It’s been a crazy time since we selected Herman/Stewart Construction as our General Contractor. We’ve been meeting with Lee McAllister, our architect, and Steve Hullinger from Herman/Stewart working the design and construction budget and getting ready to submit our permit applications. I’m starting to really feel a time crunch – the loop between the engineers, the general contract and the architect to get the permit drawings completed needs to move faster. I think the 6 months to opening is going to go very fast.

The interior design does not have to be done for the permit drawings, but the conceptual design is very exciting. Mad Fox is starting to look like more than just construction drawings. We are meeting shortly with our interior designer and lighting specialist to work the look. We are also meeting with an expert in  millwork and wood finish for restaurants and bars to do some pragmatic value engineering to make certain that we can get the best looking bar and wood finishes that we can afford.

On the brewery engineering side, I’ve been looking at a bunch of used systems. I drove up to New Hampshire to look at a used JV Northwest 15 bbl system from Pennichuck Brewing last Saturday. It would certainly work well for us, but the price is too high once I factor in decommissioning, transportation, retrofitting and installation. I’ve seen a half dozen used systems on the market that have the same potential, but are not a good value. I’m working quotes from manufacturers of new equipment to see if this new is a better value than used.

I’m wrestling with the concept of value for a used vs. new system. Brewhouses have a functional lifetime of 15 to 25 years. We have a 15 year lease with two 5-year options. How much more is a new brewhouse worth than a used system? Once the buildout is complete, replacing the brewhouse would be a major renovation. New or lightly used looks like the best option for the long term.

More to come.

Cheers, Bill


~ by billmadden on November 6, 2009.

3 Responses to “Pre-Construction”

  1. It seems like life is chock full of these types of scenarios, doesn’t it? Balancing the possibility of saving some money and the inherent risks of owning something used. Because the delta in cost between the two doesn’t sound largely disparate, it seems like your conclusion of getting new equipment (or lightly used) is the logical choice.

    Perhaps you could use the prices you’ve seen on used systems in your negotiations with a manufacturer, to save a little on installation, freight, or some of the other ancillary costs.

    Good Luck.

    Vive le renard fou!

  2. […] More at: The MaddBrewer’s Blog […]

  3. It sounds like you are leaning towards the new brewhouse for all the right reasons. Think how happy you will be to have EXACTLY what you want, with the added benefit of being reliable through-out your lease and possible extensions.

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