So.. when are you guys opening?
That’s a great question. We’ve secured our minimum start up capital and have lines on equipment and raw ingredients, so we're mostly ready to go. But real estate in Cambridge is a holy nightmare.
It doesn’t help that we’re in a strange place zoning-wise. Cambridge defines “Bottling of Beverages” as a heavy industrial use, and, since we are kegging and, space permitting, canning, we fall under that rather unfortunate designation.
[As a side note, in case you're feeling tricky: we have tried arguing that cans and kegs are most certainly NOT bottles, as bottles are glass and have skinny necks...hasn't gotten us anywhere yet...]
Other cities have changed their zoning laws to allow breweries to be in more downtown locations, and we’ll pursue that road if we have too, but changing laws is slow and we’re hoping we’ll just be able to get some sort of zoning variance wherever we end up. Not exactly fast, but hopefully quicker than playing a legislation game with the local government.
The other issue with finding a space comes from the nature of the city, and the requirements of a brewery. A brewery of our size needs a bunch of wide open space, with a concrete floor that can handle the weight of the tanks when full, large gas and water lines, and adequate drainage. On the small side, we might be able to fit into 4000 square feet, with ceilings at least 14 feet tall (but preferably much taller). On the large side, we’d be pretty stoked for up to 15,000 sqft… but there really aren’t that many buildings like this, or at least, not spaces that are looking for new tenants.
All in all, we’re having a tough time on this front, and its currently the largest hurdle before we can move forward with bringing our beer to you. Once we have the space, of course, comes all sorts of licensing, but we’re looking forward to tackling that part! So cross your fingers, and maybe sooner rather than later the real estate gods will relent and let us in.