Is it really almost June already? Apparently. So what's new in the world of Fulton?
To start with, Governor Dayton signed the liquor omnibus bill today, which includes the "Taproom Bill", allowing Minnesota breweries to sell pints of their own beer in their own breweries. We're looking forward to occupying a barstool at all of the state's breweries -- and for you to occupy one at ours.
In far less interesting but perhaps equally important news (to us, anyway), we finally closed on our financing! It's not the most fun part of the process, but it turns out that breweries don't build themselves, and even if they did, they certainly wouldn't do it for free, so we've spent the last few months pouring over spreadsheets and documents to put together our financing package. Just last week, we put the last pieces in place. We're very happy to be moving on to more exciting projects.
After what felt like an eternity of layouts, plan review, loan documents, and contracts, we finally sunk our teeth into the heavier construction portion of our brewery. In the last few weeks, we cut and removed a four foot wide section of floor in which we'll be pouring a new slab that slopes to our trench drain. We ended up getting about 60 square feet of "bonus" demo when the concrete around the existing water main collapsed, due to 50 years of settling under the existing slab.
We also completed framing of the new bathrooms, boiler, and storage rooms in the last week. There's still lots more to go, however. With the new brewing equipment comes the need for new supply and waste water lines, as well as new three phase electrical to where the brewhouse will be dropped in, so we have contractors coming in to help with that.
Finally, we've been pressure washing and filling holes in preparation for painting. Painting may seem trivial, but it's about a lot more than just looks. Sanitation is king in a brewery, and freshly painted, light colored walls make it easier to identify areas that need attention, and make them easier to clean.
In non construction-related news, sales have been taking off! We had a record month in November, then February beat that record by 17% -- only to be again by March, which was nearly bested by April. It's still hard to believe that less than 18 months after we sold our first beer, the Twin Cities is now enjoying over 1200 pints of Fulton every day. We know some of you account for a disproportionately large percentage (yes, we include ourselves in that group), but it's amazing and humbling nonetheless.
Thanks again for your dedication and support. The next several months are going to be even more exciting than the last few, so stay tuned -- we're looking forward to seeing you in our taproom, at one of the great bars carrying us, or perhaps...at a liquor store buying Fulton in bottles? Stay tuned for more updates on that...