While we used to be a brewpub, I really consider this endeavor a brand new start. When we purchased Schooner’s Grille & Brewery it was essentially a turn key operation when it came to the brewery – As in it was already built out and everything. This time around we are essentially starting from scratch, and since we are renaming and re-branding, we are essentially starting from scratch there too.
We have had the wheels turning on this whole project for a while so time to catch you up a little more. To start the process we needed to find a new location. We spent a couple of months looking for our new location with the binding constraint being Craig, our brewmaster’s, appetite for travel. He lives in Brentwood and was willing to travel 45 minutes each way at most. That still left us with plenty options. We checked out places in Martinez, Concord,Pittsburg, Antioch,Livermore, and Tracy. Our criteria for a new location was:
* 22 foot high ceilings
* 2 million BTU capability for gas
* 3 phase 480 volt electricity
* At least 10,000 sqft.
At one point I thought for sure that we would be moving our brewery across town here inAntioch. We found a location that used to be a yogurt factory. On t he property was what essentially amounted to an insulated barn. I say barn because it literally had no utilities (They leased the p roperty next door and ran power across the property and when they left the connection was severed). No gas. No electrical. No drainage. No water. The potential was vast
and we even made an offer, but at the end of the day we were terrified at the uncertainty of cost overruns getting our required utilities back to the insulated barn. We were also looking a substantial amount of downtime waiting for the utilities company to even install the transformer we would need.
At the end of the day we decided on a property in Tracy. The Tracy property is far more expensive (we decided to buy and not lease), but would be a lot less headache, would appreciate more than the property in Antioch, and is in a good area for distribution ( it’s not coincidence so many companies stage their goods here for distribution). The building offers us plenty of space to grow, already has the required electrical supply we need,and will be a much simpler renovation. The building is 15,000 sqft with about 2,500 sqft of it converted to office use. We will turn 1,500 sqft of the office space into our tap room and t he rest will remain our offices and lab. We are currently about a month into escrow which will close in two month, or as soon as our liquor license transfers, whichever is sooner. So much to do before then. Stay tuned!