Archive for January, 2013

The Day Pigs Flew

Smog City brewhouse in it's new home!

The Smog City brewhouse in its new home!

Let’s cut right to the chase, I’m wiped! We spent all of yesterday moving and placing equipment. Starting at 7am(we woke up at 5:15am) in Brea and going until 5pm when Porter finally left the brewery. It was an all out heavy lifting, tons of standing, and an excitement-filled day of work and HUGE reward. Over the course of the day Porter and I ate one apple and one meat stick each. I think that meat stick saved my life. Seriously. Luckily, at the end of my deliveries, Jimmy from Beer Belly treated me to the most delicious chicken taco and a Solidarity from Eagle Rock Brewing. He saved me just as my body was near the end of its rebellion and about to admit defeat. Next time, we must pack a cooler of food like our seasoned riggers!

I photographed and filmed much of the day. Below are the photographs and hopefully one day, I’ll figure out how to edit the footage. Anyone wanna crack at it?! 🙂 It’s above my pay grade.

1st Tank Out!

1st Tank Out!

We purchased these two horizontal lagering tanks from BJ’s Brea. Luckily for us, they are stored in the backyard of the restaurant so no walls had to come down to get them out. The bad news is that the space was VERY tight and far from the parking lot. They brought in what they called the “baby” crane truck…but this truck was a beast!

"Baby" crane truck

“Baby” crane truck

Crane Over!

Crane Over!

Flying over our heads, both Porter and I independently had the thought: “Those like like gigantic flying stainless steel PIGS!”…then of course, we sang Pink Floyd all day. “Is there anybody out there…just nod if you can hear me” If you saw the most recent Floyd concert, they had a flying pig which coasted over the audience throughout much of the show. Now Smog City has two!

Truck #1 and Flying Pig #1

Truck #1 and Flying Pig #1

Waiting for Truck #2

Happy Brewer.

Once the tanks were safely on the truck and the Chemical Brink was loaded, we took off for our warehouse in Santa Ana where our brewhouse has been stored for the last 15 months. If you remember, we bought it from Marble Brewery in Albuquerque. In their last year using this system it brewed 9,000 bbls! It’s a workhorse. They brewed on it the day Porter and the Marble Brewing team broke it down…quite a process.

Where the brewhouse was stored!

Where the brewhouse was stored!

The brewhouse was smooshed in deep behind our cold storage unit. And YES, that will be our cold storage at the new facility. We’ll have direct draw taps off the side. Again, not a beauty but it’s functional! I think age and wear add character-in which case, the uglier the better…and I’m sticking with that!

Removing the tanks

Removing the tanks

Brewdeck, check

Brewdeck, check

Porter couldn't wait to check out the tanks.

Porter couldn’t wait to check out the tanks.

Strapped down and ready for the ride to Torrance.

Strapped down and ready for the ride to Torrance.

Best riggers ever!

Best riggers ever!

Placing the brewdeck

Placing the Brewdeck

Porter takes his place on the brewdeck, where he belongs!

Porter takes his place on the brewdeck, where he belongs.

We had visitors!

We had visitors!

Besides the night we dragged all of the Beach City Brewers over to our location (which was just a pit at the time), this is the most friends we’ve had swing by at one time! Thanks Martin Svab, Chris Elmes (of Drakes), Bernie Wire and Dan and Holly Bolton (from Bolton Engineering). It was a pleasure to share this momentous event with them.

Smog City brewhouse in it's new home!

The Smog City brewhouse in its new home!

Unfortunately, I (Laurie, the camera woman) had to head off for beer deliveries before the lagering tanks could be forklifted in but those photos are to come. I placed the most accomplished and trustworthy, Bernie Wire, is charge of documenting the final shots. Thanks Bernie!

One last thing, I want you all to know that we heard your honks and cheers loud and clear yesterday! …now off to Beer Belly for our mega-super-stupendous O.E. launch event with Jonny and Danny Fullpint of thefullpint.com…in the rain. Or maybe sun. 🙂

High Fives all around!

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Last Floor Blog, I Promise

FloorTimeline

Over the next two weeks we are going to see our empty warehouse turn into a brewery. I know I’ve been promising this for a few weeks but now we’re actually moving on to the equipment phase. YAY!

The floor will be done today, dried and ready for equipment by Thursday. Friday we’re bringing in our brewhouse and two horizontal lagering tanks, glycol lines are being delivered, and Porter will be putting up the FRP (wall panels to protect the drywall from moisture). My photos are about to get a lot more interesting. (THANK GOODNESS)

Here’s a look at the floor install. We went with Sunbelt Flooring. This team has been quick, professional and such a pleasure to work with. The floor looks incredible! Although we paid a premium for their product, we feel like the hassle it will save us over the long run will be worth the extra $$s. Plus we are well aware now that Porter and I could NEVER have applied this floor coating on our own, which we actually considered. 2200 sq ft of flooring?!

Check out what they did over the last three days. It required four men, with all four working together like a well-oiled machine. It was a process of timing and experience.

Koster, the vapor barrier

Koster, the vapor barrier

9am, Jan 21st.

9am, Jan 21st.

Crampons for walking on the wet flooring

Crampons for walking on the wet flooring

2pm, Jan 21st

2pm, Jan 21st

Floor7

The hardworking team

Sunbelt’s hardworking team

Like feeding chickens.

Like feeding chickens.

Now to take off the extra sand and seal it in with the final coating

Now to take off the extra sand and seal it in with the final coating

Jan 22nd, 2013- Our floor has been coated and now needs 24 hours to dry and harden. We’ll be bringing in the equipment on Friday.

Our Sunbelt flooring team.

Our Sunbelt flooring team.

Our finished floor.

Our finished floor.

We have coving.

We have coving.

Final Steps Before We Bring in Equipment

Dropped by to see how the flooring guys were coming along and to meet Blake and Hernan from Cinco. They were helping us get our new three basin sink and a stainless steel table to the brewery. Thanks Cinco!

Here’s how the brewery looks right now.

The floor is ready for the coating.

The floor is ready for the coating.

The drywall is up on the ladies bathroom!

The drywall is up on the ladies bathroom!

Here's your view from the taproom!

Here’s your view from the taproom!

This is Koster. The first layer of our new flooring.

This is Koster. The first layer of our new flooring.

The three basin sink arrives!

The three basin sink arrives!

My constant companion "organized" nails and screws for the construction crew.

My constant companion “organized” nails and screws for the construction crew.

And these babies...they are going to be used for making our SOUR BEERS.

And these babies…they are going to be used for making our SOUR BEERS.

Progress is happening every day! What beer/s are you most looking forward to sampling in our Smog City taproom?!

Hello Floor and Amarilla Gorilla!

Exciting day yesterday. Super excited about the LA Weekly article declaring us the #1 brewery to watch in 2013. Best quote: “…L.A. brew fans await the official arrival of what could very well be L.A.’s new signature brewery.” Humbling…but believe me, we’re going to do everything in our power to live up to that expectation…and more.

2013 will be the year of innovation, exploration and creativity at Smog City Brewing. Porter is anxious to get into the swing of things in our new facility and bring some beers to really knock your socks off. A recent addition to our portfolio is AMARILLA GORILLA. This might possibly be my new favorite IPA. It’s nothing like the SMOG CITY XPA, it’s nothing like HOPTONIC IPA, it revels in its own identity. You’ll see this beer popping up in select bars and restaurants around LA during its inaugural and limited release…but I am sure it will become a mainstay in the Smog City line-up! We’d love to hear what you think about it and our other beers! Leave us comments below!

In construction news: Walked into the brewery today and it is beginning to look like a brewery…or at least more than just a gigantic warehouse! We’ve got a floor and our second bathroom is going in! Take a look.

JAN 8th, 2013

Our new floor.

Our new floor.

wall

This wall delineates the brewery storage and cellaring area from the taproom.

Ladies bathroom, of course we get the new one!

Ladies bathroom, of course we get the new one!

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Smog City Gets a New Floor!

Smog City's New Floor

Smog City’s New Floor

We’re pouring concrete today. ahhhhh…that’s a nice thing to be able to say. Once the concrete has cured enough, we’ll begin bringing in the tanks and brew system and the real puzzle begins. How do we put all those pieces back together?! Luckily for us, Porter is obscenely organized and systematic, so his brewhouse log has every little connection marked down to the bolt. Let’s hope it’s as easy as that…

Here’s a look at the last 3 days.

JAN 3rd, 2013

The rebar is set, looking from the brewhouse back towards our future taproom.

The rebar is set, looking from the brewhouse back towards our future taproom.

They duct tape the drains for pouring concrete.

They duct tape the drains for pouring concrete.

East to West.

East to West.

JAN 5th, 2013- 10:30am

Today, they are pouring the concrete. We had to make several visits throughout the day for various reasons. Emmett loved the concrete truck and the gigantic hose they were using to pump the concrete into the building.

Outside Smog City Brewing

Outside Smog City Brewing

A beautiful sight.

A beautiful sight.

This guy is as happy as we are! I think it’s the promise of great beer to come.

Molding the concrete near where the brewhouse will go.

Molding the concrete in the brewhouse area

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The wooden posts mark high points.

Our new floor!

After lollygagging around for awhile, we figured it was time to roll out. We had meetings at the brewery with our general contractor and Sean Inman at 2pm.

Jan 5th, 2013- 2pm

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Emmett fights mightily the temptation to JUMP into the wet concrete.

One of the reasons we continue to lurk around the brewery(besides the meetings!) is that we want to put our hand impressions into the concrete floor. When we arrived at 2pm, we find out that the concrete isn’t dry enough. “Come back at 4pm”, our concrete guy says. In the meantime Porter meets with our general contractor and Sean to talk about construction and Smog City’s future.

Emmett and I head home. He goes down for his nap on the ride home. GREAT! I bring him inside and get to work(on this blog). 30 minutes later, I get a call from Porter saying that the concrete is drier than they thought and our window is closing for the hand impressions. Eeek!

I pack the car, pick Emmett up out of bed, move him to the carseat and take off for Torrance. The boy sleeps on…

JAN 5th, 2013- 3:20pm

Hand impressions finally!

Laurie making her hand impression

I’m happy we made it in time.

The boy sleeps on… We troubleshoot. No little hands, let’s do shoes.

Emmett Shoes

Emmett’s Shoes

Personal anecdote: These shoes were purchased on Emmett’s first International trip. We all went to Germany in 2010, where we visited Porter’s friend, James and his family. James is now the brewer at BierWerks Brewery in Woodland Park, CO. German Beer Shoes!

Finished!

Finished!

FTW!

FTW!

We return home with…the boy still sleeping!

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