Whoa has a lot happened since my last update. As shameful as it is to have fallen behind on updating you, it’s made less shameful by the fact that we’ve made a ton of progress on getting this motherfucker open.
Since there’s so much to cover, I’m just going to run through it:
a) A week ago tonight was one of the coolest, most amazing nights of my life. While I didn’t lose my virginity, I did witness and participate in an insanely fun, rowdy, and electric gathering on the back patio of The Toronado, as 50-some folks gathered to celebrate the close of our Kickstarter campaign. I’ll never forget the moment we broke $65,000 and the entire place went absolutely bananas. I’ll do a full write-up on the entire Kickstarter experience once we’ve fulfilled the rewards and held the local backers party.
b) So much progress on the construction side. Our entire glycol system is working—which is like the frosty circulatory system of the brewery—which means working cold boxes and tanks that chill down. Tomorrow we’re expecting to fire up the boiler and start running our water filters, which gets us most of the way there on the utilities side.
c) We got a ton of hops in. It’s actually not the most desirable situation, but since I started this whole crazy project too late to snag any 2012 hop contracts, I’ve had to do all of my buying on spot (until our 2013 contracts become available in December-ish). Sourcing these hops took a shitload of work, but here are the results:
d) Today, this rad roll-up glass garage-style door went it. It’ll bring precious air and light into the Lomaland Fermentorium tasting room; we’re going to build a counter in front of it so you can sit there and suck in the sea breeze.
e) We’ve brewed and tasted many pilot batches. I deeply regret not having the time to write-up all the recipes and results right now, but suffice it to say, we’ve made significant progress. Here’s the core of what we’ve decided:
i. Our first Lomaland batch will be fermented with a 95%/5% blend of Dupont and Westmalle yeast. Dupont is a pain to work with, but it produced the best version of this beer by far. The Westmalle kicker is in there to help the beer finish out in a reasonable amount of time without interfering with the Dupont character. So yeah, we’ll be brewing (and canning, in tallboys) a 5.5% saison with Dupont yeast. That’s pretty spectacularly exciting if you’re a saison fan.
ii. A small addition of Coffee Kiln malt similarly took Black House to 11. It now “pops” whereas before it was just “tasty.” Now it’s “delicious.” Our most recent pilot batch was too thin but otherwise spot on, so we’ll be upping the mash temp but changing nothing else.
iii. Testing on the red rye Mike has been working on was less conclusive, or rather, resulted in less progress, but we’re going for it anyway. It’s going to be a piney, sappy beast heavy on Simcoe & Chinook (we’re considering supplementing with Summit and/or Columbus).
iv. As of right now, we’re planning for our initial round of tank fills to look like this: Lomaland, Blazing World, Black House, unnamed red rye, unnamed 100% Brett Drie IPA. Fortunate Islands will probably wait until summer because we don’t have enough Citra & Amarillo right now.
f) When will we be open? I’m not sure. Perhaps early June if we’re lucky? Perhaps later if we’re not?