Newsletter #10 - Looking Forward to 2015

Welcome to the year we open.

2014 was no joke. It was a very serious year for us. There were many challenges, a few failures, and a lot of learning. As you know we are working very hard to now essentially build our brewery from the ground up. The structural damage at 701 Haight took us time to repair, but we are now sitting on a brand new foundation, concrete floor and a larger space than what we had originally intended. Looking back in the vault, it was at this time last year that we were still deciding on a name, location, and even the size of our brewhouse. We had a solid plan for 2014, but forces beyond our control laughed at our plan a little, and threw us some curve balls. Even so, within a short year we have pushed hard into the craft beer industry. We re-zoned 2500 square feet of laundry mat into a full scale brewing operation, and restaurant. We completely repaired its foundation, drew up and approved not only one, but two different architectural plans with the planning and building inspection departments. And we opened the second ever homebrew store in San Francisco in our spare time. 2014 was one hell of a ride and 2015 is going to bring you Black Sands.

We have a floor ladies and gentleman.

We have seen it. We have walked upon it. One small step for man, but a huge and significant step for us. There were too many months where our hopes and dreams had to just be "pictured" on top of a pile of sand. With this beautiful new concrete floor poured we can actually see things coming together. We have our initial plumbing installed and a full slab of concrete poured over the the entire floor. We installed new drains for the brewery, bar, and kitchen and a solid level floor with a grand garage door entrance to the brewhouse. This will make it easy for us to haul grains and brewing equipment easily into and out of the space. Thank you floor, we love you.

Teaching Homebrewers

We gave our first brewing class this month and had a full house. The class filled up quickly, with 12 participants learning how to brew beer using the all grain method. Classes are currently held at Ken Ken Ramen on 18th street in the mission. The Next class is scheduled for January 17th and tickets are going fast! Sign up by purchasing a ticket at our online store.

Recipes in Progress

This month we brewed a lot of beer. Still at the homebrew scale, but much more than we can "process" ourselves. A few highlights of our December lineup include: Another more refined test batch of our vanilla bean coffee milk stout. This is a collaboration recipe with the folks from De La Paz. who so graciously share sample beans with us to perfect this flavorful milky stout aged on coffee and vanilla beans. We also kegged and have been tasting the 4505 smoked porter. Smoking the malt in collaboration with 4505 meats gave us a unique aroma and taste from the hickory wood. Our "Cow Tail" milky brown ale is also tasting full flavored, rich and smooth. Our other test batches of beer are still fermenting, including our "Mist and the Madness" hefeweizen, and a fruity hopped pale ale called "Sunken Sun" that is aged on fresh locally picked persimmons. 

Brand and Design Updates

While we continue to build out our space we have our design team steadily making progress as well. We are working to create a unique and recognizable design system that can be applied across everything Black Sands touches. From the walls of our brewery to the coasters under your glass we value design and aesthetics in everything we touch. 

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Helping and Growing a Community of Homebrewers

Our homebrew store is the beginnings of growing a great community of homebrewers in and around the Lower Haight. Between our own classes, local homebrew competitions, and homebrew classes at workshop SF, we are supporting the community of local homebrewers in San Francisco as much as we can. We are teaching people to brew ourselves and giving away gift certificates to competition winners and class participants. We also have been growing our library of recipes at our store and getting new equipment for more advanced brewers. Our 1 gallon kits are a hit and have gotten a lot of beginners started with their first batches, and leave them wanting to roll right into their second batch. With christmas and the holidays we saw many new-comers receive the gift of homebrewing, and we look forward to next year with even more people enjoying the most rewarding hobby there is!

Looking Forward to 2015

With 2015 rapidly approaching, we are already planning events, new beers, and last but certainly not least, opening our doors! Look for news on upcoming events and guest speakers during beer week in February. Stop by the homebrew store any saturday andsunday to talk homebrew, and walk by 701 Haight street to see our progress on the construction. 2015 is going to be our year.