Archives For NathanCowan

There are quite a few breweries opening up this year in the Atlanta area, but only a handful are willing to face the daunting task of opening their doors inside the Atlanta city limit. For those who are thinking about taking on this challenge, here are a few tips:

Do you have enough cash? 

Unless you are independently wealthy, or come from a family that has done very well for itself, then the answer is probably “no”. Brewing is awesome, and there are always ways to improve the process. These improvements, however, can be very costly, so it is very necessary to have a solid plan in place for what you’ll need and when you’ll need it. The real unforeseen costs will more than likely come from things like the fact that your sewer line doesn’t actually run under the building, or the building that you are looking to move into, which clearly has been used for manufacturing for the last 60 years, is actually only listed for warehousing…which opens the door for a multitude of impact fees. Building problems are common in older towns and Atlanta fits that bill to a tee. The other area that is hard to hedge against is the cost of trying to start a business in a big city. Big cities have lots of departments and, unfortunately in most cases, this slows down the process of starting a business and makes it much more expensive. Before starting down this road, if you can, spend a couple of weeks visiting every department that you can find in the city and talking to anyone you can get time with. This brings us to the second thing.

How is that project timeline looking? 

My guess would be that it looks great when sitting in your hands. You’ve done your due diligence, checked every box, crossed every “t”, and dotted every “i”. However, just because you’ve done a great job of laying out a clear path to your goal, that doesn’t mean that others will see it that way. Suddenly, this plan which has been crafted for months lands on the desk of some official, in some office, and whatever date you had down for launch is suddenly a thing of the past and you start hoping that you can at least launch in the same calendar year. This is another side effect of big city bureaucracy and, sadly, there is not much that you can do to plan for it. Your best bet here is to have a plan that is both structured and flexible. Start dates can will change, and the important part is good execution when the day actually comes. Just don’t get yourself in to a position where you have a big overhead problem before you start production, and make sure you have a little more of item #1 to weather the storm. That last part is very important.

Location, location, location….

Fun fact: in order to be legally allowed to have a brewery you have to first already have a brewery. That is a bit of an overstatement, so here is the run down. In order to file for a state license you have to have your city application in for review (it is a required attachment to the state application). Also required for the city and state applications is a completed federal basic permit. The basic permit requires that you have a location (lease, layout, etc.) and that your equipment is in place (or at least ordered). The federal application takes about 109 calendar days to obtain so there are, at a minimum, four months of rent to budget for, and once you have this federal permit you can apply for the state and city licenses. But, here is the kicker! The city is the one that will have to give you approval to have the brewery in the location which you’ve already invested a great deal of time and money, and if they don’t approve your permit to have a brewery in that location then you are back to square one. Makes all the sense in the world, right?

In summary, if you are looking to start a brewery in Atlanta then do your homework. Get anyone and everyone you can to sign off in advance on what will be required and then hope and pray that it doesn’t change. Plan for a year and a half of extra work, and keep that overhead down. Finally, good luck. It is great deal of work, some necessary and some not, to get a brewery off the ground in Atlanta; be prepared for the challenge.

Eventide

 

 

 

Now that the cat or, better yet, the panda is out of the bag, we can talk about our other cool neighbors. For instance we are just a 11 minute walk from Zoo Atlanta, and we have been excited to follow all of the new births they have had this year: panda twins, an orangutan and a rhinoceros! They even have a panda cam!

Map

It’s not everyday that you have the opportunity to join a community such as Grant Park, but we are very glad we got the chance. We have had the pleasure of meeting a good many of the community members while working our way through the city’s obstacle course, and they are all about preserving their neighborhood and keeping a family friendly atmosphere. We have already been contacted numerous times about participating in local events and we cannot wait until we can open our doors to visitors. Next year we look forward to participating in the Summer Shades Festival, Brew at the Zoo, and all the many others. If you have any questions or interest in learning more about Grant Park then you should check out their website, and to the GPNA and everyone in the Grant Park area…thanks for your support!

For those of you who have been diligently following our progress, let us first say thank you. We have tried very hard over the last couple years to give you an inside look at what it has taken to get this idea off the ground and as we move closer to our much anticipated start date there are still a few things to wrap up. Here is the rundown:

The Equipment:

So far we have received the brew house, two fermenters, the walk in cooler and the chiller for the glycol system. The two fermenters are uni-tank type so we can both ferment and condition the beer with them. However, we are still waiting for the one remaining fermenter and a bright tank to finish being fabricated, and once we receive those tanks it will greatly stream line our production. Also still outstanding are some parts and pieces to the brew house that seem to have vaporized somewhere while traveling across the desert (“I really don’t know what happened to your order” is never what you want to hear). The good news is all of this equipment is scheduled to drop within the next week and we should be fully operational once we install it.

The Build:

One of the great things about our space is that most of the utilities were already in place. There were a couple damaged water lines that needed to be fixed but for the most part it was a plug and play operation. We are getting the last of our equipment powered/charged up this week and barring any problems all should be commissioned by mid next week. The only thing left after that is about 75 ft of chiller lines.

The Licenses:

The Feds are happy, and have been that way for awhile. The State has performed their inspection and everything looks great; they are only waiting on the city alcohol license to sign off on their permit. We have met every criteria set forth by the City of Atlanta Licensing and Permits division, we have gone before the City Council and our application is sitting on the Mayor’s desk. However, the Mayor cannot sign off until the building zoning department completes their Alcohol Inspection. Again, and this is where things turn for the worst, the City is waiting on one department to finalize this process: The City of Atlanta Building Plan Review.

There are multitude of issues present with this. This department has been reviewing our change of occupancy permit for over a month and, for some reason, cannot seem to come to a consensus on what we will be required to do. So far we have heard everything from we are “not required to be reviewed by that department” to we “owe ALL of the impact fees possible and have to update the entire property to current ADA code”…even the units that are not ours. As you can imagine, this is very frustrating and, to make matters worse, there is little we can do about it. However, as soon as we can get a final answer on what they need from us, and believe me we are diligently trying to secure that answer, we will be able to move forward with production.

I mean, we just want to make beer and sell it the same way people have done for thousands of years. Should it really be this difficult?

Eventide

 

 

 

Hooray!

It is really starting to look like a brewery around here at the Eventide headquarters; funny how the addition of brewing equipment will do that. This is the first installment of equipment to land…

…and more is on the way. We have another fermentation tank and a bright tank scheduled to drop next month. This will give us an initial output capacity of about 150 BBL per month. We also have a chiller and lot of odds and ends coming in over the next month, so there will be a lot of work around here. We will keep updating our social media outlets with new pics, so stay tuned to the blog or follow us on instagram and get it hot off the press!

Eventide

As you saw on Monday, things are starting to take shape around here. We have the cooler walls in place, and the roof of the cooler will be going on this week as well. After that, a team will come out to set the equipment and charge it up.

That’s all very cool, but the big news for today is that our first shipment of brewing equipment is packaged up and heading our way!

Hooray!!!

We expect to have these shiny tanks hitting our docks by early next week so be on the lookout for another update at that time.

Eventide

 

 

Quick Update

NathanCowan —  June 26, 2013 — Leave a comment

Good morning, all! Here’s a quick update to let you know what we’re working on this week:

We are still working our way through the red tape with the city and state but the end is in sight. Honestly, this process with the local governing bodies has been interesting. It has allowed us to meet a lot of the community surrounding our “proposed” location and has put us in contact with some key people who we hope to collaborate with on local festivals, neighborhood initiatives and other events.  We have a few more council meetings to go but everything on the licensing front is on schedule to wrap up by the end of July.

Meanwhile, back at the brewery: our equipment is currently on a truck and is heading our way! The first load is scheduled to arrive around the first of July, and we are very anxious to get this equipment in house and set up. Also, we were able to source a slightly used walk-in cooler from a local “play-it-again” restaurant equipment store last week.

Walk in Cooler Loading

 

The cooler is almost brand new with a 90% discount off the new price!!!

Our place is really starting to change from an empty warehouse to a… well… a warehouse full of palletized brewing equipment. Getting all of this equipment in house, and in working order, is a huge step toward our warehouse becoming a fully functioning brewery!

Check back in on Friday as we discuss the new wave of APA’s hitting the craft market, and why we feel ours will stand out nicely. Happy hump day!

Eventide

Engineer In Brewing

NathanCowan —  June 12, 2013 — Leave a comment

My parents have told me, since I was a boy, that I have always had a mechanical aptitude. This, I imagine, was helped along (and still is) by my father. He was in the engineering and construction trades for most of my life and as such I was exposed to all kinds of technical processes. I have constructed buildings from below the ground to the roof, I have rebuilt cars from bumper to bumper, I can fabricate metal components from scratch, I have worked as a forensic engineer, and I am on the cusps of getting my professional engineer’s license. All of this I owe to my upbringing as a craftsman.

However, I feel like I am treading on new territory with this brewery venture, or maybe it’s just new components. Through my eyes everything is similar in some shape, form, or fashion. Everything from cars to buildings to cities can be simplified to a sum of their parts or can be categorized as a bunch of parts and pieces centered around a common focus. The only difference is in how the pieces actually connect and/or interact.

In brewing you have many processes that are very familiar to someone from the science world. Thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, mechatronics, engineering, chemistry, and biology are all part of the mix. However, even though I love all of these practices, the ones that are most interesting (and at times frustrating) to me are the ones that I have not worked with before; those would be business and marketing.  While it is true that business and marketing, like all other things, consist of a series of pieces that need to be put together to form a “big picture”. However, the way those pieces are to be placed is, at times, a more intricate process than rebuilding a motor or designing a bridge, and that is what makes it so interesting.

I’m looking forward to learning more about all of this as Eventide Brewing progresses, and I am also excited about getting the chance to become as versatile in as many crafts as possible.

Nathan C.

If you are asking yourself, “Who is this Eventide Brewing I keep hearing about?”, then come meet us this Saturday, June 8th at the Third Annual Brookhaven Beer Fest.  We will be attending the festival to promote our soon to open brewery. 

BBF-logo

The festival will  be held behind the Brookhaven Marta Station on Apple Valley Road at Fernwood Park in heart of Brookhaven.  Tickets are still available for purchase on the website for $35 or you can purchase them at the door for $45. The gates open at 3 pm and the event runs until 8 pm. They are boasting that there will be over 150 beers available for sampling and musical entertainment provided by Go box, DJ Suspense and a duo performance by Scotty Cram and Anthony Crane.  If you enjoy good, live music and/or great craft beer (and who doesn’t?) then this is the place for you this weekend.

We hope to see you there!

Eventide

Duluth Beerfest

NathanCowan —  May 29, 2013 — Leave a comment

This Saturday, June 1st, we will be attending the Duluth Beerfest, Brews & Tunes, to promote our soon to open brewery.

duluth beerfest

The festival will  be held on The City Green at 3167 Main St. Duluth, GA. VIP and General Admission tickets are still available for purchase on the website with VIP getting you in an hour early, 12 pm, and GA gaining you access from 1-5 pm. They are going to have a full line up of great beers and some local up and coming bands. If you enjoy good, live music and/or great craft beer (and who doesn’t?) then this is the place for you this weekend.

We hope to see you there!

Eventide.

Take a moment today to reflect on your freedom and for those who have given so much to protect it.

memorial day

With respect and appreciation,

Eventide