The Brewlog: Regulator Brewing Company Blog

News, etc. from Regulator Brewing Company. Updated sporadically.

Launch Weekend Success: THANK YOU.

Picture thanks to Dan Gridley (@FarmBoyFarms) Picture thanks to Dan Gridley (@FarmBoyFarms)

A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who came out this weekend to say hello and try a Regulator beer–you contributed to a more successful launch weekend than we could ever have hoped for!

You plowed through the first kegs of our flagship beers on Thursday, then drained our first seasonal release in record time.  Most importantly, you gave us amazing feedback. We’ve learned so much in the last four days and will be taking your comments back to the brewhouse.

Another great big ‘thank you’ goes to our hosts–the Wooden Nickel Pub and Mystery Brewing Company–and to everyone else who has supported us along the way. We wouldn’t be here without you!

Where can you find us, now that launch weekend is over?

Keep an eye on the Where to Find Us page; we’ll be doing our best to keep that up-to-date.

tshirtmockupDidn’t get a T-Shirt?

We’ll be printing some more soon; fill out the interest form (no name/email necessary) to help us put together our next order!

Regulator is Legal!

Regulator is North Carolina’s newest brewery!  Yahoo!

So, we’re gonna crank up the system this weekend for a double brew day.  Is there a better way to celebrate Labor Day and our final permit approval?

*crickets*

Nope, we didn’t think so.

If you wanna know more about what we’ll be brewing, scroll down for details on beer names and the label design.

And we’re pretty sure that your now-burning questions include when and where to get Regulator beer. We hear you!  Details are coming on our beer releases, which we’ll share via our email list and on our events page.  If you want updates delivered to your inbox, sign up for the email list.  You can also catch us on Facebook and Twitter.

Cheers!

The folks behind Regulator Brewing, L to R: Stephanie, Dustin, Ryan, and Anna.
Stephanie, Dustin, Ryan and Anna

 

Putting a Label on It

Aaaaaaaigh, our first labels!  After settling on some names to get excited about, it was back to the drawing board for label designs.  We could work on these forever–well, I could–but what are business partners for if not to sit you down and say, “We like these. Let’s use them, for your sake. Also, take a shower.”

 

IMG_20150822_153713

The “process”

 

So revision 4,821* is our winner. How did we get there? Inspecting the refrigerator case at Weaver Street, poring over excellent sample packs from local labelries,** having weird pitchfork-heavy dreams, and ultimately, going simple:

 

Capsheaf
Tavern Alley
Six of Twelve

 

[Insert “Will they stick?” joke here.] We’re still navigating the federal and state label approval processes, but we’re fairly certain that what you see here will resemble something you’ll soon be able to find in a store. Keep an eye on our progress on the front page, and stay tuned!

*Number is approximate

**If this isn’t a word, it should be

Have you met… beer? On naming our flagships.

Hello BeerWhen there are over 3,400 breweries in the US, producing lineups that contribute to the over 500,000 types of beer listed on Untappd, naming a beer is no easy task.

So how do you approach choosing names for flagship brews, when there are so many out there already?  If you’re us, you throw around ideas for six months; you might even have fun with a beer name generator.  You pick a few names, only to discover that a fellow North Carolina brewery already uses them (well, two out of three, but what are the odds?) Finally, after mulling over your mission, vision and values, you land on a few names you think will represent local agriculture, the Hillsborough community, and, of course, the Regulators.

Without further ado, we’d like you to meet the Regulator flagship lineup:

wheat

Capsheaf Kölsch

Grain from North Carolina farms is the foundation ingredient of our beer, and using it is a large part of our commitment to the local economy. Meaning ‘cream of the crop’–the topmost shock of a sheaf of grain–we think Capsheaf is a name worthy of our crowd-pleasing, easy-drinking Kölsch.

tvern

Tavern Alley Brown Ale

We were pleased to learn that by continuing to gather around ale and spirits at local watering holes, Hillsborough folks are keeping a centuries-old tradition alive.  Tavern Alley in Historic Hillsborough hosted a variety of community events in the 18th and 19th centuries: we pay homage to the likes of Faddis’ Tavern with our hazelnut brown ale.

pitch

Six of Twelve IPA

After the Regulator riot in Hillsborough and the Battle of Alamance, Governor William Tryon executed six of twelve captured Regulators in Hillsborough as a warning to those who might continue to fight oppressive taxation.  Our IPA is dedicated to the men who died in support of what some call the first conflict of the American Revolution.

So there they are: our flagships, and the first three beers we’ll produce.  Let us know what you think on facebook or twitter, and stay tuned for a post featuring label designs!

Hops Harvest at Farm Boy Farms

In early August, the Regulator crew went out to Farm Boy Farms in Pittsboro to help with their hops harvest. We harvested Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Nugget.

 

 

Got to be NC!

Regulator is proud to be one of the latest members of Got to be NC, a program run by the NC Department of Agriculture.  We join ranks with almost 3,000 other members in the state, which means you can look for this logo on our labels!

products (long)

It is part of our mission to produce locally sourced – not just locally bottled – beer.  For us that means we commit to buying at least 75 percent of the ingredients in each batch of beer from local farmers and maltsters.  We are excited to provide you with Beer from Here. Each time you crack one open, you support North Carolina farmers with us!

Want to know more about how Regulator does business?  Check out our mission, vision and values here.

What’s a nanobrewery?

Regulator Brewing Company is a nanobrewery — a term we realize may not be familiar to everyone.  At its core, it just means we’re really, really tiny. You’re probably familiar with “microbreweries,” and if you believe it, there’s such a thing as a “picobrewery.”* A “nanobrewery” falls somewhere in between, determined by both system size and production quantity.

System Size

Let’s start with the size of the system that we use to brew beer.  Our system allows us to brew one barrel of beer at a time. That’s equivalent to two kegs of finished product (i.e., the amount one might buy for a wedding reception).  For the sake of comparison, let’s look at the size of our system next to that of some other breweries you might be familiar with:

1http://www.highlandbrewing.com/about-us/history
2http://www.aviatorbrew.com/brewery
3http://www.duckrabbitbrewery.com/our-brewery
4http://homebrew.mysterybrewing.com/

 

Production Quantity

The next factor that influences our designation as a nanobrewery is how much beer we expect to produce in a given year.

We plan to run our system roughly once per week; barring holidays or unforseen circumstances, we’d produce 56 barrels per year.  Let’s take a look at that comparison graph again in terms of production:

Annual Production Graph

1http://www.highlandbrewing.com/about-us/history
2http://beerpulse.com/2013/11/aviator-brewing-to-double-production-in-2014-1941/
3http://www.greenvillemixer.com/mixer/duck-rabbit-makes-twc-arena-debut-2234807
4http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2015/02/23/carolina-brewery-20th-anniversary-chapel-hill-nc.html

 

So we’ve probably convinced you that our system is tiny, and and now you might be wondering: “why?” Our brewery is a size that we feel we can manage well with an eye toward focusing our distribution on the Hillsborough community, using as many locally-produced ingredients as possible, and–last but certainly not least–keeping our day jobs!  We love the idea of Regulator Brewing Company growing into a larger facility in the future, but that’s a long way off. For now, in the words of Goldilocks,  this is “juuuuuust right.”

*Still curious about what a “picobrewery” looks like? You could put one on your kitchen counter.

Starting a Brewery? Tips for the TTB Application

beer banner

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade (TTB) application is one of the most daunting challenges to opening a brewery.  It’s exceedingly thorough and comes before any of the other state or local applications.  The approval process often takes more than 4 months.

Thanks in large part to the help of other brewers who were willing to share their experience, we were lucky to have our application approved in 22 days. In the spirit of those who shared with us, we’d like to offer a few tips to help other new brewers navigate this challenging process.

Kickstarter
One of the most tedious parts of the TTB application is the “Sources of Funds” documentation, where you must account for every cent of startup capital. If anyone who has contributed money is not an owner, the TTB requires a letter from that person stating that they have no ownership interest in the company.

This really freaked us out–we were dreading the logistical nightmare of getting individual letters from our 150+ Kickstarter backers.* We wrote Kickstarter and asked if they could provide us one letter explicitly stating that no ownership transfer was tied to the deposit we received from Kickstarter.** Kickstarter did, and the TTB accepted their letter.

Open a bank account ASAP
If your brewery does not have an established bank account with 6 months of records, each owner will have to supply, at a minimum, 5 months of personal financial records. Being able to simply send brewery financial statements streamlined the process and made it a lot less personally intrusive.

Answer every question
There will be some questions seemingly intended for big breweries (power generation,  waste water, etc.).  Answer them anyway. For the power generation question we put something simple, along the lines of: “All power will be purchased from our local power utility and delivered through the existing power grid.”

Err on the side of too much detail
With the TTB, “more” seems to be “more.” We described the building in extensive detail, including every aspect of the brewery’s construction, down to drywall thickness. Make sure your floor plan shows where every single part of the brewery will be located–including windows, sinks, and floor drains.

 

Finally, be prepared for everything to go well! We have no idea how the process will go for you, but make a contingency plan in case the process goes faster than expected. We tied our project schedule to a longer approval process; as it turned out, we could have significantly shortened our timeline.

________________________________

*Can we say thank you, again?  Yes. Thank you, again.

**Kickstarter actually has a policy that states “project creators keep 100% ownership of their work, and Kickstarter cannot be used to offer equity, financial returns, or to solicit loans.”  We quoted this back to them when we asked for a letter!

 

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All contents © 2018 Regulator Brewing Company
Hillsborough, North Carolina
regulatorbrewing@gmail.com
(919) 589-BREW