TTB Approval and the Taproom
We’re happy to announce that another milestone has been reached: we officially have received our federal brewing permit about 2 months ahead of schedule. Woo! The process was actually fairly painless for us, as we sent in our application about two months ago, needed only minor corrections, and are now in the process of putting our ABCC Massachusetts Farmer Brewer’s paperwork in order. If all goes well we should be all permitted long before we manage to get the equipment in the door. At least some things are moving quickly...
The other item of business for today is a run-through our concept and some sneak peeks at what the taproom should look like next spring!
Lamplighter’s business model is a bit of a hybrid - we have a location downtown similar to a traditional brewpub with heavy foot traffic and close proximity to public transportation, restaurants, small businesses and residential neighborhoods (including our own!). However, we also have a brewing system (20 bbl brewhouse, 40 bbl fermenters) and square footage (just over 10,000 sq/ft) more like a traditional production facility… all of which means we get to have an awesome taproom space to share new, experimental, and only-available-here beers, and also distribute to restaurants, bars, and liquor stores in the area.
One of my biggest focuses for the past few weeks has been hashing out the taproom layout, which has gone through multiple revisions before reaching the point it is at now. I’m going to give you a sneak preview of what we’re thinking (at this moment…) via an extremely professional mock up done by yours truly in Google Sketch-up. I needed to literally show our poor overworked architect exactly what it is this time I wanted to do differently, as my brain has a tendency to get ahead of my mouth leaving me mostly unintelligible.
Without further ado -
Here is the general floor layout - the left side of the image is the front of the building along Broadway. The taproom is (obviously) in the bottom left. Clearly we're missing some major components in the brewery area, but Google Sketch-Up only goes so far (they did have fermenters though...that's pretty cool), so let's focus on the taproom.
The taproom has a couple of different roles it needs to fulfill. The first and foremost is to be a welcoming space; we want a place for people to drink and sample beers, hang out with their friends, and enjoy themselves. The bar and lower level tables will be pretty traditional. The “comfy area” is actually an area raised by a few feet to provide headspace for the basement. It will have a bit of a different character from the rest of the space, much more like a lounge area with wing chairs and couches, etc. We were initially a little bemused by what exactly to do with this raised chunk, but we’re pretty excited at the thought of being able to have two different but complimentary vibes in one space.
There will also be lot of standing tables - in the lounge area looking out over the two tables, on the window bar running down and away from the entry way, and at the large table in the middle of the bar floor.
The other important function of a brewery taproom is as a retail space to fill growlers and sell merchandise. To that end, the area marked “growler fills” at the end of the bar will be the place to head too if you’re looking for beer to go, or if you're hoping to get yourself some LBC swag. Finally, and maybe the coolest part - while sitting at the bar, you will have a view of the tanks and brewing process - maybe something like this!
Thanks for humoring my poor wanna be architectural skills - I should probably just stick to making beer. You'll be glad to know that we do have someone who actually knows what they're doing laying this all out, and we're gearing up to begin renovations in mid-October.