Greetings From Denver!

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The Land-Grant team is spending the week in glorious Colorado at the 2014 Craft Brewers Conference. This is our second year attending, and it’s a truly great event. Follow along with us all week over on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Buildout Update : Demo

Nails

Now that the building has been secured and the site plan has been approved by the East Franklinton Review Board, we can finally start getting our hands dirty. While we wait to receive our permits to begin construction proper, we’ve pulled a Removal Start permit which allows us to start some interior demo to get the old building ready for its facelift. It’s amazing to see the transformation taking place, even so early on. We’ve been documenting the whole process, and we’ve got some photos to share.

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We were awfully excited to pull this sign down.

Original Wall

Windows

One of the first things we did was strip back the wallpaper and drywall to see what kind of condition the original façade was in. To our great surprise, not only was the brick in great shape, but the original windows were still intact.

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Salvage

We’ve been careful to pull out any materials we think we can reclaim and salvage for various uses throughout the facility.

Dumpster

We’ll be sure to post more photos as we move forward to give you a sense of our progress and give you a look behind the curtain of assembling a brewery. So, stay tuned…

Announcing the Land-Grant 2014 Bracket Brawl!

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Hi there, sports fans. The snow has (mostly) melted and the mercury is (slowly) rising, which means spring is upon us. More importantly, though, the improving weather is a harbinger for the approaching NCAA Basketball Tournament. We here at Land-Grant traditionally get pretty worked up this time of year, and we want to invite you to join in the hoopla with us. We give you: the 2014 Land-Grant Bracket Brawl.

It’s pretty simple, join our group over at ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, fill out a bracket and watch it fall apart. Whoever gets it the least wrong will win some Land-Grant swag from our newly opened shop. Here’s the prize breakdown:

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1st Place: Front-Zip Hoodie
2nd Place: Beanie
3rd Place: Set of two Land-Grant pint glasses
4th Place: T-Shirt

To participate, use the info below to add your bracket to our group:

Group: Land-Grant Bracket Brawl
Group Password: GusFor3

Update: ESPN reset the group password for some reason, but it has been rectified.

Note: You will need to register an account with ESPN’s Tournament Challenge to participate, and be sure to use a valid email so we can get in touch if you win.

Good luck!

Brewery Photos

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The new East Franklinton facility offers tons of industrial character and experience. As I did with the previous building, I wanted to capture the “before” state of the building, as things are going to look drastically different once we’ve completed the renovation and build-out. Here are some photographs I took of the brewing and the exterior.

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Let’s Try This Again…

Land-Grant Rendering

If you’ve been following the Land-Grant story, you may have read about –and possibly shared in– our excitement back in August, when we announced that we’d found a building for our brewery and taproom. That excitement lasted for exactly two blog posts until our landlord unceremoniously backed out on the deal, leaving us in a lurch. Well, today is the day we officially put all that unpleasantness behind us. Today is the day we announce that we’ve found a new home. 424 W.Town Street in Franklinton will be Land-Grant’s (New) Home Court!

Franklinton has always been on our radar as a great potential location for the brewery, but it wasn’t until recently that the building we would ultimately commit to became available. We’ve spent a good deal of time in the neighborhood over the past few months and the spirit, enthusiasm and ethic in the area is palpable. We can’t wait to join motivated and creative neighbors like 400 West Rich, Strongwater, the Columbus Idea Foundry, Rehab Tavern, Orange Barrel Media, Glass Axis, the Franklinton Tap Room and Wood.Metal.Art in building Franklinton into a cultural destination.

A little bit about our new space. The 12,000 square-foot facility was built in the 1920’s and was originally home to the Capital Lift & Manufacturing Company who used it to build elevators (here it is in those days). It has since seen a couple of additions, and lays out perfectly for a production brewery with an up-front taproom. The production space is large enough that we will be able to brew at the quantity and quality we’ve always envisioned while leaving room to expand into in the coming years. The tasting room will lay out nicely in the building’s front addition along Town Street, for which we’ve got some special plans that we’ll share with you soon. We’ve been working tirelessly with Mode Architects and Compton Construction on the design and permitting process and are hoping to break ground on construction soon. For now, there’s a lot of work to be done, we’re just happy to have a place to do it.

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Last day in Burrell

This is a tough post to write. As you know, we recently announced—with a great deal of excitement and fanfare—that we had put a cap on our long and arduous property search. We signed a contract for a perfect building in Grandview. The ink was dry, everything was official and we wanted to shout it from the mountaintops. We’d met the awesome neighbors, TacoCat Cooperative and Trident Design, and their enthusiasm was nearly as high as ours. We brought our architect, engineers and vendors online, and were ready to present to the city of Grandview Heights for permitting, allowing us to finally break ground. That’s when our landlord decided they wanted out and terminated our lease…

Yes, you read that right.

Without disclosing all of the details here, suffice it to say that the landlord will not return our calls. We’ve turned the matter over to our lawyers.

This turn of events has been puzzling at the least; somewhat devastating at the worst.

So, this is yet another start-up lesson we’ve learned, and in the game of chutes and ladders, another chute. We’re not going to be bitter about this turn of events—if this is how other businesses choose to operate, it’s on them. On the bright side, we’re happy that this happened now. We learned early enough—before equipment was installed and renovations were complete—that this landlord was not the kind of outfit we want to do business with ultimately. (That would have been a much much larger mess to clean up.)

Stay tuned for what’s next, and as always, thanks for sticking with us.

“Before” Photos

Land-Grant Exterior

Now that we have the keys to the castle, so to speak, I was able to get in and take some “before” photos of the cavernous space. As you can see, we’ve got a lot to work with. The facility is pretty bare-bones right now, so we’ve definitely got our work cut out for us, but we wanted to give you a glimpse inside before we fill it with all kinds of fun stuff.

Land-Grant Interior Before

This is from the front of the building, where the tap room will be, looking toward the production floor in the back.

Land-Grant Interior Before 2

Here’s the reverse angle, looking toward the front from the very back. Note the awesome wooden trusswork; rafters just waiting for banners.

As we move forward through design and construction, we’ll be sure to post more photos of the process.

Now that you’ve seen the “Before,” we can’t wait ’til we can show you the “After” in person.

What’s Next?

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So, now that we have announced our cavernous new digs, and have this new website to tell you all about it, the question we’ve gotten a lot over the past few days has been: “Okay, so you signed a lease, when can we come taste the beer?”

Adam and I were talking about this yesterday, and he described the timeline as a game of Chutes and Ladders, which at first I thought was a pretty apt metaphor, you can fall back and you can jump forward until, eventually, you get to the finish line. Though, as I thought about it, there was a major hole in the logic. In opening a brewery, or any business for that matter, you don’t just land in a special place and get to skip straight to the end where you’re sipping a glorious, perfectly brewed, Imperial IPA at your immaculate new bar. Starting a brewery is more like a game of just Chutes. You have to take every step along the way, there’s no jumping ahead, and if you’re not meticulous (or have a stroke of bad luck) you can always get knocked back a few moves.

Truth is, opening a brewery is a complicated process, and now that we have a facility, the concurrent timelines for a lot of moving parts have started.

I am a visual person, so I put those theoretical timelines in terms I could easily understand. Above is a chart showing the (extremely generalized) steps to come. Each of those bars contains a multitude of tasks and processes that must be completed to open the brewery that we’ve envisioned. Some of the steps may take longer than what I’ve projected, but some may get done quicker than we expect. We’re trying to remain pretty conservative with our projections, but everything is shaping up nicely for an opening early in 2014.

Things can change though, so stay tuned here for updates as the project progresses.