I haven’t posted anything lately so I thought I would give everyone an update on our progress. As you can see from the photos we started the demo in the Carpenter Storhaus in June. It has taken about a month and a half to get everything down to studs with a few interesting finds along the way. Many locals might remember that for a great portion of the 20th century the Carpenter Storhaus was once the home of the Snowflake Bakery. Amongst the debris we have found some packaging equipment and labels for Raisin Rye Bread, a wall full of empty Ole cans (which must be good sign), and some newspapers from 1931. Tons of rubble, yes tons, have been removed. As of July 12 we are now the owners of the adjacent building, formerly known as the Jock Stop. So both buildings have been gutted and we are awaiting the start of construction which should commence in September. This of course sets back our opening date of October but as in all construction, it was to be expected.
Last week was the first week of the blog and I didn’t want to slam everything we have gotten going into the first couple posts, so today we are announcing the purchase of our new brewing equipment. Metalcraft Fabrication of Portland, Oregon has received our order and we are expecting delivery the beginning of September.
There are so many details involved when it comes to starting up a brand new brewpub: financing, site location, picking a general contractor, selecting a brewer. Then the smaller details come into play: number of beers on tap, styles of beer for the initial line-up, and of course all the details associated with the front of the house, kitchen and the initial menu.
“When will you open?” was a common question I was asked at the brewfest this last weekend. But a more accurate question would be, “When are you going to start brewing?” Opening day will be about 30 days after our first brew day. Why, you may ask? Because it takes about a month to brew and ferment beer. Hence our Opening Day is a bit of a moving target dependent on when we get our brewing equipment setup and running.
Below you can see a drawing for the brewhouse:
Getting ready for the Bakken’ Brewfest…
Special thanks to the brewfest commitee for allowing our involvement in the 2nd Annual Bakken Brewfest. Pictured above you can see our new 32 oz. growlettes or Boston bottles and the coasters for the brewfest.
Thank you to The Brandit for developing our new logo. They did a great job creating a branding that represents the direction we hope to follow with our beer and our decor.
The future home of the Meadowlark Brewing Company, coming Fall 2013!
The Western Meadowlark or “Sturnella Neglecta” represents 6 states, including Montana, as the official state bird. Soon the Western Meadowlark will represent Sidney’s first and only brewery. The intent of this blog will be to track the progress of the project from this point to opening day. Opening a brewery in Sidney has been a long time dream of ours and this winter we were fortunate enough to purchase the building currently occupied by the Carpenter Storehaus. Some Sidney residents may remember that prior to the Storehaus the Snowflake Bakery once operated from that location. We had a bit of luck last week when the owner of the Jock Stop agreed to sell his building to us also. Now with twice the space we were expecting to have, it should be easier for the architects to layout the brewery and pub.
AT Architecture out of Billings, MT has been hired as the architecture firm and will manage the construction and remodel for the project.
Following is an article that ran in our local paper:
For the last three decades the craft brewing scene has been on the rise in the US. In 1900 there were 1750 breweries in the US, but by 1983 only 80 breweries were still in operation with the 6 largest brewing 96% of the beer. In 2011 the number of breweries had again increased to 1750 due in large part because of craft brewing or microbrews. Breweries are popping up from coast to coast and soon Sidney will join the ranks of great tasting beer when Meadowlark Brewing Co. opens operations in the fall of 2013.
This venture started 3 years ago when Travis Peterson returned to Sidney to join his father at Sidney Red-E-Mix. “I was approached by my parents with the idea because of our shared interest in microbrews” states Peterson, “I had always kicked the idea around but until I moved home it didn’t seem a feasible endeavor.” Travis has been home brewing for 10 years, joining many others Montanans who enjoy a state that places only second in per capita for breweries, just behind Vermont. “There’s a stronger beer culture here than used to exist,” Peterson said. The popularity of craft brewing has been working its way east across the state. There are 32 active breweries in Montana and just two in the east. Those are in Wibaux and Wolf Point.
Next in line is Sidney, which just happens to be ripe for a new business, Peterson said. “I will have a lighter beer such as a Koslch or Hefeweizen among the different styles we will produce.” His goal is to introduce craft beer to the “hard-core” Budweiser and Miller-Coors fans who will hopefully develop a greater palate and move into different beer types such as a pale ale or porter.
“So far, we’ve got a good response just by word of mouth,” he said. “It seems like people are excited about it, and I know we are.”
The Meadowlark Pub will be located at 119 S. Central Ave., occupying the current Carpenter’s Storehaus. Construction and remodeling will begin in June with an opening date sometime in October. To start, the pub will offer four or five beers on tap with seasonal beers to come as the business becomes established. Peterson plans to build a 10- to 15-barrel brewing system depending on space and will sell in-house beer with plans to distribute kegs to the surrounding area at a later date. He plans to produce 500 barrels a year and grow from there.
Peterson’s vision features a bright, friendly, and with some Scandinavian themes throughout the atmosphere where friends can meet up and have a few drinks and enjoy a bite to eat. Seating will be on two floors with the brewery operating in the rear of the building. “I want it to be a place that people can go and have one drink or have three, meet up with friends and feel like they can bring their kids in there,” Peterson said.
He hopes residents will embrace the brewery as their own just as other communities have done. “We’re just going to open something small and get the word out and invite the locals to accept it as Sidney‘s beer,” he said, “and hopefully we can get some of those hardcore Coors and Bud Light fans to come to the craft side.”