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Black Cloister Brewery plans June 2014 opening in downtown Toledo

(New brewery for Toledo. My Mar 7, 2014 comment in a ToledoTalk.com thread.)

"i'd be nervous about the shift from home brewing to large batches."

Isn't that how most if not all craft breweries got started?

Great Black Swamp Brewery

In late 2009, two home brewers had an idea to bring great craft beer to Toledo Ohio. With over 40 years of experience between us as well as a love of beer, we have been working tirelessly to make that dream a reality.

From the Blade story about the Black Cloister:

Black Cloister will initially be a taproom, meaning it’s only permitted to serve its own beer. That could change later, Mr. Schaeffer said.

Excerpts from the Mar 7, 2014 WSPD interview with Black Cloister that was posted above:

  • They plan to open in the early summer.
  • The brewing equipment is coming from Arkansas, and it should arrive by the second week of April.
  • They expect that it will take a month to get the equipment setup.
  • They hope to begin brewing by the second week of May.
  • It takes three weeks for the beer to be ready.
  • Their vice president of production has been brewing since 1971.
  • This will be the first brewery in the Toledo area with a production facility and a taproom. The license for this type of setup did not become available until last July.
  • The brewery will start out with a simple setup, minimalistic, selling only their beer.
  • They will continue to build-out the first floor, customer area after they open.
  • Eventually, they hope to provide food.
  • Beer styles:
    • three year-rounds
    • six different seasonals
  • They have not named their beers yet.

More info about the Black Cloister from an afternoon interview with WSPD on Mar 7, 2014

  • Some beer they plan to make include Belgian, witbier, and blonde something.
  • The number of hops farmers in Ohio and Michigan continues to grow. We have a good climate for growing hops. One can grow hops in the backyard. It's a vine. It will grow as tall as they possibly can, twenty feet and higher. It grows fast, over one foot per day. They'll start growing as soon as the weather breaks in the early to mid spring. By July, the hops plants will be 16-feet tall.
  • Initially for their food, they will use the menu from restaurant Table 44, located across the street. Table 44 will deliver to customers in the tap room at Black Cloister.
  • Canning beer is the new thing for craft beers. Buckeye Canning will bring in a portable unit to can beer.
  • They will have distribution to sell their beer at other outlets.

Kickstarter Campaign


Mar 10, 2014 - So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...

It's a post about the HenHouse Brewing Company.

Corresponding Hacker News discussion.

"Some" excerpts from the lengthy post:

The bad news is that what I'm about to say may not make opening a brewery sound like that much fun. I've come to a general theory of brewery work: it's not what you think it is.

The joke is that brewing is 90% cleaning and 10% paperwork. Except that it's not a joke at all. It's just how brewery life is.

Beer requires an absurd amount of sanitary vessels and the fermentation and packaging process leaves a trail of very dirty vessels, tools, and instruments in its wake. If you're considering this line of work, you better be the kind of person who finds doing the dishes relaxing.

Cleaning floors, cleaning tanks, cleaning hoses, cleaning kegs, cleaning glasses, cleaning drains, cleaning parts: every day in a brewery starts with cleaning and ends with cleaning.

To be a good brewer, you'll also need to be patient, methodical, and not easily bored.

Almost any action in a brewery can be expressed as "Clean, record data, action, record data, clean."

Things in the brewery break, invariably at very inconvenient times, and you'll need to fix them. Folks with knowledge of small motors and electrician training are revered, and stainless steel welders are legendary.

Knowledge of the biological and chemical science behind brewing process is certainly useful, but your job as a brewer will be cleaning and paperwork first and foremost.

One last warning: you'd better enjoy being at work, because you will be there all the time. Fermentation is a 24/7 activity that doesn't really care about your weekend plans.

Learn about the local regulatory environment, learn about accounting and basic finance, learn about sales. As a co-owner of a startup brewery, I spend way more time working on regulatory compliance than I do making beer. Same with digging through P&L statements and writing budgets. And sales work is endless and exhausting. Owning a brewery is more about running a business than brewing beer.

There are federal and state agencies that get all up in the business of any booze maker, and the wastewater treatment folks in your municipality will want to have more than a few words with you before you start operations.

Being intimately aware of the financial health of your company might not be glamorous, but it is as important as monitoring your fermentations or selecting hops.

The best advice I can give you about financial planning is this: write a business plan and then double what you think it will cost, because it will cost you double what you think it will.

Maybe all of this sounds pretty negative. It's not meant to be. Starting a brewery is the best thing I've ever done and I'm stoked about it every single morning. But don't think for a minute it's not hard and scary.

Still want to be a brewer? I hope so! I still believe that brewing is magical. Sure, it's hot, dirty, and wet. It's labor-intensive work that will make you forget how to enjoy drinking beer and give you some borderline-OCD cleaning tendencies. But it's also an ancient art, one that yields deliciousness at the end of the process, and I can promise you there is nothing quite as fulfilling as having people enjoy beer you made.

My comment at TT about food at the Black Cloister:

From the Blade story that started this thread:

It’s kitty-corner from Table 44 ...

At least initially, I think the Black Cloister plans to offer its customers the menu from Table 44 who will deliver the food. Something like that. That was mentioned in their second interview with Fred at WSPD.

Maybe pose the food question to their Facebook page.


"... they served-Bavarian style hot pretzels."

I'm unsure what a Bavarian-style pretzel is, but my wife makes a pretty good Trilby-style pretzel. And we make our own mustard, which is simple to do. I might have to smuggle these items into the Black Cloister.

#food - #beer - #beverage - #blog_jr

By JR - 1137 words
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