July Updates - Building a Foundation


In many ways July has been a month of building a solid base underneath many aspects of Black Sands. Particularly there has been some structural work required for the foundation of the building. The work is a required step to ensure the building is safe both for our customers and for the longevity of Black Sands. We are currently in the phase of drawing up the plans and approving them with the city. Approval of the plans and construction on the foundation is expected to start early August. This does unfortunately set our timeline back, but the work is essential to creating a safe environment for everyone. We are absolutely committed to our building and the neighborhood, and hope to have this work done quickly and safely to open Black Sands for all to enjoy.  

Shoring in place while building foundation is repaired and strengthened

Shoring in place while building foundation is repaired and strengthened

Equipment Updates

We will just start by saying this. Our equipment is beautiful. Eight stainless steel tanks that hold 120 gallons of volume each. July threw us some curve balls with the foundation work on our building, but it's been somewhat of a blessing because we have been able to dedicate a lot of our time to get our system cleaned, and fully put together. We have ordered and installed over 50 little valves, gaskets, and clamps that are needed to fully operate the brewing cycle. Just last week our caustic chemicals for cleaning came in and we have scrubbed and sanitized every little last piece. System is prepped, constructed, cleaned and ready for beer!


Beer Tuning

A foundation of good beer is a combination of good ingredients, and good

recipes. We have already built a solid library of beer styles and recipes that we want to make. With our equipment all arrived and put together the last step is to secure our ingredients. Our evenings in July were spent in conversations and spreadsheets locking in our contracts and relationships with hop distributors. Something that was more difficult than we had imagined. We are glad to say that we have contracted and ordered and received over 500 pounds of quality hops. We are currently packaging them into manageable sizes for our system, and with this quantity have enough hops to make beer for a solid year before needing to order more. 

Brand Updates 

When we aren't brewing beer, or working on the building we are usually designing. Recently we finished the design for the Beer for Life application, and have moved into developing it. July has us moving on to illustration and packaging design. Each of our beers has a story behind it and a name, and we are working to identify our signature illustration style to give each beer a visual as well. These illustrations will be used to represent our beers both in the bar as well as in packaging when we move to cans in the future. Above is our illustration style for our keeper of the keys barley wine and our heart of 100 fires red rye amber. With the style locked down we are extending it to cover our full list of beers. 


Community Connections

Working towards opening a brewery in San Francisco is hard work. Luckily there are a great group of individuals that have done it before, and we are feeling very supported by the local community. We have visited and talked with large and small scale breweries this month including Drakes, Cerveceria, Barrelhead, Triple Voodoo and Fort Point. The culmination of our conversations and visits ended the month with a huge Honor. We were invited to speak as a panel member at the Hops and History event. Our head brewer Cole Emde was one of four brewers to speak and discuss what it takes to open a brewery in San Francisco. It was both a pleasure and an honor to sit up with Magnolia, Triple Voodoo, and Cellar Maker to talk and field questions about what it's like to take on a project like Black Sands. 

Cole (Left) our head brewer with other local SF Brewers.

Cole (Left) our head brewer with other local SF Brewers.