Category Archives: News
As beer enthusiasts celebrated American Craft Beer Week around town at various beer events and tastings this week, the crew at Three Taverns collaborated on the design and brew of a beer with our neighbors down the street at Twain’s. Our system is dangerously close to being operational and managing these final days before the scheduled maiden brew date is filled with challenge and intensity. And yet when Twain’s came calling with a collaboration proposal, the temptation to leave construction supervision for a moment and return to brewing for a day with friends proved too much to overcome. So time was split on Tuesday and Wednesday this week between mash in’s and sparges at Twain’s and gas meter upgrades and CO2 system installs at Three Taverns. The beer brewed at Twain’s is a Rye Saison called Decatur Ryeson and will be available in the coming weeks, just prior to the official release and launch of our own beers into market.
There was much enthusiasm at Three Taverns today as our brewhouse roof was penetrated by 3 steam stacks bringing us ever closer to our maiden brew, now slated for the last week of May. Since we took delivery and assembly of our brewhouse several weeks ago, the stainless machine has been forced to sit idle amidst the surrounding work while waiting for the day we turn on the ignition and take it for a ride. As we hit the home stretch toward brewing our first batch of beer, the minutes pass ever slower and patience is wearing at Three Taverns, so a day when the iconic brewery symbol of stacks penetrating the roof was a welcome and energizing sight for construction weary eyes. The next two weeks will be a full court press to finish the install and fill the air around East Decatur with the smell of boiling wort and herbal hops. We’re almost there!
This is an important morning at Three Taverns as we make our decision on both the supplier and the material for running the glycol lines necessary for chilling and controlling the temperatures in our fermenters and brite beer tanks. This has been an exhausting decision as we’ve looked at multiple piping options and various ways to run the lines, each with a different price tag and installation schedule. As the steam lines near completion and the final pieces are being put in place for activating our brew system, running the glycol lines will be the finishing stoke necessary for brewing the first batch of Three Taverns beer. And after months of managing a construction project, the team at Three Taverns has never been more ready than we are now.
With parents in town for my son’s birthday followed by a friend’s 40th birthday celebration last night, I was forced to take a reprieve this weekend from the brewery and find myself surprisingly relaxed and reflective this morning as I enjoy my first cup of coffee. Building this brewery is both the most intensely exhilarating and mentally exhausting project I’ve ever attempted. Rarely am I not thinking of some aspect of the build-out or some task that needs completing or has hit an obstacle that needs overcoming. I am so ready to exit this construction project and just start making and selling beer, but that moment of release is unavailable without the steady and unyielding effort to piece this brewery together, some days seemingly one brick at a time with little visible evidence of movement. But this morning as I reflect on the last few years, especially the last few months and weeks since beginning this quest, I am amazed at how very close I am to realizing this dream. And I’m reminded of the critical need for a clearly defined vision kept ever in the center of the minds eye as a guide and inspiration for turning big dreams to reality. This picture of the morning light bleeding into the brewhouse brings a quiet and calm beauty to the work site and captures my mood as I enjoy this moment of settled reflection. If you haven’t yet seen, check out this wonderful article from Bob Towsend at the AJC for more affirming words on our brewery vision, http://tinyurl.com/c65fxw9
The build-out of the brewery that now surrounds a fully assembled brewhouse continues daily. Movement, however, seems so very slow right now as the stainless tanks and brew system sit idle while waiting completion of the steam boiler and glycol chiller installation before launching our maiden brew session. But while the scheduling and completion of the steam and glycol necessary to fire up our brewhouse and ferment our first beers is tediously slow, there is a fresh energy in the brewery this week after power was re-connected to the building and the brewhouse was illuminated with brilliant light for the first time in months. I’ve spent much of my days these last few months working from a corner office wired by a single extension cord. And I’ve watched the intensely careful and difficult work of the electricians slowly securing a maze of conduit and wire throughout the building. So something about the flood of light that arrived this week brought new life to the previously dimly lit cold we’ve mostly been forced to work in. It was a moment of sheer delight that came not a moment too soon, for my former office will be converted next week to the mill room. Our new brewery control room is not yet ready for inhabitants, so I’ll be forced to set up shop at a small table on the brewhouse floor in the meantime. While I expect to fondly remember the early days of managing this brewery project from my little corner office and now the brewhouse floor, I surely won’t miss the endless film of dust that a construction project breaths in and through every crack and crevice. There has been no refuge from that.