As you have probably heard, we are working on building a second brewery and production facility which means we’ve been shopping for a new brewhouse! For our Platte Street brewery we were lucky to find a beautiful, copper clad 7 bbl system for a good price on the “used” market. You have probably seen our copper system steaming away and likely have enjoyed many a beer brewed by it.
However, since our last brewhouse purchase in 2011, the atmosphere and market in the craft beer world is a bit different. Due to high demand from all of the craft brewery startups nationwide, there is very little used equipment available for purchase. So we went shopping for new! We reached out to all the major and minor players in the equipment manufacturing world and began comparing specs, prices, and merits of each system.
After much deliberation, we decided to go with a 30 barrel system manufactured by the fine folks at DME. DME is located on Prince Edward Island in Canada and has been making brewing equipment for over 18 years. This March, as our system neared completion, the DME team invited us to PEI to inspect our tanks. After three flights and two long layovers, Patrick and I arrived on cold, windy PEI where we were greeted by Mark De Jong, sales manager for DME. We checked into our hotel, (we were the only guests in the 100+ room hotel on that cold Sunday night) grabbed a bite to eat, and crashed.
The next morning, we woke excited and nervous to meet our new tanks for the first time. We had been over the specs and dimensions a hundred times, but actually seeing the stainless was a bit like meeting an online girlfriend in person for the first time. We weren’t disappointed. They were beautiful. We intentionally scheduled our visit to coincide with the final manufacturing of the tanks so we could review the intricacies of our specific system with the engineers, designers, and fabricators. During our inspection day, we had the opportunity to tweak and fine-tune each element of the system. By perfecting small details and dimensions, we can ensure our new brewhouse will help us produce consistent, high-quality wort for each brew.
After a full day in the factory, we let the Canadians show us how to curl. After watching the action at the Sochi Olympics, we were dying to try the sport. Patrick and I turned out to be fairly adept at the game; however our skill was likely a result of the number of Canadian craft beers we had prior in preparation.
We spent the remainder of our short visit to PEI checking progress on our system and wishing the PEI weather wasn’t so frigid. Our finished brewery will arrive at our production facility by mid-April and we will log our first brew by early summer!