From the Bottom, Up: January 30, 2019

Last week was a heck of a week. At the end of it, our brewing system was sitting safely in our brewery, getting comfortable and staying out of the way as we continue to do other work in the space. It is SO beautiful. We keep touching the tanks gently as we walk past them, as if it’s hard for us to believe that they are really ours. That, before too long, they’ll be filled with delicious beer.

Brewer in paradise, after the storm.

Brewer in paradise, after the storm.

In the midst of the week, though, we seemed to be in a firestorm of things not going quite right. It was pouring rain. Some of our tanks were on a truck outside our building. The other truck, which had left British Columbia four days before the truck that was in front of us, was somehow not yet in Philadelphia. And when I say “us,” I mean just Kyle, because I was down with an incredibly inconvenient flu, and Bill was out of town for work. And so Kyle, standing in front of this truck filled with 2,000 pound tanks, was on his own. And the forklift that we had hired was broken.

I’m honestly still a little fuzzy on the details of what happened on that dark day. Perhaps that’s for the best. All I know is that, as the sun went down and the tanks were still on the first truck, and the second truck was still missing in action, Kyle told me they were going to Yards.

Thank goodness for the wonderful people at Yards, and for our good fortune to work in an industry where such a sense of community reigns.  We kept our tanks in Yards’ warehouse overnight. Kyle and the rigging guys had a good meal with some good beers. And we started again the next day.

Our boiler and fermenter wait on our loading dock.

Our boiler and fermenter wait on our loading dock.

Friday dawned cold but sunny. The second truck had materialized at some point in the night, with the cheeriest truck driver you could imagine. I was well enough to show up and provide encouragement and enthusiasm from a safe distance. And, over the course of 12 slow but deliberate hours, all nine of our tanks — plus a boiler and a whole bunch of pipes — inched their way through our doors.

We still have some work to do before the tanks are hooked up. Important things like electricity and plumbing are still missing from our space. But the tanks are there. They radiate hope and excitement and a twinkling sense of progress. We walked away from them on Friday night exhausted and frustrated. We returned to them on Monday morning with something near to reverence. These are ours. They are the engine of our little brewery. And their arrival launches us one giant step closer to opening our doors, so that this can be your brewery too.

Exhausted. Excited. Equipment owners. Meet the first tank that came through our doors!

Exhausted. Excited. Equipment owners. Meet the first tank that came through our doors!

Tess HartComment