Short Snout Brewing: Taking Shape

Last month, we met Brian VanOrnum of Short Snout Brewing. Brian is launching a brewery and we thought it would be fun to document his journey on this blog. A lot has been happening at Short Snout since we last checked in, so I'll turn it over to Brian to give us an update...

"It’s been just a little over a month since we all first met and what a month it has been. The biggest news is that the TTB licensing process is complete and we are now fully licensed! 52 days from hitting send to receiving the approval. (If I had one piece of advice here it would be to submit federal paperwork first, then move to state. We had to renew our OLCC permit before we even had the TTB approval.) This was great news, but when you’re expecting and planning on 120+ days, you do get caught off guard a bit. There was still so much that needed to be done; equipment to be purchased, fermentation and cold rooms to be built, and addressing all those little things that come up as you put a new venture together.

Fermentation Room on the left, Keg Storage on the right.

First up, the temperature controlled rooms. Not being much of a carpenter I enlisted the assistance of my father in the planning and construction of the two rooms that would be needed for fermentation and keg storage. As with many things, you never truly know how long the process will take. I was certain over a two day period we’d bang this out and I’d be able to check that off the list. 5 Saturdays later and numerous trips to Home Depot, we’re 99% finished with just a few little touches to be done. Although it did take a lot longer than I anticipated, I really enjoyed working side by side with my father on this project.

In exciting equipment news, I received a call on February 28th that the new brew stand had arrived in Portland and was ready for me to pick up. I was informed that it was in an 8’ long crate and weighed upwards of 650 lbs. Not having a vehicle that could hold it, I took to Twitter seeking out someone with a truck that wouldn’t mind helping out. Within minutes, a fellow beer enthusiast and homebrewer reached out and we planned our meet up to pick up the stand. Evidence that beer people are good people!

L to R, Boil Kettle (75 gal), Mash Tun (65 gal), Hot Liquor Tank (55 gal)

As if further evidence of beer people being good people was needed…The stand didn’t come as completed as I was expecting, specifically in the case of the plumbing for gas. This time reaching out on Facebook for assistance, I quickly sparked up a conversation with a gentleman from Vancouver happy to help and whom was in his own infancy of planning a possible brewery.

I also enlisted the welding skills of a friend to help put together a few stands for the two fermentation tanks. Strong and sturdy with wheels for easy maneuvering. I ran a few leak tests on the one tank I’ve installed all the fittings for and it’s been holding strong. Overall, it's a tight fit in the room but they are in there and ready to be filled.

We also added 6 more 1/6 barrel kegs to the keg corral. Still feels like I’m going to need more, but this is a good start.

So what’s next? We need to finish up the two rooms and test them out and see how well we insulated and sealed them up. I have a few more fittings on order and will then be running a test of the new stand and all its controls. That should be happening this week. Ingredients have been ordered for the first few batches and then the big day…the first batch! If all goes to plan that should be happening this weekend! We’re also working with a few local events and hoping to have Short Snout Brewing represented in any way possible.

To date this really has been an amazing adventure. Yes it is lots of work, but it’s exciting. And meeting more and more people all the time that share the passion for beer that I have and the passing on of knowledge between us all has been fantastic."  Brian VanOrnum

Congratulations to Brian on getting licensed!  It's so great to see the brewery taking shape and I can't wait to hear about the first batch! For more information, please check out Short Snout Brewing's website, Twitter, or Facebook pages.

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