We are Finally Open

Posted on 11 December 2014

It has been an extraordinary past four months since our last blog post. The short version is that we opened on December 3rd to the public and have been brewing and selling since. If you want to come in, we are open seven days a week to serve pints and flights. Now on to the long version.

On August 1st, we received the keys to 217 W Main St, Genoa, IL 60135 and found ourselves with an empty building, ready for work. We proceeded to spend the next four months and thousands of hours renovating the location, including but not limited to: designing and building the copper, steel, and maple bar, building a custom draft system, building four high-top tables and a communal table out of wood and steel, building a walk in cooler from scratch, building custom light fixtures, and building a brand new bathroom for ADA compliance. Collectively, we estimated that about 5,000 hours went into getting the brewery and taproom ready for opening. The result, however, is a fantastic, unique location that is warm and inviting for people to come in to enjoy beer and conversation.

Unfortunately, the reason we spent four months working on the building is due in large part to the plethora of stumbling blocks on the licensing and regulation front. Our federal brewer’s permit took 97 days of processing. That number would likely have been far larger and cost us far more had we not reached out to our local US Representative’s office and asked for their assistance in expediting our application.

After the federal process, we had rather lengthy delays at the state level due to issues with our transition from Sycamore to Genoa and processing times. Instead of a 2-3 week turnaround time, this took five weeks with an additional month for our craft brewer’s license, allowing us to distribute to businesses directly.

After all of that work, and a quick county health inspection, we thought we were out of the regulatory woods. We were, sadly, mistaken. Remember that bathroom renovation that was previously mentioned? Well, we needed a plumbing inspection before county health would authorize us to utilize the production area. Our first inspection resulted in several minor things and one major thing: our toilet was too close to the wall for ADA compliance. To correct this, we needed to move the toilet and change the toilet handle from the left to the right. To kill two birds with one stone, we rotated the toilet ninety degrees and placed the toilet further away from the wall. On our second plumbing inspection, we were told that now the toilet was too far away from the wall, and that even at the proper placement we would still be 1” short on our turning radius for ADA compliance.

Now, all of this started to delay our ability to brew. We reached an agreement with County Health that since our only problem was the toilet, we could brew as long as the beer was sealed in the walk-in and couldn’t leave the room. After our first failed inspection, we put four fermenters in the walk-in and brewed. After our second failed inspection, we called up County Health and they allowed us to build a second fermentation chamber as long as it could be sealed. We quickly built a fermentation chamber and brewed three more beers. On the day of the soft opening, we still were missing our replacement toilet tank with the handle on the proper side. The city granted us a thirty day permit and we had full approval to operate two hours before our soft opening on December 1st. In homage to the issues with plumbing compliance, we decided to name our pale ale Code Violation.

We are very excited that our doors are now open. We are currently open Monday through Thursday from 12pm to 8pm, Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 11pm, and Sunday from 12pm to 6pm. We are not currently doing growler fills due to production levels, but we are quickly rebrewing in order to start them by the end of the year. We look forward to seeing you in our taproom soon!

 

Building a Brewery

Posted on 31 July 2014

It has been two months since our last post, so here is where we stand. After a long journey, tomorrow afternoon we are closing on a loan to get us the funding for opening our brewery. It has been a lot of convincing, explaining, planning, and paperwork, but we are finally there. In addition, tomorrow marks our first day occupying our facility at 217 West Main St, Genoa, IL 60135. While this puts us ever closer to opening, we are far from complete. Starting tomorrow, we will begin the renovations needed to operate a production brewery and taproom in this location.

As mentioned in our previous post, the location was once the production facility for a winery, which means that many of the plumbing and flooring work that would be needed in other facilities is already done. What we will be focusing on, however, is the renovation of the existing bathroom, the fabrication of our bar, and the installation of our brewing equipment. The renovations begin immediately, and we expect to have things done as quickly as possible.

On the licensing front, we are still waiting on our Federal TTB Brewer’s Notice to be approved, which means that our opening date is still unknown. We would like to target an end of September or beginning of October opening, but that is entirely up to the processing time of the federal and state regulators.

As the brewery renovations progress, expect updates here, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

A Monumental Step Forward

Posted on 30 May 2014

It has been a long three months since the launch of our Indiegogo campaign. In that time, Cademon has experienced just about every emotion imaginable. The Indiegogo contributors received the long, gritty version in an email yesterday, but today I am going to focus on the exciting parts and gloss over the parts in the past that were most disappointing, because today is a day of celebration.

In February we lost our building at 2155 Oakland Drive, and was promised an opportunity in a new building at the same address. After continued discussions, that opportunity fell apart, leaving us without a building, short on our crowdfunding, and without certainty on how to proceed. The only thing we knew for certain was that we were not going to give up.

After looking at alternative buildings, raising some capital, and exploring many plans, we were contacted by Prairie State Winery to discuss an opportunity to bring their current tasting room back to a liquor production facility as it had been in the past. Intrigued, we began discussions several weeks ago with the City of Genoa, Prairie State Winery, and Resource Bank regarding the feasibility of this location. After several rounds of discussion and getting to know the Mamosers, the Mayor of Genoa, and the Genoa community, it became obvious that this was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Today, I am happy to announce that in the next two weeks we will be signing a lease and beginning the licensing process to commence brewery operations at 217 W Main St in downtown Genoa. We are also happy to announce that thanks to a partnership with Chicago Brewing Supplies, we will be expanding from our originally intended 3 barrel system to a 7 barrel system with 15 barrel fermenters. The end result is more beer to more people in more places. With all of this in place, we are targeting a late September opening, though this is largely dependent upon licensing timelines.

Now that we have arrived at this point, many of the pieces will begin to fall into place and start to escalate quickly. As things continue to progress, we will provide more frequent updates on our website and social media pages, including renovation progress, equipment installation, and beer plans. It has been a long journey, and today we are one monumental step closer to the day when we raise a glass in celebration of the road to opening.

 

A New Look, A New Announcement

Posted on 11 February 2014

We are excited to announce that Cademon Brewing Co. has two things rolling out today. The first should be a bit apparent by now, as we have rolled our new brand design across our website, Facebook, and Twitter. We believe that brewing is the blending of art and science, the creation of artistic weavings of flavor combined with the precision and automation of science and technology. When looking for inspiration, we find that there is no better representation of this blending than that of steampunk, and so we have decided to adopt the style into our artwork, our logo, and our business mentality. It will be continuously evolving, but the heart will remain the same.

The second and much bigger announcement is that as of today we are officially launching an Indiegogo funding campaign to open our taproom. We have had a lot of ups and downs in our road to opening our doors here in Sycamore, from working with the city council to update the city zoning code with definitions for breweries, brewpubs, and taprooms, to location selection issues to existing equipment being sold before signing. With all of these setbacks, there has not only been a time component, but also a financial component.

Despite all of the financial drains, we have continuously made progress toward opening, and while we are closer than ever, we need the community’s support to go the last mile. Our location, 2155 Oakland Drive, is set to begin construction for the production brewery and taproom, with the plan to open by the middle of the year. We are asking for $30,000 to help open the doors on the taproom inside our brewery so we can provide a place that Cademon supporters can come and enjoy great beer and socialize comfortably.

We will provide many exciting programs to our taproom, including:

  • Cryptocurrency Acceptance - Pay for your beer with Bitcoins and Dogecoins in addition to the usual payment methods
  • Beer It Forward - Pay for future beers for your friends and acquaintances, and we will keep a list in the taproom
  • Cademon Mug Club - Annual membership that grants you a mug that lives in the taproom, giving you 20oz servings at 16oz prices, as well as discounts on growler refills and merchandise

Check out our Indiegogo funding page and look over what we are asking for and the rewards we are offering. We believe they are pretty nice rewards, and we hope you can contribute toward our goal. Whether you do or not, please do us a favor and spread the word about our campaign, whether via Facebook, Twitter, carrier pigeon, or word of mouth. The more people you tell, the better chance we have of reaching our goal and providing the very best taproom experience for the community.

We look forward to being one step closer to opening day.