Good Robot Brewing Co.

Grog Blog

By in Construction 0

Taproom Construction Update 3: Seasons Change

The major problem with our brewery is that you guys come here, buy the beer, and leave. Some of you send us pictures of yourselves enjoying the beer. Then, while we’re taking a leak at The Stubborn Goat, we check our phones and see that fabulous picture of our beer on your backyard porch. Or your office desk. Or a mountain top. Campsite. Living room. Schoolyard.

See the problem?

We don’t get to drink our beer with you.

Let’s remedy that.

good robot brewing company halifax nova scotia craft brewery microbrewery north end beer taproomgood robot brewing company halifax nova scotia craft brewery microbrewery north end beer taproomgood robot brewing company halifax nova scotia craft brewery microbrewery north end beer taproom

Our driveway has come a long way, from Denzel Washington movie set to 10,000 pounds of transplanted soccer field. And although John MacNeil Elementary may not get the practice they need to make the finals this year, I’m sure even they’d appreciate the complementary colour coordination we pulled off. Go Dolphins!

good robot brewing company halifax nova scotia craft brewery microbrewery north end beer taproomgood robot brewing company halifax nova scotia craft brewery microbrewery north end beer taproomgood robot brewing company halifax nova scotia craft brewery microbrewery north end beer taproomgood robot brewing company halifax nova scotia craft brewery microbrewery north end beer taproom

Demolition, structural, plumbing and some electrical are finished. The second-most interesting phase involved turning a living room into a mezzanine overlooking the bar. The most interesting phase will be explaining to our landlord what happened to the residence upstairs.

good robot brewing company halifax nova scotia craft brewery microbrewery north end beer taproomgood robot brewing company halifax nova scotia craft brewery microbrewery north end beer taproomgood robot brewing company halifax nova scotia craft brewery microbrewery north end beer taproom

You may notice that, as compared to our brewery construction blog posts, our taproom construction blog posts contain few nightmares. Andrew Flood and his amazing team at Five by Five Renovations are to thank for that. While they’ve been hammering through taproom construction, which should be complete in about 6 weeks, we’re catching up on brewery operations, which are difficult. Brewing is demanding. Cash is tight. It’s horrifying to watch your sales increase as your bank account dwindles, but it’s the reality of owning a business. We feel similar to how we did just before the brewery opened. By the time the graffiti mural below hits our wall, we’ll be days away from opening our taproom, which we want as much as you do. Just forgive us if we pass out after one pint.

good robot brewing company halifax nova scotia craft brewery microbrewery north end beer taproom

Taproom Event 2: Stand-up Comedy Night – Just Vorlaufs

We told you about Silent Reading Nights. And now for something completely different.

Stand-up comedy is a huge part of our lives. In Seattle, I took weekly trips to the comedy clubs just to hear someone say something meaningful. In fact, Doug Stanhope’s Steal Shit and Quit routine helped push me to quit my job and pursue the brewery. On a road trip we took, Doug had to pull the Chevy Suburban over while listening to Patton Oswalt’s Tom Carvel bit since he was laughing too hard to drive. Angus, Doug and I still attend comedy nights at Gus’ Pub on Mondays and Dal Grad House on Wednesdays. Comedy and beer go hand in hand as catalysts of free speech and, of course, good times.

Doug Stanhope Kissing Josh - Good Robot Brewing Company Craft Brewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Josh and his idol, Doug Stanhope, sharing a moment.

Introducing Just Vorlaufs, a weekly stand-up event showcasing the best comedians Halifax has to offer. No TVs. No pool tables. No smartphones. Just you and whatever unfiltered thoughts come to the comics’ minds. We also envision a series of beers to pair with the comics, like Doug Stanhop, Lewis Black IPA or Patton Osmalt.

Josh and Jon Dore - Good Robot Brewing Company Craft Brewery Microbrewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Josh and his favourite Canadian comic, Jon Dore.

So join us once a week at Halifax’s second-best comedy venue and eighth-best brewery. We need comedy. Here’s why:

“Comedy and tragedy are two halves of the same coin. Comedy unites us—the moment the laugh spreads through the room we come together, it unites. Tragedy is its opposite—it always divides. We like to believe otherwise, in “a country united by tragedy” and shit like that, but it’s not true. Every person’s tragedy is theirs alone, and it divides us off, even as we are sitting together in a room. These two great forces, pushing and pulling, are the axioms that underlie all storytelling. Anyone who counts comedy as a lesser force isn’t seeing clearly how integral they are to each other—subtract either one and the world just doesn’t exist any more.

— Mike Daisey

By in Construction 0

Taproom Construction Update 2: Movin’ Right Along

Remember that kid who freaked out because he only got 89% on a calculus quiz? That’s us. Sure, our brewery is finally open for business, we’re on tap at some of our favourite spots, and we’ve got some sexy events coming up, but why enjoy the fruits of your labour when you can ferment them? Let the taproom construction begin!

Good robot brewing company wrought iron craft microbrewery north end halifax nova scotia taproom

Good robot brewing company wrought iron craft microbrewery north end halifax nova scotia taproom

Exterior view from Robie St.

Breakhouse has taken our ideas and expanded, refined and improved them. Like an engineer, our exterior is cold, grey and closed off to the world.

Good robot brewing company wrought iron craft microbrewery north end halifax nova scotia taproom

Good robot brewing company wrought iron craft microbrewery north end halifax nova scotia taproom

Beer garden-driveway. They spelled “Good Robot” incorrectly in the concept art.

But when you get to know us, we’re warm and approachable, like a sunny beer garden.

Good robot brewing company wrought iron craft microbrewery north end halifax nova scotia taproom

Cut-out view of taproom.

We want the taproom to have the cozy warmth and conversation of a classic pub or dive but with a modern, surrealist vibe. Like our beers and personality, it’s not true to style. A neighbourhood haunt for misfits in search of good times and good brews.

Good robot brewing company wrought iron craft microbrewery north end halifax nova scotia taproom

The Tacoma Narrows collapse is, like us, an engineering disaster.

The taproom is currently an old restaurant with a residence on top. We’re tearing out a portion of the residence floor to make a mezzanine overlooking the main floor.

Good robot brewing company wrought iron craft microbrewery north end halifax nova scotia taproom

Good robot brewing company wrought iron craft microbrewery north end halifax nova scotia taproom

This is where Josh plans to listen to your problems.

The bar features 12 taps, 2 of which will be casks, some of which will be guest spots, and 1 of which will be connected to Doug’s veins. On the left is a small prep area reserved for finger foods courtesy of Food Noise, who makes healthy versions of the awful food we enjoyed in college. The chairs will be drop-top cherry Cadillac love seats capable of sitting 2 or 3 people, or 1 Angus lying down.

Good robot brewing company wrought iron craft microbrewery north end halifax nova scotia taproom

Good robot brewing company wrought iron craft microbrewery north end halifax nova scotia taproom

The view from the comedian.

The back end is adjacent to huge windows which allow you to watch your day disappear in real time. The booths will be loaded with posters of various festivals and shows we’d love to attend if we had the foresight to know we will never travel again.

We’re shooting for a September opening, but given the rate of our current accomplishments, I’d wager we open in early 2018. So strap on your hover-boots and gravitate your way here. Schedules are overrated. So is growing up.

By in Uncategorized 3

The Floatation Centre Review: Dive, Drift, Awake

I have a brain that, in the words of my favourite stand-up, won’t shut the fuck up. Teachers, bosses and friends have called me absent-minded, but it’s almost the opposite of that. It’s absent-bodied. I’m often unaware of my surroundings because I frequent my head, which can often be a negative place. The added stress of running a business compounds that tenfold. Sometime last summer during a breakdown, I began meditating. By picturing myself as a mountain and my thoughts as passing clouds, I developed an ability to better control my brain. For many months, I was able to set aside some time each day to focus on my breathing and control the negative thoughts attacking my brain like so many lipases attacking my fat cells (sorry – I’m eating Domino’s cheesy bread). Once construction began and the brewery opened, it became near-impossible to find a time or place to meditate.

 

Good Robot Brewing Company wrought iron brewing microbrewery craft beer halifax nova scotia north end cigar

I love running (not pictured) and cigars (pictured) because they allow me to focus on something simple and enjoyable while letting my thoughts roam.

Last week, I saw one of my favourite stand-up comics, Tig Notaro. I did not enjoy myself. Tig was on point, but I wasn’t. With opening week and Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week insanity, my mind was overloaded. I could not focus. I barely even laughed. Given my passion for stand-up, I knew something was wrong. Enter The Floatation Centre.

 

The Floatation Centre Good Robot Brewing Company sensory deprivation float tank wrought iron North End halifax nova scotia

Tig Notaro

I first met Lindsay through Ladies Beer League. So, yes, this is a shameful plug. But it’s an earnest, shameful plug. Lindsay’s mantra – Attack with Love – fits her personality like tangy marinara fits a hot, toasty piece of Domino’s cheesy bread (again, sorry). She has a heart of gold and only wishes the best for everyone. Meditative floating is a natural extension for her.

 

The Floatation Centre Good Robot Brewing Company Wrought Iron Halifax Nova Scotia North End microbrewery craft beer

Across the street from the crematorium. One-stop shopping.

During floating, you rest inside an insulated tank filled with a heavy saline solution. You float, so your sense of touch is suspended, and the insulated chamber prevents much sound or light from entering. Since you shower beforehand, smell plays little role, and your only taste may be a bit of that salty brine if some should touch your lips, a lovely precursor to the Domino’s cheesy bread you will no doubt enjoy afterwards for only $5.99. In other words, your brain has no distractions. Some people hallucinate. Others experience nothing but a calming silence. My journey wasn’t mystical, and I’m hesitant to call it enjoyable, but it was necessary.

 

The Floatation Centre Good Robot Brewing Company sensory deprivation float tank wrought iron North End halifax nova scotia

My home.

During the first few moments of floating, my mind was, in Angus’ words, a Rolodex of superficial problems. Did I mention to that customer that our gose is gluten-free? Was I nice enough to that bar manager? Did I wipe front to back? After these initial problems, problems that often seem urgent yet are not all-that important, my mind drifted to deeper problems. When did I last chat with my mother? Is a craft beer ambassador a glorified drug dealer? Will I ever be honest with myself? As the questions became increasingly heavier, my heart raced faster and breathing intensified. Eventually, the truly deep-seated problems, the ones we put on the back-burner and cover up with busy work, floated to the surface, problems I’d rather not discuss in a brewery blog post. Overwhelming waves of sadness and aggression eroded my senses until suddenly, BAM! A strange and sudden stillness. That eery calm after a huge storm. The closest thing I could describe it as is indifference, maybe even acceptance. It is what it is. Or better yet, as worded by my favourite TV drama…

 

 

Business and busyness are rarely, if ever, separate. Entrepreneurs often possess a dissatisfaction with the status quo, and in some cases, this dissatisfaction stems from something deeper. A broken heart. A painful childhood. A lack of cheesy bread. We often cover our problems with day to day tasks that keep the forefront of our minds occupied while purposely neglecting the painful undertones. I’ve been so busy for so long that I’ve been neglecting many of these undertones, which can erupt in toxic ways if not addressed. Lindsay tearfully told me of an older gentleman who was recently in a car accident which dramatically affected his nervous system. He was constantly fearful and the promise of a meditative, relaxing journey sounded promising. He tried floating today for the first time and said it was the first serenity he’s experienced since the accident.

 

Lindsay MacPhee good robot brewing company the floatation centre halifax nova scotia north end wrought iron craft beer microbrewery

Attack with love.

As I left my session, Tycho was playing through the lobby, which was funny in a sad way. I used to listen to Tycho on my morning bus routes through the grey, rainy Seattle fog on my way to a job I didn’t like. The surreal, melancholic, almost dream-like quality of the music fit my mood perfectly. I would think to myself, I finished engineering school. I got the engineering job. I’m making money. Domino’s is open 24/7. Why am I unhappy? The brewery seemed like the ticket, an external patsy to an internal conspiracy. Don’t get me wrong – I’m much better suited and happier in my current life, but the same feelings of emptiness that haunted me on those lonely bus rides came pouring over me again tonight during my float session. I made a promise to myself to make floating a regular part of my life. Self-improvement may be a bit strong of a goal, but self-acceptance is as important and difficult.

 

 

Meditation and floating pack amazing benefits, both physical and mental. Do yourself a favour. Visit Lindsay and float on. Grab a session with Dr. Tara while you’re there. And afterwards, be sure to try Domino’s new Mix & Match Cheesy Bread deal for only $7.99.

 

Domino's cheesy bread

Namaste.

By in Branding, Brewing, Construction 7

Brewery Construction Update 4: The 11th Hour

We’re one more week away from opening and two more mistakes away from aneurisms. The last month has been hellish. It’s difficult to even laugh at the situation, but that’s our only defence mechanism at this point, so here goes nothing.

Our timing has always been off. We studied the night before exams. We show up at bars after last call. I plan on marrying at 72, then again at 76. But this past month has truly pushed us to the limit, beginning with our equipment arrival. After several delays due to inclement weather (which we predicted in our last construction update), our equipment arrived during a record-setting snowfall at rush hour on the busiest street in Halifax. The tilt-deck truck got stuck, blocking off all of Robie St. for 45 minutes while we frantically tried to dig it out. A skidsteer attempted to pull the truck out, but also got stuck in the process.

Tilt_Deck_Truck_Stuck_in_Driveway_and_Skidsteer_Helping_Out

Inside the brewery was another nightmare. The tanks were too tall to tilt, plus the tilt chain seized up. The HVAC had to be removed and reinstalled to finish the job.

Fermenter tank stuck at Good Robot Brewing Company Wrought Iron in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia craft brewery beer microbrewery

We thought we calculated the heights correctly. There’s a reason we’re no longer engineers.

Like the Amityville series, the nightmare continues. Since the burner on the kettle is propane-fired and American-made, it required a CSA approval inspection and sticker. No problem. We knew this last July and planned accordingly. The week of our CSA inspection, the inspector had a massive heart attack. (We’ve since found out the inspector, Andrew Johnson, has passed away. Rest in peace, friend.) With no replacement in Atlantic Canada available and Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week just around the corner, Angus pulled every string he could, negotiating between Irving Propane, Office of the Fire Marshal, and DME (equipment supplier) to obtain a temporary brewing licence by installing myriad additional safety features. The whole ordeal is too exhausting for a blog post, but Angus would love to tell you in person over a pint sometime. Most importantly, we could brew beer once the system was commissioned.

Good Robot Wrought Iron Brewing Company Halifax Nova Scotia North End Don Barnone DME

Don, owner of Barnone Brewing and tech. at DME.

DME sent Don (beauty) of Barnone Brewing – you may remember him from our trip to PEI last summer – to help commission our system. Day 1 went flawlessly and we celebrated our first victory in ages with wild beers at Stillwell and wild grinding at Reflections. Six hangovers and one lost wallet later, we began brewing beer – eight batches in seven days as required to meet our opening demand while still staying within the confines of our temporary burner approval – and encountered nearly every brewing problem in the books: a clogged mill, improper readings, insufficient water, and a stuck sparge. Lucky for us that Doug has an able-hand at brewing and managed to salvage everything.

Angus heating fermenter at Good Robot Wrought Iron Brewing Company microbrewery craft brewery Halifax Nova Scotia North End beer craft

Pictured: Angus blasting the fermenter with 88 deg. C water to bring it up to room temperature.Not pictured: Doug shitting himself. 

The biggest horror came when some silly goose decided to turn off the heaters in our brewery and the temperature dropped overnight. Yeasts are like Florida retirees: they like consistent warmth. We tried every trick in the book to bring the tanks back to room temperature. We jacked the hydronic heaters. We rented a 65,000-BTU propane heater. We blasted the tanks with high-temperature water from a heating element. We jogged on the spot. The air was hot, thick and sugary, like a Candy Land rainforest. We didn’t sleep that night, possibly because we were jacked on sugar fumes. But it worked. The yeast recovered. With three weeks until opening date, we had beer brewing.

Banner - Good Robot painting out Wrought Iron - way smaller brewing craft brewery microbrewery beer Halifax Nova Scotia North End Wrought Iron

ρB the Robot up to no good.

Do you like migraines? So do we. With all the ongoing construction and brewing mayhem, we thought, Hey – We’re opening in two weeks. Why not completely change our company name, brand and logo? With the guiding hand of our amazing taproom designers and branding affiliates, Breakhouse, we found a direction that worked better for us. Insane Masochist Brewing Company was taken, but Good Robot seemed to fit the bill, too. This also meant all our suppliers of glassware, merchandise, signage, tap handles and other paraphernalia could share in the migraine. We owe back rubs to Tom of Jymline, Jenna and Jake of eyecandy, Nigel of Fresh Prints, Sean Lanzner of Maritime Labels and Packaging, Roger of Atlantic Digital, and everyone else that has tolerated our childish nonsense. We also owe a huge thanks to our college buddy Marc Clauser who flew in from Toronto to help us out with everything. In some cases, the damage was already done.

Good Robot Wrought Iron brewing company craft beer microbrewery Halifax North End Nova Scotia kegs

Anyone care to make an offer on 300 kegs branded with Wrought Iron Brewing Company?

In sixth grade, I pooped my pants. I was a little on the brown side of ripe to be pulling a stunt like that and my reputation suffered. But I bounced back by laughing at myself and inviting people to join in on the laughter. That’s all we can do at this point. That’s all we can do at any point in life where everything seems to be crashing down. We’re human. We make mistakes. We’re one week away from opening and we’ve put ourselves through a hell of a grind. But we have a brewery, a brand, and most importantly, we’ve got beer. Really good beer. We can’t wait for you to taste it next week at Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week and at our brewery on Saturday, May 9th. Come drink at your expense and laugh at ours.

good robot wrought iron brewing company craft beer microbrewery Halifax Nova Scotia North Endgood robot wrought iron brewing company craft beer microbrewery Halifax Nova Scotia North EndCheers, mates.

 

By in Construction 6

Brewery Construction Update 3: Ándale! Ándale! Mami, E.I. E.I. Uh-ohhhhh!

What’s popping tonight? I’ll tell ya what: another Wrought Iron Brewing Company brewery construction update, hopefully the last before our full equipment arrives. Last summer, we laughed when industry folk said we wouldn’t open until summer 2015 or later. As usual, experience trumped hubris and we are being forced to swallow our pride. Thankfully, we have some pretty tasty beer to wash it down with.

 

Eugene of Harbourview Electrical boosting a car at Wrought Iron Brewing Company craft microbrewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Eugene and Trevor of Harbourview Electrical are a pleasure to work with. They’ve gone above and beyond their scope, holding up Robie St. traffic to help vehicles enter our driveway, off-loading equipment from trucks and even buying us coffees. Plus, they bicker, laugh and swear all day like an old married couple of sailors. Here’s Gene boosting the electrical inspector’s car. Wrought irony.

Our last brewery construction update indicated equipment was arriving in two weeks. I’m not a fan of internet initialisms, but LOL! Here’s a fun game you can play at home: take a drink every time we mention “delay” in this post. On the positive, the delays [DRINK] have given us plenty of time to organise ourselves in-house.

 

Angus and three-phase power at Wrought Iron Brewing Company craft microbrewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

We’ve upgraded to three-phase electrical. Equipment starters are delayed.

 

Propane at Wrought Iron Brewing Company craft microbrewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Propane is in. CSA inspection is causing delays.

 

Mill at Wrought Iron Brewing Company craft microbrewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Our mill arrived on time! Unfortunately, the mill room is delayed.

 

Angus, Doug, mash tun and kettle at Wrought Iron Brewing Company craft microbrewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Mash tun and kettle are in! Burner is delayed.

 

Tom DeLay at Wrought Iron Brewing Company craft microbrewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Tom DeLay.

 

The remaining equipment is scheduled to arrive Monday, March 16th. We’re shooting for a tentative opening date in late April. TENTATIVE. That is subject to weather delays, equipment delays, inspection delays, brewing delays and delays otherwise unaccounted for. If you’ve been playing our drinking game, you’re probably feeling pretty rosy now, so I’ll end it there. Beer will come. Beer always comes to those who love to drink.

 

Warehouse 1 at Wrought Iron Brewing Company craft microbrewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia
Warehouse 2 at Wrought Iron Brewing Company craft microbrewery in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

 

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Taproom Construction Update 1: Lofty Ideas

As construction continues unabated and equipment delays abound, we turn our attention to the first draft of our draft room. From day one, we knew the following about taproom construction:

  • The taproom should serve as the heart of the brewery, a place where we can educate and inebriate.
  • The taproom should serve quality beer without pretension, from table d’hote to table d’ancing.
  • Given our former careers as industrial engineers and our current careers as beer barons, we perceive the motif as industrial equipment overgrown with horticulture.
  • We do not want to be a brewpub. We want a food truck in the driveway, the option for patrons to bring in food from other establishments, and small finger foods to pad your stomachs but not our wallets.
  • We want a wrap-around patio overlooking the Robie Street hustle and a grass driveway.
  • The taproom should be a haven for free speech.
  • We will host events reflecting our personalities, including comedy nights, how-to tutorials from local merchants, silent reading and raging parties.
  • The western portion of the taproom will focus on the entrance and stage.
  • The eastern portion of the taproom will focus on the bar and street with small tables to encourage group seating.
  • The upstairs portion of the taproom will be used for washrooms and private events.
Taproom layout at Wrought Iron Brewing Company craft brewery in the North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Our original taproom floor plan. Dimensions are imperial, like our pilsner.

We had ideas but lacked focus. Doug wanted classy. Angus wanted cozy. To me, a bar is like a cannonball competition: the divier, the better. We hired Breakhouse to help us organize. They are ridiculously fun to work with, dissecting even the most minute details of our social media to find the underlying personality and childhood trauma. After several meetings, Gord, Vince, Peter and Andrew helped us focus our thoughts and proposed some excellent ideas:

  • Replace the patio with a ground-level beer garden to eliminate the cityscape feel.
  • The western portion of the taproom should focus on washrooms given the limited size.
  • The eastern portion of the taproom should focus on the bar with a small fold-out stage and high-seats to encourage mingling.
  • The upstairs portion of the taproom can be torn out to create a loft overlooking the eastern taproom.
Wrought Iron Brewing Company in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia Taproom Layout - Breakhouse

Breakhouse: they know what they’re doing.

The taproom design is ongoing but we are excited about the prospects of having a local haunt. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, keep us posted. What do you like in a taproom?

By in Events, Taproom 3

Taproom Event 1: Silent Reading

As we finalize brewery construction and await our delayed equipment arrival, taproom design with the help of Breakhouse continues. Given the abysmal weather, a straight shot of Prozac is in order. Given the limits of our liquor licence, how about an uplifting blog post, instead?

 

Wrought Iron Brewing Company Taproom in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Needs work.

During my time in Seattle, I stumbled upon a cool idea: silent reading parties. For two hours once a month, The Fireside Room went dead-silent as its patrons stuck their noses in books and their tongues in martinis. It was like an imbibing library – an imbibrary – the perfect place for a guy like me with one book, two hours, three cocktails and zero friends. Being forced to remain in silence for two hours also doubled as a bizarre social stimulant: once the event wrapped, people began chatting. A lot. With strangers.

 

Wrought Iron Brewing Company Josh reading book in North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia

After two hours of Old Fashioneds, picture books were necessary.

Wrought Iron Brewing is proud to present the first of our many lofty and plagiarized event ideas, Silent Knights. For two hours once per month, we will shut down everything at the taproom except the taps, opening up the space for mixing Yeats with yeast. The North End will now have a haunt for those who are unsure whether they want to read a beer or drink a book. And if your idea of a good time doesn’t involve sitting silently in a room for two hours, fear not: more events are to follow. Check Our Events Calendar for other updates.

By in Construction 5

Brewery Construction Update 2: The Nightmare After Christmas

Ever have one of those months where your plumber concusses himself on your driveway, your trench drain sinks into the ground, your floors warp and your walls melt? Yeah, us too.

We’ve accomplished a lot since our first construction update. Myriad brewers warned us that the trench drain is the most crucial element of brewery construction; that no matter what, we should hire professionals and have it installed the proper way. Naturally, we installed it ourselves. End result? The grading is warped and little pools of liquid pile up. We can only hope gravity adjusts to our needs.

Wrought Iron Brewing Company Trench Drain 1

There’s the right way and the Wrought Iron way.

Digging the trench ourselves left us feeling elated, though that may have been the methane fumes from the gas-fired concrete saw.

 

Wrought Iron Brewing Company Concrete Saw Angus Construction

Burning gas indoors? What can go wrong?

Wrought Iron Brewing Company Angus Concrete Saw Construction Trench Drain

No, we did not find Fonda.

Wrought Iron Brewing Company Trench Drain Construction

Another Christmas in the trenches.

If you’ve never installed a trench drain yourself, the basic steps are:

  1. Don’t install a trench drain yourself.
  2. Call a professional.

Thankfully, we did have a professional: our buddy Alex, yet another friend we wouldn’t be here without. He helped install the trench drain and doors, plus hooked us up with Blake of Action Plumbing, who took a mean spill in our driveway, concussing himself and requiring an ambulance site visit. In his dizzied state, Blake still managed to fix our dripping hydronic lines and connect the trench to the existing sanitary line. What a beauty.

 

Alex and Angus install the trench drain at Wrought Iron Brewing Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Alex (left) and Angus.

Alex pouring concrete for trench drain at Wrought Iron Brewing Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia

A concrete pun would be in pour taste.

Alex, Angus and Doug pouring concrete for trench drain during construction at Wrought Iron Brewing Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Insane in the trench drain.

Alex, Josh, Doug and Angus napping at trench drain construction at Wrought Iron Brewing Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Alex Burns Memorial Drain. Alex isn’t dead… yet.

The drain was a pain to construct. The rebar kept sinking into the soft soil. The individual lengths wouldn’t line up. Liquid continues to pile up just before the sanitary outlet. Still, the drain functions, which allowed us to move on to demolition, room framing and door mounting. The doors had to be installed, re-installed, and re-re-installed on account of improper sizing and orientation. Again, the fun of homegrown construction.

 

Alex, Angus and Doug installing doors during construction at Wrought Iron Brewing Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Of the seven doors, these were the only two that fit as planned.

With the meat and potatoes constructed, it was time to put lipstick on the pig. Justin of New Wave Painting took care of the walls. He did an awesome job, but Halifax received a record amount of precipitation that day, causing the paint to drip and the entire warehouse to look like a scene from Suspiria. Stoncor tackled the floor prep. They did amazing work – including nights and weekends – but when we chose the colour scheme, we forgot that we’re opening a brewery and not a daycare.

 

Trench drain construction montage at Wrought Iron Brewing Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia

If you look closely, you can see that we should have hired a contractor.

In spite of everything, including:

  • methane highs,
  • improper floors,
  • improper doors,
  • drain pains,
  • re-re-re-installations,
  • paint drip,
  • plumber slip,
  • colour scheme from hell, and
  • an inch of concrete dust in our apartments,

we’re very proud of our construction. There’s a certain satisfaction to do-it-yourself that I’m not sure we’d have otherwise. Plus, with electrical and HVAC upgrades to go, there is ample room for more mayhem before our equipment arrives in two weeks and we begin upscaling our recipes. And to think: at this time last year, we were still writing the business plan.

 

Move-in day warehouse construction at Wrought Iron Brewing Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia PANO_20150203_114028

 

Got any good construction nightmare stories? Or for that matter, any good nightmare stories? How about tips regarding what we should have done? Do you have questions regarding construction at your business that we may be able to help with? Share it all in the comments section. We could use a good laugh.