We got our final inspection about a week ago. Everything looked good, so the paper work was mailed up to Sacramento for final approval. As soon as it gets signed off there, the license changes from PENDING to ACTIVE. We’ve been checking the website 100 times a day waiting for that small change… and finally it happened.
After rigorous paperwork, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has approved our paperwork. We’re still not sure how TTB stands for Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau – there appears to be a few letters missing.
Regardless of the acronym accuracy, approval has happened. One big step closer to selling glorious beer.
Our brewery had its first inspection by the Department of Health. They check to make sure we have the right sinks, tile, floor, etc. We were a little worried that something would be horribly wrong and we’d have to redo something. Although that would have made a good blog post, we certainly didn’t want it to happen.
As it turns out, apparently we do pretty good work. We even were complemented on our coving tile. However, there were a couple of minor infractions that we had to fix up. Some of them we knew of beforehand, but wanted further guidance on before installing. Others we did not know about. See if you can guess which ones we knew about. (HINT: Installing beer taps was one we knew about).
- Seal sinks to wall with silicon and screws
- Provide a mop / broom holder
- Install Light bulb
- Install soap and paper towel dispensers
- Self closing device on bathroom door
- Vermin proof all exterior doors
- Install beer taps and drip tray drain
- Provide storage racks
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB for short) believe it or not deals with taxes on tobacco and alcohol.
When we sent in our TTB paperwork back in December, we thought a movable chain would suffice to separate brewery from tasting area. However, after speaking to one of the TTB agents – we apparently need more than a chain.
The main reason for separation is to prevent people from stealing the untaxed beer, resulting in less tax money – tax money that is used for wonderful things like roads, cruise missiles, education and so on.
So for increased beer security… we need to add a wall.
We chose to go with a 4′ high wall and a locking door to separate the tasting area and walk-in cooler. We store the taxed beer in the cooler and the un-taxed beer on the other side of the wall in our fermentors. Furthermore, in case someone decides to actually climb over the wall, we need to either lock or remove the fermentor butterfly valve handles.
Here are some pros for this project:
- We get to use the ram-set gun (or concrete destroyer as we like to call it) again to fasten the wall to the concrete.
- We will now have a use for some security access level badges.
- The wall makes a nice little nook to put a lab desk or storage shelf.
Now stay tuned for the future post of “THE GREAT WALL OF TTB”
Submitted our Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) brewery paperwork this afternoon. This was one of the bigger applications we had to fill out, but it was actually pretty straight forward.
Additionally, any question we had on filling out the forms was promptly answered when we called the TTB. They were very friendly and helpful. Their number is 877-TTB-FAQs (882-3277).
We kept a copy of all our paperwork to be on the safe side – so if anyone has any questions, please feel free to email us (contact[at]enegrenbrewing.com) and we’ll help you out.
One step closer to brewing.
We submitted our plumbing permits to the city today. They were approved.
Here’s what we did:
- Pay $392.70 (on top of $100 earlier for zoning permits).
- Got approvals from water district.
- Provide installation manuals for all equipment (water heaters, brewery, etc.).
- Hire a licensed engineer to compute calculations to determine how tanks need to be mounted to the floor so they don’t fall over (which would suck).
- Provide approved DEH plans.
- Provide letter from landlord approving plans.
One other thing we learned – prior to creating our plans for the DEH we had our building layout stamped and approved by the city. However, we had to make some little changes to our layouts for the DEH. Unaware this would matter, we only brought the approved DEH plans to the city to receive the plumbing permits. Turns out they also needed the stamped paperwork – even if outdated. Moral of the story is, if you don’t want to drive home in the middle of a meeting with the city, bring both the city stamped and DEH approved plans when getting a plumbing permit.
Brewery Department of Health plans approved!
Now we need to submit the plans to Moorpark City Hall to get our building permit – when get that we can start cutting up the floor.
You can download/view out our DEH plans here: Brewery Department of Health Plans
Last week we submitted our brewery plans to the Department of Health.
In Ventura County, beer is treated as a food, and as such, all plans need to go through the DEH (despite our many attempts with both county and state officials to be treated as wineries in Ventura County or breweries in other parts of California).
We were a little self conscious when we arrived because we only had an 11×17 floor plan and everyone else had huge poster boards. There was no size requirement posted, but to the best of our knowledge, others just felt bigger was better.
The way it goes is that they put a pink paper on the plans if it passes and yellow if it needs corrections. Crossing our fingers for pink!
We apologize for the poor photos, Captain earned a new title the other day: Supreme Breaker of Cameras.
One step closer to a fully functional brewery.
Took Tuesday morning off of our 9-5 jobs to apply for our ABC permit with Ventura County. Our meeting was at 9am and we got there plenty early so as not to keep them waiting.
We met with Kathy who reviewed all of the paperwork we filled out the week before. She made sure everything was in order, answered any questions we had, and made sure we signed everything correctly. We then received our ABC Public Notice of Application to Sell Alcoholic Beverages which we have to leave in our front brewery window for 30 days.
After the meeting we had to get our fingerprints taken for livescan. It wasn’t just your standard thumb and ink fingerprint. We went to Livescan Express, they used some high-tech electronic gizmo and took individual prints of all our fingers.