Our bar top is Chuck’s old work bench from our basement in Seattle.
When he retrieved it from the basement, it was dirty and had oil stains. Perfect. Chuck gave it a quick rinse with the hose, and I was assigned the task of applying a clear, thick, hard bar coat to the top of it. The first two applications met all of these requirements. The third did not dry properly. It remained sticky and soft in large areas. It took months to get it ready for a fourth application.
With each application, there were drips down the sides of the bar top. I was going to remove them when the project was finished, but began to enjoy the sight of them growing. With each additional application, the drips began to resemble stalactites.
We have had many visitors to the distillery as we prepare to open. I have been surprised at how many compliments I have received on my stalactites. Children especially like them.
January has been a very good month for us.
The Mason County Building Department gave us our certificate of occupancy, the Department of Labor and Industries gave us our final electrical, and we passed the Liquor Control Board inspection today.
WE ARE NOW DISTILLERS. Our sign is up and we are ready to begin!
We will be open by appointment beginning in March, and we hope to have regular hours beginning in late May.
Last week Chuck met the Mason County building inspector at the distillery for the final inspection. The work we have done was approved, but there is one new item: emergency back-up light in the basement, where we will be storing our barrels. Chuck immediately drove to Olympia, bought the light, and returned to the distillery in the emerging blizzard of heavy wet snow. The lights went out, and he installed the emergency back-up light in the dark basement.
We have been having a very wet winter at the distillery, and the ground is thoroughly wet. That day trees loudly broke in half under the weight of the heavy snow. Many were uprooted. Fallen trees littered the road. Chuck finished installing the light and began his drive home. It was now dark, and it took him hours to drive around the trees, and travel a few miles.
This photo was taken a week after the storm. Due to the snowstorm and the holidays, the inspectors are behind with the inspecting. Our next inspection is scheduled for January 2, and we are hoping our back-up light passes inspection and that we will finally have our certificate of occupancy.
With all of the work we have had to do for the Mason County Building Department, we have not had a chance, until a week ago, to begin assembling our second still.
This still is from Artisan Still Design in Canada. It will be used for our gins, and many other spirits.
We are so excited to start distilling, and hope to meet all of the requirements of the building department before Christmas.
The Mason County building department is slowly adding to its list of requirements for the Certificate of Occupancy for the distillery.
The front of the Distillery has two double doors. These doors were custom made, and we like them very much. One of the double doors opens into the production area. We have no employees, and Chuck and Jan will be distilling in the production area. Usually, it will be just Chuck, while Jan works in the tasting room.
Originally, when we started the project, we had thought the big expense for the doors would be the locks required by the federal TTB. Early in the project we had these locks installed. But that was the least of the door requirements. First, the Mason County building department had us put an exit sign above the doors. This sign had to meet certain requirements. Then, they wanted the locking system changed, and the dead bolt moved from the door on one side to the door on the other side. (Chuck will be safe from the stampeding people.) Then there was the required fire alarm system, and components for that system were added on one side of the doors. The first week of December was the week for several new fire extinguishers, and one has been installed next to these doors.
The doors are beginning to look garish with all of the accoutrements. But wait, that’s not all. Now we have been informed that the exit sign is not sufficient. We must buy back-up lighting to put above the doors to help Chuck find his way out.