Saturday 29 October 2011

Commissioning Day

The sun is yet to rise.
The Brewer is on his way.
The Malt, Hops, Yeast and Water await,
Commissioning day is here.

The brewery sits shiny and bold,
Copper waits to be filled,
The world is waking up,
Commissioning day is here.

No turning back now,
The moment is here,
How long does it take to brew a beer?
Commissioning day is here.

Outside it is calm,
Before the inevitable storm of people that will come and point, stare and gawp,
I will sit in my sanctuary and make notes of the day,

Commissioning day is here.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Found : One Craft Beer Bar Manager

Sorry, who are you, I've been away for a while, You're face is familiar but just can't place the name. Normally I would now make some unfunny quip like 'unless you've been living on Mars'.

So unless you've been living on Mars you'll know that I've been busy opening a sparkly new brew pub with Eddie, Mike and Rich from Utobeer.
We were initially approached by Westfield in the middle of July, they had come up with this idea for a market within a mall. Not just any market, a Great Eastern Market, somewhere you could get away from the throng, yes I said throng, somewhere you could enjoy the calm and tranquility of artisinal produce with a well made beer or two. Yes they wanted a micro-brewery/bar in a shopping mall! I wasn't at the initial meeting but the conversation went something like this(cue creative license...)

WF: We want to put a bar and micro-brewery in a shopping mall.

Utobeer: Bit revolutionary.

WF: We think so, what do you think?

Utobeer: Ok then, how long have we got?

WF: We open on September 13th.

Utobeer: *Laugh collective arses off* Oh, you're not joking....

WF: No, what do you think?

Utobeer: Let's ask Glyn and see what he says.....*picks up phone and asks Glyn*

Me:(phone voice) Fuck off! it can't be done! *puts phone down*

Utobeer: Ok then, we'll do it.

WF: Great! You open in 8 weeks with a temporary bar.

Utobeer: Great, see you in 8 weeks.

And so it began, the race to open a bar in 8 weeks. I have to say Westfield have been extremely helpful with the whole project, they want it to work as much as we do.
Tap East was settled on for a name, something that I think Melissa Cole came up with via various email conversations. We liked it because it does what it says on the tin, it's a brewery tap in the east and it's an awful play on words if put together TapEast(Trappist)...*throws up a little in mouth*.
Because of the time scale involved we had no choice but to open with a temporary bar which we really have to thank Nick Otley for, without Otley Brewing Co's temporary festival bar it would have been a lot more stressful!
We managed to open with 6 hanpulls, 2 keg taps(two more were added later) and two bottle fridges that are slightly smaller than The Rake's.
So we traded for three weeks and closed for four days whilst the the finishing touches were applied (brewery, cold store, permanent bar, toilet, bi-folding doors and brewery glazing).
We now have six very smart copper handpulls, ten very smart copper keg pumps and a shiny copper brewery for Ed to play on....sorry brew on. The first beer should be ready around the 9th November when we'll have a tapping party for it, you are ALL invited. If that date changes for whatever reason i'll post the info as soon as I get it.
So where are we? Westfield, obviously , Great Eastern Market, obviously but the easiest way to get there is to get off the DLR at Stratford International as we are right across International Square as you exit the station! So If like me, you hate shopping and shopping malls you don't even need to go into Westfield!! How cool is that?!
If God forbid, you actually like shopping you can get off at Stratford station and wander through the mall at Zombie pace shopping to your hearts delight until you get to Tap East where you can sit down and enjoy a well made beer or two. What could be better than that? Something for everyone!
PS : do not use google maps to get there because you'll end up in Putney since the google car ain't made it through the security yet! ;) Joking of course, because it's a brand new build they haven't found us yet.
I would post some photos of the finished article but I can't currently find the cable that downloads them from my blackberry so I'll leave you to visit for yourself and take pics of your own!
Hope to see you there soon!