Talk about getting edgy! For a week now, we have been waiting for a call to say that our brewhouse has been released by customs and is ready to make the road trip south from Brisbane to Byron Bay… but still nothing … the anticipation is almost unbearable! There’s only so much we can do in preparation for it’s arrival and we’ve done it all, so now we wait … and wait … and wait…it’s a bit like standing around in the labour ward really … we’ll let you know if there has been any movement!
The sexy part of any brewery is the brewhouse itself, somtimes stainless (in our case) sometimes copper or timber clad. But behind the scenes are the unsexy parts, things like steam, refrigeration, gas, power, water and CO2. Putting this maze of pipes, fittings, solenoids etc together has been Brad’s brainchild and theres just a little bit of pressure to get it spot-on….its been a pretty dry argument for a guy who just wants to start brewing. Now that we have most of these pieces in place, its just a matter of dropping the brewery in and hooking it up….getting close now!! (so unsexy its not even worth a photo)
One of the things we are conscious of as we build the brewery is to make the most of what we have. A few weeks back we had to demolish the existing toilet block to make way for the brewing equipment. Instead of throwing it all in a skip we saved the timber and with a bit ingenuity from Ross we now have a great workbench / desk in the office. The toilet door looked like it had been used to capture all sorts of art over the years from graffiti to calendars, so we enlisted the skills of local artist Nicholas Smith to capture what he thought stone & wood was all about. The other day he turned up with a fantastic piece that now hangs proudly in the brewery office.
Construction is stepping up a gear now with our brewhouse arriving in a couple of weeks time we are starting to install things like refrigeration and steam systems. To make room for our cooling unit we had to lay a shiny new piece of concrete. In a DIY inspired moment we thought we would give it a crack … so, sleeves up, gum boots on, trowel in hand and….shizam….we have our first slab. Thirsty work!
There’s not many work places that have some of the greatest waves Australia has to offer only five minutes away. So when the head starts to spin from hours of phone calls to suppliers, builders and government departments, and the timeline is starting to look cluttered and tight, you can be sure one way to clear the mind is to duck off for a quick wave. With one of the greatest winters on record on the East coast, Ross has been doing plenty of ‘mind clearing’ of late. The Pass has been looking really good the last couple of months and the Wreck has also had plenty on offer… so let’s see what spring brings.
Tucked away in a sleepy corner of those rolling green hills not far from Byron, Brad (and a couple of family helpers) has been tinkering away and refining the brews that we will be releasing later in the year with our new “toy”. The pilot brewery is a small bit of gear that we are using to do test brews before we do it for real in the big one. There is a ton of stuff going on in “them there hills”, from brewers to artists, including some pretty cool muso’s … but more on that later.