Follow us on Facebook for up to date news!

27 Aug

I just wanted to say thank you to all of our great fans that helped make this journey happen! The blog was mainly set up to show the steps that we took to start the brewery and now that we are up and running I will be shutting down the blog and posting on our Facebook page! So for up to date information on hours, specials, and events find us on Facebook at “Viking Braggot Company”!

So I hope to see you at the tap room soon!

A Polaroid snapshot of the opening night crew!

A Polaroid snapshot of the opening night crew!

Cheers and Pillage Responsibly!

Daniel McTavish

Co-Founder

It’s starting to look like a brewery in here…

15 May

As the construction turns from demolition to renovation, more and more of our friends and contractors are exclaiming, “wow it almost looks like a brewery in here!” And wouldn’t you know it as the weeks carry on and more and more things fall into place, we may be a brewery after all!

After our permit was approved by the city, it was a whirlwind of activity. It actually took more time for the permit to get approved than it did to complete all the construction!! (which is a conversation for another day…) The concrete was poured, the hood and ventilation installed, electrical work completed, and the walk-in cooler was built. In addition, co-founder Addison and myself, built everything we could to cut down on the cost of the contractors, which was mainly the 14 seat tasting room that will allow us to sell pints and growlers directly to the public!

It was really exciting to get to the brewery and see various trucks and vehicles of the contractors working hard to get it looking like a proper brewery!

Some serious trucks

Some serious trucks

Pouring the asphalt

Pouring the asphalt

Concrete poured

Concrete poured

The beginnings of the tap room area...

The beginnings of the tap room area…

New paint going up

New paint going up

Addison trying his hand at drywall!

Addison trying his hand at drywall!

Hood in place

Hood in place

Bar under construction!

Bar under construction!

Tap room

Tap room

After an exciting few weeks, we just had some finishing touches left, not including of course brewing braggot… the whole reason that this business started! After such a long time trying to get construction going it was funny to shift thinking and actually focus now on brewing and everything associated with that!! So up to date, we are currently finalizing everything to get the tap room looking great and getting the brewing all set up!

Addison checking to make sure the taps work...

Addison checking to make sure the taps work…

Stained boards and windows!

Stained boards and windows!

Glycol lines to temp control the fermenters!

Glycol lines to temp control the fermenters!

Walk-in cooler halfway done

Walk-in cooler halfway done

Stainless steel bar top!

Stainless steel bar top!

So as we are nearing the end of this chapter (from idea to opening!) stay up to date by liking our Facebook page for news and events!

https://www.facebook.com/VikingBraggotCompany

We will be getting tasty braggot out very soon!

Cheers,

Daniel, Co-Founder

Gotta break a few eggs… (or concrete)!

15 Mar Bobcat

Construction time at the Viking Brewery!

Well you can’t brew for very long without proper ventilation or a drain, so the first step in getting the building up to snuff is tearing out all the concrete and installing the proper plumbing! We needed to tear out parts of the floor and put in the sloped drain for the wash area as well as a new door that will allow for access to the tasting area! And I mean everyone loves using a sledgehammer to break through a wall, right??  So only after a few days and headache inducing jack-hammerings we had a big ol’ hole in the middle of the floor and plywood covering the newly created door frame.

The only bad news is that we are held up from the city on getting the complete permits for the design, so we are only currently able to do the demolition (which is the fun part anyway!). So as soon as the rest of the design is approved we will laying fresh concrete over the trenched out areas and getting the ventilation hood and walk-in cooler installed!

So we will keep you updated on the progress!

Lets tear a hole in this perfectly good wall

Lets tear a hole in this perfectly good wall

Interim door

Interim door

Bringing out the big toys

Bringing out the big toys

Breaking up the floor

Breaking up the floor

Trenching out of the building

Trenching out of the building

It's like a more dangerous Jenga!

It’s like a more dangerous Jenga!

Drain in place!

Drain in place!

Cheers,

-Dan

Thanks for the tanks Portland Kettle Works

7 Mar Snuggled up

I guess we are now officially a brewery with tanks and everything! Thanks to the great people up at Portland Kettle Works we were able to purchase and have custom fabricated a badass brew-kettle, fermenters, brite tank, and everything in between! With everything shiny new now sitting in the brewery, I had to devote the latest blog post to highlighting the stainless steel awesomeness, which we gaze out longingly, counting the minutes until they can be bringing deliciousness to the world!

The Journey

But first, background on the epic, 150 mile journey from Portland down to Eugene. To cut on the freight cost, Addison and I rented the big boy (26 foot!) Uhaul truck and set off at the crack of dawn up to the City of Roses. Addison, being the driving ninja that he is, got us there unscathed and excited! The easy part had been done. As we rounded the corner and came to the manufacturing facility of Portland Kettle Works, we first spotted our beauties!

Kettle!

As we got the run down on how to operate and lovingly care for our new tanks, the crew at PKW loaded up (ever so gently) and put everything into the back of the Uhaul. With lots of furniture pads and excessively checking and tightening the cargo straps, we were off on the road down to Eugene, with our “babies on board”!

Handle with care

All snuggled up

Pretty awesome being on this wall along with Rogue Brewing and others!

Pretty awesome being on this wall along with Rogue Brewing and others!

Once we arrived safely back in Eugene, we enlisted the help of some friends and a neighbor with a forklift to get everything off the truck and into position! (Sorry no photos for the that, I had to help lift and guide to make sure there weren’t any thousand dollar “oops!” going on!). Once we got them into to position it was great to step back and take a look at the new brewery system and all the fun we were going to have!

Fermenters!

Fermenters!

Gotta have the artsy shot with the logo!

From here we got to work prepping all the hosing and clamps to see exactly what it was going to be like brewing on this bad boy! From the semi-automated temperature controls on the hot liquor and mash kettles, to the carbonation stone and variable-speed pumps, we couldn’t wait to get this up and running!

Tri clover clamps for days!

This tube goes where?

So as I sit here writing this post, I can promise you that we are doing everything in our power to get this system up and running and providing the best possible product we can! Until that time, we will keep everyone updated on the progress!

Cheers,

Daniel

Renovation Time!

28 Feb

First I want to apologize for the inconsistent blog entries. We have been working diligently to get you some cold beer in your hands as soon as possible! So without further ado we can get into some updates!

As we settled into the building we quickly realized that the only bathroom in the brewery was just not going to cut it. From the lime green paint and the worst part of the ’70s inspired wallpaper, we were not having it! And hell, we had time to kill before arrival of the tanks and brew station…

So what started as a simple project morphed quickly into a full blown bathroom renovation! However, we did not sway from our path! (plus we had ripped all the wallpaper off and made a huge mess that wasn’t going to be easy to fix…)

The '70s were not kind to this wallpaper

The ’70s were not kind to this wallpaper…

With many trips to the Home Depot and a few YouTube clips we were ready for our first ever remodel! Being on the tight budget we opted to go to Bring Recycling in Springfield and pick up all used tiles to hang halfway up the wall in place of the wallpaper-that-shall-not-be-named. Around this time we learned from our architect that the size of the bathroom, with some minor additions would be fully ADA accessible, so we got right on planning and researching that aspect! The remainder of the project can be enjoyed in picture format below:

After the first coat of paint and removing the toilet, which surprisingly, is very easy to do! Watch out April Fools Day!

After the first coat of paint and removing the toilet, which surprisingly, is very easy to do! Watch out April Fools Day!

Staging the tiles after they were cut, probably the most time consuming part

Staging the tiles after they were cut, probably the most time consuming part

 

Addison looking like he knows what he is doing!

Addison looking like he knows what he is doing!

Almost done!

Almost done!

That right there is a badass bathroom

That right there is a beautiful bathroom

I guess we had some beginner’s luck, because we finished with only a few things thrown and light amounts of swearing!

We will be wayyy better about being up to date now, so I hope you enjoy going on this brewery journey with us!

 

Cheers,

Daniel, Co-Founder

Bringing it all together

29 Nov

As we move from the planning stage to the execution stage of the brewery, I have found it is all about timing and multi-tasking. And I’m not talking the kind of multi-tasking that involves Facebooking while “studying” or texting while driving (not that anyone does that…). This is the multi-tasking of balancing all the vendors, suppliers, contractors, and millions of other small things that need to fall into place in the correct sequence. As I write this, the Viking Brewery, and the company as a whole, are right on the edge of turning the corner and becoming a legitimate business!

Currently we have had the wonderful help of a graphic designer create mock-ups of the two main brew labels we are going to debut in 22oz bottles (more on this to come, we need a little bit of mystery!) Additionally, we have put the down payment on our 3bbl nano brew system from the great people up at Portland Kettle Works, which is due to arrive mid-January! And at the moment we are working with our architect and contractors to begin the process of designing and creating a functional brewery! (i.e. floor drains and hoods and all sorts of stuff you dream about) Plus all the not fun stuff like OLCC and TTB registrations and city permits…

But as we turn the corner, Addison and I are extremely excited to get moving on the brewing process to perfect our recipes and turn this dream into a reality! (Probably the first people to say that)

The fun side of OLCC paperwork

As always….

PILLAGE RESPONSIBLY

-Daniel

Glass Party to Present

27 Sep

Since we were (more or less) properly equipped, we did indeed let the tasting parties commence! We hosted two more parties that went over quite well and brought us very valuable feedback and support. After those two parties, we were faced with a great opportunity. But first, some back-story:

Since October, 2005 (Junior year in high school), I’ve been practicing the ancient trade of glassblowing. I’ve used this skill as a tool to express my entrepreneurial ambitions, hosting shows  and selling my work at the high school art gallery.
My glass experience enabled me to get in ground level with a fellow Oregon Duck (who coincidentally graduated from my same high school 4 years ahead of me) that was looking to open a glass shop. I’ve been working with the glass shop for three years now and in the last 12 months I’ve worked to establish us as a glass production company with nationwide sales reach and our own private production facility. When the owner told me one day that he wanted to have a grand opening party on 5/12/12 to celebrate our hard work, my mouth started watering- this was a great opportunity for Viking.

I told Dan the next day that we needed to make as much beer as we possibly could because we were going to be supplying a party full of thirsty glassblowers.

With our newly expanded fermentation capacity, we were able to produce 20 gallons of brew- 10 of a red ale brewed with orange blossom honey and 10 of an IPA brewed with wildflower honey. A standard half barrel keg is 15.5 gallons so we essentially had 1 1/3 kegs available. The bigger craft breweries go through hundreds of thousands of kegs per year, so spending two weeks to make 20 gallons is rather pitiful from a commercial standpoint, but it seemed huge to us! More important than the volume was the fact that we had TWO VARIETIES which could be tasted side by side.

Having two varieties posed a small problem in that we only had one tap in our kegerator. We quickly solved this problem with a chest-top freezer, a temperature control switch and a new two-handled tap setup. We contacted a local woodworker to make us a couple tap handles on his lathe.

With the brew and dispensing device completed, all that was left was to head down to the glass shop and start pouring. Thinking we didn’t have enough to drink, the owner of the glass shop showed up at the party with an additional keg of Ninkasi Total Domination, so the stage was set for a taste-off between the nascent brewery and the established brewery!

As it turns out, our 20 gallons got guzzled down in short order while the Ninkasi almost lasted the evening. Again, on such small scale the real significance of this is tough to determine, but for Dan and I, it was quite clear that we were on to something. The party lasted late into the night and we received awesome feedback from the hundred or so people that were brave enough to give the new guys a shot.

After that night, we began to seriously work on our business plan and strategy. We have since progressed a great deal as we have secured our first round of funding and are within weeks of securing a commercial production facility of our own. This is where the real fun begins!

L to R Addison, Resident Viking Rachel and Dan (first ever Viking Brewing Co. tap handles in foreground).

Addison Stern, Founder and Co-CEO

-Pillage Responsibly-

 

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