Welcome to Brewing Reserve of California. A new brewery opening in Costa Mesa, CA in 2018. We have been working hard to get great beer to you. See what we have been up to in 2017. Check back frequently or follow us on social media to keep up with our progress.
The journey starts by actually moving to the area you want to open the brewery. With a six month old baby in tow, we packed up our life in San Francisco and moved to Orange County to start our dream of opening up a brewery. The exact location wasn't known but we knew we needed to move to the area if we were serious about opening.
We didn't have time to pack up a separate storage unit we had with just brewing equipment that we started collecting. I made the trip back to SF to get the rest of our stuff. This wouldn't be the last time I make a trip back to pick up more barrels from a local vineyard that I connected with while I was living in the area.
Driving to SF wasn't the only travel I was doing. I actually still work in SF so I fly up weekly to go into the office. A strange choice but this was the sacrifice our family needed in order to move ahead with the brewery.
We started looking for properties for the brewery in August 2016. During that time we made three trips down from SF and looked at over 25 properties all over the county. None of the locations felt right so we kept looking. The more we searched the more we began to focus on Costa Mesa. We knew we were getting close and finally found the spot the brewery would call home.
We have officially started our journey to open the brewery. We took a five year lease on this property in the heart of Costa Mesa, CA. Right off of Harbor and Baker we will be easily accessible from the 405 and 55 freeways. Who knows, maybe you'll want to test drive a Lamborghini from the dealership across the street before you visit us.
The brewery layout started to come together. This is a requirement for our city permit and will provide a basic design to the brewery. We also figured out that we would need to re-stripe the parking lot because it does not meet the city requirements for the brewery. The good news is that the parking lot has plenty of spaces needed to meet the size of the proposed tasting room. Yay!
We started ordering some swag to see how our logos looks in different sizes and shades. We still have some refining to do but we are love our logo. Celebrating all things California, the great state I grew up in.
I couldn't help myself so demo started early. We won't know for sure if the city is going to approve the brewery but it was a risk I was willing to take. Waiting for the planning meeting and not being able to move forward with the business was tough and this was great stress relief.
After months or preparing for it we finally came to the planning commission meeting that would determine if we would receive our conditional use permit (CUP) from the city. Without the city approval then we could never open our doors. We were one of two breweries that were seeking approval and over an hour of presentation and deliberation our CUP was approved! The victory was covered in this article. Little did we know the excitement wouldn't last long.
A week later we were told that the planning commission decision was appealed. We would need to present our case again but this time to the city council. There were several concerns about our location and its proximity to residences. This meant that we couldn't start any work on the brewery until after the city council because there was still a chance we wouldn't be approved. We spent the next month making sure we had the strongest case possible for our best chance of approval.
After a nerve-racking month we final received our CUP approval! The city council voted unanimously in favor of our brewery. We had a ton of support from the community and several people stepped in to help us along the way. The LA Times covered the story and you can read more about it here.
We got to work on breaking down the existing structures to open up the space. After two very long days and some great friends, we finally got everything out. Two large storage containers, one plumber, and a busted sledgehammer later and the space is a shell ready to be filled with brewing equipment and bar. I can say now that demo looks more fun on TV than in real life.
As the year came to a close we welcomed our second daughter, and future brewery owner, Josephine (Joey). The whole brewery and being a parent experience feels so surreal. We sometimes ask ourselves if we are doing the right thing because of how hard it all is but looking back on the year I know we are doing what we love. We hope this comes through in our beer and our business. Stay tuned for more updates in 2018.