Business Creation

Federal License - Check!

Just a short post to let everyone know that we are finally federally licensed as a brewery. That means we now have to pay taxes on every batch we brew. We have also ironed out the insurance issues that were stalling our progress. Next stop - Kings County for a Home Occupancy Permit then the Type 23 Small Brewery License from the State. Getting closer...

Status Update

It’s been a while since I last posted an update ... far too long. It’s not that we have stagnated; rather, we have just been busy. We have continued to brew on a regular basis and have added environmental control to the brewery. Fencing has gone up, horse enclosures perfected, solar power installed, and a new HVAC system in the ranch house. Our Guest cottage is now officially in business with AirBNB and Sonya/Brandie have been working diligently on our event venue.

Check out our listing at and spread the word.

We have also submitted our application to the TTB (Feds), which will allow us to legally sell and distribute our beer. Aside from the State Liquor License, this is one of the major hurdles on the licensing path. I tell folks who are interested that it is like filling out a request for a security clearance (x4) combined with applying for a mortgage. The TTB has made the process a bit easier by providing a fairly user-friendly online application, but it is still painful. It will be good to have that in the rear-view mirror!

Brewery and Tasting Room Design

When I took an architecture class in eighth grade, I never thought the training would amount to much. Back then, we used actual drafting boards, tape, pencils, t-square & triangle, and a pink eraser called a “pink pearl”. The whole classroom smelled like rubber cement and eraser dust, but it was pretty cool. These days, all design work is done on the computer using CAD (computer aided design) software - which sure makes things a lot easier, and a lot less messy. I didn’t spend a whole lot of money buying a fancy CAD program as I wasn’t really planning on using my drawings to actually submit - more as just a starting point for the real draftsman to refine. The software I used for my initial drawings is called Intaglio (for Mac) and is just a general drawing program - nothing too extravagant. The draft drawings I made are going to go through many iterations before we finally settle on a final design - but hey, it’s a point from which to deviate. The brewery and tasting room has to house the brewery (duh), a fermentation room (temperature controlled), and a cold room (for lagering and serving), and a tasting room. We need as much storage as we can possibly cram in, as well as an office for all the behind-the-scenes admin work that needs to occur. Additionally, and this is where a pro comes in, we need to be compliant with all the regulatory requirements for operating a business in Kings County, CA, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Initial Floorpan Design

This is the initial design we came up with. It’s a small as we could make it and still meet all our requirements (or so we thought). We want to keep it simple and cost-effective to build, since Roscoe and I will likely be doing the majority of the work ourselves.

Initial Cut at Front and Rear Elevations

We have hired a professional draftsman (and former county inspector) to guide us through the design and permitting process. I’m sure things will change as he educates us on the requirements for compliance with the county in order to get our building permit and our conditional use permit. We’ll update this blog when we decide on the final design.

Federal EIN received!

It's official, at least in the eyes of the Federal Government!
Shire Station, LLC is born as an official business entity and has received its Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). For those not familiar with the business start-up process, this is step one of many. Our business type (LLC formulated in the state of California) is now registered with the Feds and the number will be used for tax purposes. Because we have to pay federal excise tax of $7 per barrel of beer produced, our EIN will be used to let them know who we are. The tax man cometh!
We have also requested our State EIN but that process is a bit more lengthy. We should see that in the mail in a week or two. Once we are armed and recognized by both the Feds and the State, we can then start the long regulatory road to opening. It's too early to predict the exact month yet, but we are hoping for this year.
The process was actually very easy and took about 10 minutes. The form can be completed online at They allow you to select an option at the end of the form to deliver the EIN approval via electronic link. It's probably the easiest time I've ever had with any governmental process. Cheers!