“Four to six more weeks.”
These days, that sentence is being uttered around our brewhouse as often as other timeless phrases like “let’s add a ton more hops to that IPA.”
We knew opening a big new facility was going to be a lofty undertaking and steeled ourselves for a long construction period. Even so, getting our 20,000 square foot Knoxville facility(1205 Knoxville Street, San Diego, CA 92110) ready to debut to the public is taking a little more time than we had hoped.
As with building any new place, there are unexpected developments that come up along the way. The latest “surprise” was a minor gas pressure issue. Turns out, our gas meter wasn’t large enough for our boiler, so our water wasn’t getting hot enough. That problem is in the rearview mirror, but it took two to three weeks to get past it. Since then, we’ve been brewing on a limited scale.
Our first brewing session took place on July 2. We started with a 30-barrel batch of our Coronado Golden, and followed that with 30-barrel batches of our other core beers: Idiot IPA, Islander IPA, Mermaid Red and Orange Avenue Wit. We have the capacity to work up 60-barrel batches, but went with half that amount in order to dial in our recipes so they jibe with the new system.
Unlike the rest of the Knoxville saga, this chapter went quickly. The new brewhouse got broken in with no trouble (miracles do happen) and we’ve moved on to full batch production to supply the pub and our keg accounts.
Next Monday (August 13), we’ll start training on our shiny new GIA 3003A BIER bottling line. Maybe you saw the shots the folks at West Coaster took of it during May’s Craft Brewers Conference). Like our brewing equipment, the first beer that will find its way into glass will be our Coronado Golden.
Wondering what the first beer to get served up at our Knoxville tasting room will be? So are we. Construction is still in process on that space, but it should be done in September(hard to cross one’s fingers while typing, but I’m doing it). Guess we’ll find out soon…even if it’s not soon enough for us!