It’s hard to believe how much ground we’ve covered since the last post. First and foremost, our brew rig has arrived. The rig was manufactured near Shanghai by a bay-area based company, PBST. Due to our low ceiling height and somewhat cramped (creative!) space, everything had to be manufactured custom. After manufacture, the rig couldn’t ship right away because of a stevedore strike at the port of Oakland. Once that lifted, it was Chinese New Years, during which (speaking from experience) not much gets done in China (other than blowing up pretty much everything), and our spirits sagged as delivery was once again delayed. The rig finally was loaded into a shipping container and arrived in Oakland on National Beer Day, April 7. On April 11, the shipping container arrived at Methodology.
Along with our adept forklift operator Clarence and a couple helpers, we unloaded the mash tun, kettle, three fermenters, and a double-brite tank onto 1st Street and then moved them into the building. In order to not have to destroy our doorway with an eagerly waiting jackhammer, we had to take off every piece of hardware attached to the equipment, from temperature probes to piping. Everything just barely fit through the doors, with the mash tun probably having less than 1/4″ clearance on the sides, and so little clearance on the top that it took some talented pallet jack pumping to get it through. Incredibly, everything is now inside of the brewery space.
With each step in the process of opening our brewery- fundraising, finding a space, becoming a business, the reality of what we’re doing and the excitement that brings have seemed at a crescendo. But this tops it all. We were all immediately and deeply attached to the rig, and unsurprisingly its arrival came with a burst of creative energy, channeled into the creation of a new series of recipes. Most exciting among these, in my opinion, came from the Hops for Housing event we did during SF Beer Week. At some point a patron called our 51% oat stout a ‘cookie beer’, and for the rest of the night this is how people ordered it. Out of this grew a number of other ‘cookie beers’, and at the top of the list is an oatmeal raisin stout, to be brewed this weekend with added candi syrup for raisiny flavor, as well as heaps of toasted oats and cinnamon.