I haven’t posted here in ages so I just thought I’d post an update on Riverlands progress. There’s one thing I’ve learned from this process, and that’s everything takes time. I’m dying to get to the beer brewing part of this, but we are still looking for a location. We’ve had potential buildings come and go, offers put in, counteroffers, but nothing that has stuck. We’re submitting an offer again today on a building that I loved, so hopefully this is the one!
There are so many things to consider when you’re building hunting. The buildings we are looking at need to be zoned for manufacturing, but the city we are looking in will rewrite some building codes to allow us a partial retail use there as well. It needs to be in our budget (which has been ever expanding), and it needs to be between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet. The more things it has like sprinkler systems, HVAC, floor drains and such, the more expensive it is, but will take less money and work later. Its all a balancing act and finding the perfect spot has been tough. After we drop a sizable amount of money on a spot, we still need money to buy equipment, build the taproom, do the floors in the brewhouse and cellar area, and more.
After we get that wrapped up, we’re looking at between 6 to 12 months for buildout, licensing, permits, and anything else that comes up. We are currently shooting for winter of 2018 or early 2019.
While this has been going on, I’ve volunteered at a brewery in Villa Park, IL called MoRE Brewing Company. They specialize in New England style IPA’s and stouts, but do a wide variety of other things too. I’ve learned a lot from those guys that will help me transition into doing this on a professional scale.
Since this is a homebrew blog, here’s one thing I can tell you that I’ve learned about brewing NE IPA’s that you guys can use. It’s all about the dry hops. You can get almost all your flavor from them too, not just aroma. Looking back at my old recipes on here, I’d basically double my dry hop amounts now and use less in the boil/hopstand. I dry hop over 4lbs per barrel, which comes out to 13.5 oz or so on a 6 gallon batch. Its nuts, but it does wonders. If you visit our beer page at the Riverlands site, https://www.riverlandsbrewing.com/our-beer/ , you can see the malts and hops used in our beer. I’ve taken to using a pretty even split combo of flaked oats and white wheat. I use carafoam for even more body in these beers. I’ve tried flaked wheat and malted oats as well, I just prefer the flaked oats, white wheat, carafoam combo for the body of these beers. Honey malt is fun to play around with in these too, but I’ve mostly stuck to light crystal lately. I’ve just been using good old 2 Row as my base. I do plan on playing around with Golden Promise, but for our core hoppy lineup, GP doesn’t make sense for me. We do use a decent amount of Pilsner too.
Anyway, I’ll post on here when we do get our location nailed down, hopefully it won’t be too much longer. Then the real work begins!!!!