Our fans may have noticed there hasn’t been much in the way of updates in a while. Believe us when we say we haven’t been idle. Construction work has slowed in Stafford and we haven’t been to many festivals, but we have a good excuse…
We bought a brewery.
Yeah. Another one.
After finalizing the details we signed the paperwork to make it official. Lost Elm Brewing now owns a 10 barrel brewery in Southbridge, Massachusetts. It includes a steam fired kettle, jacketed mash tun, four glycol jacketed 10 barrel fermenters, kegs, a cold room, everything we need to make Lost Elm beer on a big scale.
WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS
We’ve always known that the 1.5 barrel nano-brewery planned for Stafford would eventually have to be expanded to meet demand. We planned to move up to a 10 barrel brewhouse after a few years, once we gathered enough capital. What we didn’t plan on was finding that 10 barrel brewery so soon, and for such a good price. We realized that if we didn’t jump on it immediately someone else would, so we went for it.
SO WHAT ABOUT STAFFORD?
Obviously this changes our plans a little. Moving on the big brewery so soon has put a squeeze on construction at Lost Elm in Stafford. While it might take longer for us to open there, it’s absolutely still going to happen. The only difference is that once we do open, we can produce over six times more beer than we could with just the nano-brewery.
BUT WAIT, WHAT ABOUT THE NANO-BREWERY?
That’s not going anywhere. We will brew our more popular beers at the big brewery so we can support more local Connecticut accounts, but all of our experimental, one-off, imperial, and special beers will be made with the nano-brewery in Stafford. Regardless of where it’s brewed, every Lost Elm beer will be made by hand by us, no contracting.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
Work will resume at the brewery in Stafford as we slowly gather the needed funds. While it may take a while to get off the ground, we expect to grow rapidly. We will always serve our local community, but now with a 10 barrel brewhouse in our back pocket, we can expand that community to reach more of our friends in Connecticut.
Lost Elm has been our dream for many years, and over the past two years we’ve been working hard to make it reality. One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned is that when opportunity knocks, you’re almost never ready for it. But if it means ensuring the future of our dream, we need to be patient and make sure we do this right.
It was a little while ago that we announced the Feds had granted us our brewing permit, and though build progress has been slow since then, we never stopped brewing. So mark your calendars friends, we've got some events coming up!
Here are some pics of the build-out thus far. It's a 1300 square foot space, but it's amazing how fast that shrinks! Above is a "before" shot of the main space from the cooler room doorway. Below we had to cut into the floor to lay the drain pipes for the cooler room (other side of the far wall) and the sinks for the tasting bar, which will be along the wall.
The brew house area
The front entrance
Fermentation and cold room, roughed in with floor drains
Laying in the plumbing
Framing out the brew house
windows and doors installed. The windows were the original ones from when our building was a factory in the late 1800's.
The doors are new but match the windows perfectly
The new hallway to the bathroom
The fermentation room, with new wall and doorway to the cooler section