<<-- Isn't this image the most beautiful thing in the world?
Okay, you may not think so. But, if you were in our position and waiting as long as we have, a fermenter sitting upright in our space is gorgeous! It's the 8th Wonder of the World. It's a symbol of all that is Good and Just and... Sorry, I'm getting a little carried away. Let me just say, "It's friggin' AWESOME!"
Before I get to the rest of the installation, however, let me bring you up-to-date on some "pre-Installation" adventures that our company has been dealing with. I know I just ended the previous sentence with a preposition, but "dealing with" is the right term to describe what has been going on in the brewery build business.
As many of you know, we started this Captain's Blog to let inspiring brewers know what it takes to actually build a brewery. The idea that you can hand out a couple of homebrews and score a brewery is a fantasy. Anyone that has actually built a brewery will tell you that purchasing the malts and brewing the beer is the fun part. The other 90% of your life is a bitch!
That being said, let me give you the other 90% of my day that nothing at all to do with the standing this fermenter at 8:15am, and meeting the fine construction workers that were responsible for this feat!
At 9:00am this morning I met with the County EDC and the North Carolina Commerce Department. While both gentlemen were extremely interested in wanting to provide financial assistance, it soon became clear that had we not already announced that we had decided on our location there was nothing that they could really do for the number of employees that we might be able to hire.
Translation: If you are a large, out-of-state Brewery (or three) that 'promises' to hire a certain number of employees while feigning attention to other states that you actually have no interest in building in, the world is your oyster! The gov't will give you anything you want. Of course, since you may already be a nationally recognized brand and extremely profitable, you don't really need the financial and tax incentives. But, you'll play their game and they are more than willing to play along with you. It's the corporate welfare and cronyism two-step. But, hey, who cares? It makes great headlines. On the other hand, for the small business owner that is trying to actually create new revenue and jobs, we got nothing for you. Except, this brochure. Look, it's 4-color! Pretty...
To be accurate, they do have something for you: It's called "job-training credits." If you have ever owned a business, you know what this means. I'll leave it at that.
(Again, both lovely, nice people. IN FACT, the County EDC rep later contacted me to tell me that he is going to be working on trying to streamline permits for Skull Coast. He's a wonderful guy trying his hardest to overcome some of the permit issues that drive Business owners batty. We certainly appreciate it!)
At 10:00am, we headed back to the brewery with the promise of "job-training credits" in hand.
Thankfully, we found the rigging crew actually working around the ceiling height problem by cutting off half of the rigging equipment and welding together a shorter piece. This may not seem like a big deal for some of you, but this crew actually took the initiative to modify, actually cut, their own equipment to do the job right.
If you take a look at the image to the right you can see that this welder is actually welding together two pieces. What you don't see is the 3' section that was cut out in order to make sure our fermenters could be righted into the limited ceiling height.
After the adjustments were made, the second Tank was rigged into its place (above).
At the risk of getting overly preachy, I really wish government worked in the same way these workers did. They saw a problem and worked out a solution. There weren't bureaucratic guidelines they had to adhere to, or forms that needed to be filled out.
They saw the problem and cut it out. The tank now rests in its proper place. Human ingenuity. A marvel in this day and age.