November 3, 2011

Wow.  It’s been almost one month since our last blog post…how the time flies!

This week as a whole has been a monumental milestone for us and sets much of the pace and timing for the rest of Societe’s build-out.  For those you who read our Twitter and Facebook you might have seen that we received our building permits late in the workday on Monday.  These permits allow us to schedule inspections from the city, which in turn allow us to finally BUILD up the brewery.  Pending approval from the inspections we will get the green light to complete the remaining 75% of the build-out.

Since submitting our plans to the city a little over a month ago we haven’t gotten much done in terms of construction since that would be unlawful.  Instead we shifted our focus to the brewhouse, cellar, and packaging operations.

Societe will consist of a custom-built JVNW 20bbl (bbl = barrel, 1 barrel= 31 gallon = 2 kegs) 2-vessel brewhouse (expandable to 3-vessel), two 20bbl cylindroconical fermenters, two 40bbl cylindroconical fermenters, and two 40bbl bright beer tanks.  Additionally, we will be using a 60bbl hot-liquor tank and a 60bbl cold-liquor tank.  Heat will be supplied by steam from a high-pressure boiler.  We decided to go with a high-pressure boiler for the possibility to steam sterilize our kegs, which we feel is very important!  While we haven’t yet had much luck tracking down any new or used keg-lines or bottling lines we have had the opportunity to really dial-in the brewhouse and cellar functions.  Although we see JVNW as the best brewhouse and tank manufacturer for our needs we still had to make things difficult for them by overly customizing the way we want wort (unfermented beer) to flow through our system.  Below you will see a recently edited P&ID (process and instrumentation diagram) that Travis and I have picked apart many times…this is one of the many revisions but not the latest.


Spending hours upon hours revising, editing, and resubmitting plans like the ones above have kept us away from our family (Travis) and friends (Doug) this past month.

Travis and I are getting a reputation for making engineers’ lives difficult (as well as designers, architects, contractors, etc.).  Regardless of how picky we have been, the folks at JVNW have been extremely capable and helpful.

Additionally, we’ve been able to finally setup a somewhat makeshift office for us to work from at the brewery.


We got lucky and found an abandoned office building in downtown SD.  We found it through our real estate broker who told us that if we didn’t take the furniture that it would be trashed!

As I write this, we only have one inspection left until we can resume construction/building out the brewery.    Via our social media footprint, we will post plenty of pictures of our progress, including when we pour the concrete foundation for our tanks and cellar area. Also coming up, we will give some sneak peeks into our tasting room and some other special plans we have in store for the public.


Cheers and have a wonderful and safe SDBW!


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