Track the Aurochs: Redecorating the Tasting Room

We’ve had a lot of people ask questions recently like “What have you guys been up to?” and “How is the brewery going?” and “We want beer” (not so much a question as a demand). So, we figured we’d let you guys know what’s going on, in a new segment we’re calling “Track the Aurochs” (yeah, that’s the same name as our blog, but no one really knows that, so it probably won’t cause any confusion.

Today, we’ll specifically focus on one area we’ve been working on: redesigning our tasting room. But first, we’ll give you a quick rundown of where we are by answering some common questions:

  1. When do we get to drink the beer? Soon! We’re in the final stretch of getting our federal and state brewery licenses, and once that’s done, we’ll be able to do things like, you know, brew beer in our brewery. We’ll be sure to let everyone know as soon as we have beer available.

  2. So are you guys just sitting around til you get your license? Not a chance! Besides the basics of things like planning events for our launch and talking to customers (bars) and consumers (beer drinkers), we’ve been doing business-y things (blech) like finalizing our business plan and labor-y things like cleaning and redecorating the brewery (more on that below).

  3. But that doesn’t sound like brewing. What’s up with the beer? Don’t worry! As you might have seen, we selected and finalized our first gluten-free beer offering: The Aurochs White Ale. Since we can’t brew it in the brewery til we have the license, we’ve been homebrewing small batches to prove out the process and make final tweaks. Learn more about this beer on our homepage or in this recent blog post.

THE TASTING ROOM

Ok, now on to the good stuff. As a brewery, we plan to be able to have small tasting sessions and eventually let people spend time our brewery and buy growlers. So we wanted to have a space that would be inviting and give us a spot to invite friends and customers to try our beer and talk about the brewery. So, we contacted our good friend and designer/stylist Quelcy Kogel (check out her excellent food/photography/styling blog With the Grains) to help us redecorate.

She immediately saw the potential of a less-than-amazing ex-office/reception area, below:

Not much to look at, but at least it already had a bar!

Not much to look at, but at least it already had a bar!

We settled on a sort of rough wilderness meets modern industrial design, which is the spirit we try to exemplify in our beer. It features black walls, reclaimed wood, and metal like cast iron and aluminum. The centerpiece is a sign with our logo in black on rough wooden planks (shout out to our excellent designer Rick Dobbs at Unreal llc for giving us what we think is a pretty kickass logo).

We were super excited about the proposal, and got started

GETTING TO WORK

First, we started painting the tasting room. At the same time, we began to make the sign (the next few paragraphs are about how we made the sign, in case you’re interested. If not, you can skip down to “The Sort-of End Result” section).

Our buddies at Soergel Orchards donated some old wooden pallets for the wood:

Also not much to look at. But just wait!

Also not much to look at. But just wait!

Pallet Mayhem!

Pallet Mayhem!

We broke them apart with a hammer and circular saw (that took longer than expected) until we had enough planks for the sign. Then we put them on top of two-by-fours, spaced to match the studs in the tasting room walls, and nailed them down (also took longer than expected. Have you nailed anything recently?? We bent so many nails!)

Laying it out

Laying it out

So many nails...

So many nails…

We had our sign, and it was time to start stenciling. We used painter’s tape as our stencil, and borrowed a projector so we knew where to cut. Using an exacto, we carefully cut the outline of the logo and pulled off the unnecessary tape (also took a while) and that left us with this:

2013-06-02 16.27.18

With the projector on

With the projector off

With the projector off

Then it was time to paint. We used black spray paint, waited for it to dry, and then removed the tape.

Before Removing the tape

Before Removing the tape

Aaand After

Aaand After

Then we hung it on the wall (screwing through the 2x4s and into the stud). And voila, there it is!

Well hung

Well hung

At this point, the walls were fully painted, and we used spray chalkboard paint to make a specials board behind the bar, framed with more reclaimed wood. And then, just cuz we were feeling crazy, we took a pallet and turned it into some shelves (next to the chalkboard). Check it out!

THE SORT-OF END RESULT

We’re pretty happy with it , but there’s still more to do!

We’re pretty happy with it , but there’s still more to do!

We still have a few things to get done. We plan on hanging the pallet/shelves at the same height as the chalkboard, redoing the floor, and as you can see we started painting over the glass block bar (just a primer). The plan is to paint it black and stencil the word “Aurochs” across it in grey (we’re a little narcissistic). We’re also gonna get some stools for the bar, as well as a few other finishing touches…like putting in taps and places for the kegs.

Can you spot the differences?

Can you spot the differences?

Thanks to everyone who helped out, including Honorary Aurochs Brewers (HABs) Emily, Quelcy, Rick, and the folks over at Soergel Orchards.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for more updates and photos!