It’s happening. After over two years of planning and prep, we’ve got our brewery site, we’ve closed down our homebrew supply shop at Beyond the Grape and moved everything over to Fraser Mills. It’s a heck of a trip.
You may ask, if we’re setting up a brewery/winery/cidery/meadery, why the fuss about the homebrew shop?
It’s because we see Craft Fermentation as an utterly natural extension of home brewing. All of our founding members are deeply involved in homebrew, and collectively have over 120 years of brewing experience. Hilariously, at least forty of those years come from one guy who started early and brewed often, but he doesn’t look a day over ‘really old’.
There’s a huge constituency of Craft lovers who brew their own while enjoying local brews, and with our ability as a brewery to source just about anything brewing related we’re going to have an amazing resource/supply store on site, ready to go at all times. It’ll also allow us to bring in small/weird/fiddly things for our friends at the other BC Craft breweries need from time-to-time. We’re all in this together, and you’d be surprised at how much the Craft folks share and support each other.
The basement is the easy part: we’re ordering our equipment and have our electricians/plumbers/installers coming in to do their thing(s) and for our part it’s mainly been about cleanup and some infrastructure upgrades.
Upstairs, where the tasting room is a much larger project.
The space had been used by a boat dealership to show off the great outdoors, and other than laying down carpet and painting some frankly surrealistic murals, it hasn’t been renovated since the invention of interior design.
Step one, break stuff.
All hands on deck, we started pulling up carpet and scraping up age-hardened underlay, and about sixteen hundred pounds of carpet nails, tackless stripping and staples–so many staples.
And then the walls came tumbling down.
Next up is paint. Oh, paint.
Painting an old building gives you a lot of time to contemplate the past. Like, ‘where did they find all this battleship-grey enamel, and what made them think it was a good idea to paint office walls with it?
It’s a lot of sanding and scraping, but totally worth it. A zillion coats of primer later, along with spackling, sanding and a lot of inhaled paint chips later, we’re ready for the real painting crew to come in and get our colours on.
What’s Next for FMFC?
Glad you asked. We’re into the permit process to be a brewery and we go before council on March 26th at 7 pm. It’s not very complex, but we need a Temporary Usage Permit to start putting the brewery equipment in and getting our Craft on.
If you’d like to participate (by which we mean come tell council that we’d be an asset to the neighbourhood, and gosh, we’re a great bunch of guys) please attend the meeting and give us your thumbs-up.
Right now we’re off to the paint store–we hear they have a deal on battleship enamel.