a very dirty job! Take a look at the picture below. This is the area where they fabricated the propellers, and it will be our kitchen area in the brewery.
Since we aren’t fans of chemicals, it took a lot of elbow grease and green cleaners to get the place to a point where it is looking pretty good (see below.) Note- we still have several items to move into the kitchen, but it is so much cleaner!
Although the fabrication took place in our kitchen area, the metal dust was pretty much everywhere. Here you can see Annette on some scaffolding, removing the dust from the walls.
In a previous post, Annette had talked a bit about our “fermentation barn.” This is essentially a space where we have four closets located together with shared walls, but each closet can be individually heated or cooled as needed, depending on the beer style. We had Phil the Amazing Carpenter come in to build the barn from the ground up. We then primed and painted the whole thing. We opted for a barn wood on the outside and used the red in our logo to get the result you see below:
Luckily for us, we have had some help getting the place in shape. Here you can see my dad and his wife Pat sanding the floor. The sander kicked off so much dust it looks like there is water on the camera… but it is just dust! We then painted the floor a few times after this.
In addition to the floor, we decided to paint the big bright blue stripe that ran throughout the warehouse to the blue color that is in our logo. Below you can see the original blue color. This is the little area that visitors will see when they first walk through the door.
In the picture below, you can see an “after picture” of one of the walls above. On the bottom of the picture below is part of the new blue stripe. We also used chalkboard paint to create a cool chalkboard. Phil then made us a nice frame, which we painted to have a kind of an old school look & feel.
Typing this in, it seems like a lot, but this is really just the beginning! No wonder we have man hands!