Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Date

We went quiet for a while, sorry about that. Things have been busy here the past couple months. Like any new business, we had our set-backs and were/are working through them. Alas, we can say we have our inspections all passed, and we are moving onward and upward. Well, what that really means is we started brewing beer so we can open up this joint!

People have been asking since last year when we expect to open our doors. We kept guessing the best we could based on our project plans, but we never wanted to give a specific date because we didn’t want people to be disappointed. But now, the time has come.

We are opening our doors September 23, 2014 at 4:00pm. We will be doing a Hop Bine Cutting instead of a Ribbon Cutting, because, who needs ribbon when you have hops?!

It feels so unreal. The planning of this started way back in 2011 in our minds only. The path from engineers to entrepreneurs has been an interesting one to say the least! We are excited to finally share the product of our hard work with everyone!

There isn't much in the cooler yet, but here is the start of it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Brewery Equipment Delivery

We were excited for the equipment to finally arrive. Mike even took off work to be there for the big day. It was exciting and nerve wracking carting all that stainless through the door. The tanks came in shipping crates that had to be broken off around them to get to the tank itself. It was a long day of moving the tanks around and breaking down the boxes.

We didn’t really have time to set them up where they needed to go. The next couple days Mike and I moved things around and the locations started to take shape and it all started to finally feel real that moment we stepped back after lining up the fermenters.
Take a look. Tell us what you think. Then one day when we finally open, you can come in and take a look in person. J
 Just boxes... oh wait...

 Sideways fermenter to get it through the doors...
Once it is sideways, you have to stand it back up again somehow!
 Did I mention the mess we made?!
Aww, pretty!

Monday, June 30, 2014

The floor makeover: Ready for the brewhouse

We have been busy cleaning things up and getting ready for the big day – the day the brewing equipment arrives. It all seems rather surreal. Taking things one day at a time eventually leads to an equipment delivery. Before the shiny stainless comes in, we need a shiny floor. Here is a before and after picture we thought would show off the work pretty well. What do you think?

Sad brewery floor "before"

 Shiny brewery floor "after"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Sign

Has anyone seen it yet?! Our sign is up in front of the brewery now! It was a beautiful moment watching the careful work that was needed to get it mounted. We are excited because people are stopping by to check it out. We still have a lot of work to do on the place, but getting this sign up is a little victory we can cherish!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Painting Party at the Brewery

A lot of friends and family members have offered to help us with work in the brewery any time we need. This week we finally asked for some help to paint the rest of the brewery walls. (There is a lot of surface area there!) So we threw a party! The admission price was to paint, but the reward was pizza and beer!

Painting isn’t the most enjoyable task, but with friends and family gathered to help out, it didn’t seem so bad! Thank you all for your continued support. We couldn’t do this without you!

Moral of the story: Be careful what you volunteer yourself to do! You may just end up painting a brewery wall!

 Priming the back brewery wall

 Mike got to paint the ceiling in the vestibule
Um... more priming on the back brewery wall!
One wall down, move on to the next!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Drywall and a Floor Makeover for the Brewery

We have been quiet for a while, and what that really means is we have been doing “paperwork”- aka emails, phone calls, and planning. We have been planning recipes for the bigger system and ordering hops accordingly. We also started ordering some of the smaller equipment.

Today was noisy in the brewery! We have drywall going up now and the floors are getting a “makeover”. Check out some of these pictures and compare them with a few blog posts ago! What a journey!

Welcome inside the brewery- This is just the beginning

These guys rock!

Taking care of the bar area

We love panorama shots. Welcome to Eternity Brewing!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Top Hops Pure Michigan Hopped Pale Ale

A couple of months ago we met with Top Hops, a hop farm in Goodrich Michigan. They are a new family owned hop farm in Michigan. When we met with them they explained what their farm life is like and how they are striving to grow quality hops for brewers.

After enjoying conversation over a couple of beers, we parted ways, but not before we got a sample of some of their cascade hops to try out in our pilot batches!

We posted last month that we brewed with their hops and we are pleased to say the beer turned out great! These local hops gave the beer a great citrus and floral aroma with the appropriate corresponding flavor. We are excited to say that we will be purchasing more hops from their farm in the future to add to our beers once the brewery is up and running. Keep an eye out on the chalkboard for a Michigan hopped pale ale coming to the Eternity Brewing taproom soon!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Finer Details: Picking out the Bar Top

Last night we met up with friends of ours at AJ’s Creative Concrete Countertops. We met with them before to discuss the idea of putting a concrete counter top on our bar. After they showed us samples of their work, we were convinced!

They created a few color samples for us to pick out the color and pattern we want to use. I will let you guess which one we picked! They do amazing work and we can’t wait to see how the full bar turns out!

 AJ's Creative Concrete Countertop samples for our bar top!

Fun picture because they were patient with us as we took time to decide!

Monday, April 21, 2014

There’s a Beer for Every Palate

Another Inside Howell Magazine article written by yours truly! This article was for the April edition. We wrote about different beer styles and flavors and we couldn’t stop writing so they gave us two pages of the magazine to talk about beer and share some photos!

You can find the article on page 18 and 19 of the Inside Howell magazine online here
(or read it below):


Here is how the article read:

“Most people are overwhelmed when they see a long beer tap list or multiple aisles of beer choices at Meijer if they have never tried craft beer before. What is craft beer you ask?! The Brewers Association defines craft beer as beer that comes from a small company, is independent from large conglomerates, and uses traditional brewing standards.

The hard part about introducing someone to craft beer is if they have tasted one beer and decide they don’t like beer at all. I always say there is a beer for everyone; you just have to find the right style! You can’t be afraid to try something new though!

Beer does not come in just one flavor, color, and style. According to the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines, there are over 70 different styles of beer ranging from very light and low in flavor, to very dark and sweet, to fruity, to bitter, to sour. All small breweries in the US are dabbling with this entire range of styles, and most breweries try to have the largest variety on tap as possible. It’s no wonder choosing the right style for you can be baffling!

If you are looking to drink something on the lighter side then some good styles to try are Kölsch, blonde ale, pilsner, and lager. Lagers are generally the cleanest tasting of the bunch because they are fermented cold. Not all breweries make lagers because they take a long time to ferment are very difficult to perfect. You will find the Kölsch style in a lot of breweries as this tends to be close to the flavor of a traditional American lager, but a Kölsch has slightly more fruit and malt character. Pilsners and blonde ales will be slightly more bitter and have more hop character than Kölsch and traditional lagers.

If you find yourself liking Blue Moon, then try any other wheat beer. Many people find a wheat ale to be their “gateway into craft beer” because it is refreshing and flavorful. In fact, my “gateway” was a wheat ale, Bell’s Oberon. I even named my two cats after the beer (Bell and Oberon)!

What if you desire a slightly sweeter drink? If you are not afraid to try darker beers, then other great choices are English mild or brown. Yep, the beer is brown in color, but it is generally friendly to your palate with a few hints of toasted malt character, low on the hops, and a bit sweeter.

Let’s say you normally like to drink a sweet wine. Did you know there is a beer style called an English Barleywine? This style is sweet and smooth. It has a lot of roasted malt character, a thicker mouthfeel, and is high in alcohol content so it is meant to be a “sipper” beer. If it has been aged well you will get a “vinous” character in the aroma and flavor.

Other times when people think they only like wine, they tend to find that they like sour beers. Yes, in fact, the flavor profile of a sour beer includes sour notes like acetic or lactic. These beers will sometimes have a fruity flavor to them since the fruit flavors go well with the sour character. Imagine drinking a kiwi or some other bright citrus fruit!

Once my husband and I got into brewing we kept having my mom try each batch. We kept notes on which beers she seemed to enjoy and which ones she just “tolerated”. We were really excited when we were able to help her understand that the styles she likes are stouts and porters. This means she likes dark, sweeter ales with notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and deep roasted notes in the aroma and flavor. Now she knows how to order her beer at any brewery or bar she goes into.

I purposefully saved the American pale ale and American IPA style for last. These styles are “hoppy” and bitter. They are crammed with fruity, citrusy, grassy, piney, spicy, and/or herbal aromas and flavors from the extra doses of hops. The American IPA style sells out the fastest at most breweries.

There are many styles of beer for many different palates. You just have to know your own palate. So give them a try! You may not like all of the styles, but you may just find one that you fall in love with!”

Monday, April 7, 2014

Layout of the Bar and Painting the Ceiling!

It is starting to get busy around here! We spent a good chunk of the weekend hanging out with our family “at the bar”. Really, that means we were laying out the design onto the cement on location to make sure it was all going to work right. We had fun with it! We also got the ceiling painted! Things are starting to take shape. :-)

Laying out the bar
Painting the ceiling in the taproom

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Start of Plumbing and Electrical in the Brewery

This is just the start, but we thought we could share our progress on the microbrewery build-out. We have started a bit of work on laying out where all the plumbing will be and we started to get some electrical going in. Little by little we are trekking along. This may not sound like very exciting news to most people, but for us, it is pretty great to see the pieces starting to come together.

Yay! Floor drains!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The First Walls of Eternity Brewing

Just thought we would share our progress from this week with you! We have a few walls going up now and things are getting cleared away. Here are a few pictures of the place now!

The Taproom... Eventually

 Cleaning up

Hey cool! We have an office!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

We are Brewers and Writers (who knew!?)

Check it out – we started writing articles for the Inside Howell magazine and Brighton Monthly magazine! If you get these publications, be sure to look for our articles! The March issue was just mailed out and here is what it looks like:

Throughout 2012-2013, my husband and I took a class for our business. No, it wasn’t a social media “how to class” nor was it a “Write a Business Plan in 5 Steps” class. It was a beer tasting and judging class. The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) is a formal way to recognize beer styles, classify a beer, and grade the beer based on the style description. There are five main elements to judging a beer: aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, and overall impression. Everyone has different talents for perceiving aromas and flavors, so the classes helped us to understand what we were strong at and what we really needed to focus on to pick out.

We tasted every style while we were in those classes so that we could be prepared for the BJCP exams. Yes - exams, plural. The first part of the examination is an online multiple choice, timed test that is meant to see if you know styles and descriptors well enough to continue through the program. Once we passed that test, we took the tasting exam. We were given six beer samples and 15 minutes each to swirl, taste, and furiously write everything we could perceive down onto the paper in front of us. It was an intense 90 minutes!

Once we turned in our exam pages, we had to wait five months for the results in the mail. They sent us both a packet with our overall score and a thorough critique on our judging skills. The bottom line for us though? We passed! We are now officially recognized BJCP judges! We plan to use the skills we obtained to make great recipes as we start up our microbrewery, Eternity Brewing, in Howell and to host our own tasting classes to pass on the knowledge that we have obtained.

You can find the article on page 12 of the Inside Howell magazine online here:


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Step one of renovating the brewery: The Starting Point

It took several meetings and several iterations to the brewery layout plans, but we have found the right path and we are heading down it. The first stop along that path is demolition and lots and lots of clean up! Here are some photos of the brewery in the beginning so you can follow along with us in this journey!

 Welcome to the Brewery!

 The Taproom 

The Big Picture: In the beginning...
This will be a picture of a brewhouse one day... 
 And this will be a picture of a bar and taps someday...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The other side of the glass: Is brewing beer the next extreme sport?

I found this article that says brewing could be the next extreme sport.

I (Dayna) was an assistant brewer at Witch’s Hat Brewery in South Lyon for over a year. (If you haven’t been there yet, please make the trip!) I have done everything this article talks about – and while mashing in the grain to start the brew day off is important, that is only a small percent of the work that it takes to produce a good beer.

Many people are in awe when they hear I worked as an assistant brewer. Even my chiropractor who asked me, “You can lift a full keg?!” To which my response was, “only a few inches, but yeah.” (I am 5’2” and 110lb.) (Yeah, I know most ladies wouldn’t disclose that information, but I find it amusing.)

In the industry we always joke about the fact that we are really just glorified janitors. Everything has to be clean and sanitized to produce the best beer possible. There is a lot of lifting of hoses and parts, a lot of cleaning chemicals in use, and a lot of documentation of the process each batch undergoes. I don’t know if all of this means that brewing beer is an extreme sport, but the flip side is that beer seems to be necessary for many extreme sports to exist. I mean, what is a marathon run if you can’t run into the beer tent at the end?!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The women are drinking the beer!

Here is a fun beer story passed down from my mom (Dayna’s mom). I emailed her an article about how craft beer was becoming the drink of choice for women.

My mom sent me this story in response to that email:

“It goes way back, you see. I remember my Grandma Poppy enjoying a beer when I was around 7 years old. It was a real treat for her. I remember when I was at Grandma Poppy’s house, my mom would always get her a glass (yes, she liked it in a glass) of beer.

My mom always enjoyed beer too. She and your Grandpa would always drink a Strohs at night after dinner.

Now look at us! You are ready to open your brewery and I am excited to help (and sample) as we carry on the family tradition of women enjoying a good beer!”

Here is the original article that started this whole discussion. Enjoy! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The New Year: Looking Back and Stepping Forward

We started off 2013 with an idea, an idea we were talking about for two years straight, but didn’t know how to get there. We had a grand plan to open a brewery. We didn’t know where, what it would be called, nor what size the equipment would be. We didn’t have a business plan and we didn’t have a financial model to prove to ourselves that this idea would work.

2013 was a busy year. We were newlyweds working on a dream together. It was a great year. We started going to LegUP (Livingston Entrepreneurs Group United for Prosperity). From that networking community we were introduced to many business organizations who wanted to see us succeed as much as we did. Thanks to SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives),  MI-SBTDC (Michigan Small Business Technology Development Center), the Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Howell Chamber of Commerce, and LegUP, we had all the networking, business classes, and mentoring we needed to get where we are today.

What was the journey like last year? We spent the first part of the year creating a business plan and financial model. It was a lot of back-and-forth with the wonderful people at the MI-SBTDC. This included many disappointing moments (ie. We don’t have a lot of money to work with) along with many “ah-ha” moments (ie. We finally figured out the system size we could use to make the financial model make sense).

The summer time was spent scouring Livingston County for a location. We had to be conscious of available space, price per square foot, and location. Being from Howell, I knew the area well, but after four months of analyzing maps, driving around, after work meetings, and countless conversations with landlords and real estate agents, I see the Howell-Brighton area in a whole new light!

As fall settled in, we settled on a location that we wanted to pursue. We have layout drawings and we are now trying to start up work on the build-out. You can’t apply for your microbrewery licenses until you have a location. Now that we have signed the lease, all systems are “go”.  

In the coming year we hope to have our space transformed into a microbrewery with multiple taps available for a fun taproom area. It is going to be a crazy year for us. We are so thankful for our friends and family in the area that support our passion.

Happy 2014 everyone!