The joys of looking for commercial real estate

     As you may or may not know, we are currently building out our new home at 77 Main St. Peabody, Ma.  While we are very excited for this dream to become a reality, it’s been a long, windy, and bumpy road to get here.  We started our journey for a commercial space over 3 years ago. Jeff said to me, “I just found this really cool spot in Salem you should go look at it.” At that point we had no funding secured, no proposed budget, no business plan, etc.  Well, needless to say, those first locations that we found were never going to be ours; we weren’t ready yet, and of course they got leased to other businesses. Seeing these spots come and go helped us to get more serious in our search and get all of our paperwork organized.

     Flash forward  a few years later; we looked at over a dozen locations, some good, some bad, some too pricey for us, some in person, and some over the phone.  We could envision our brewery opening in some, while others we couldn’t see how it would work. We found some landlords that were willing to take a gamble on us and other landlords that didn’t seem willing to work with two guys just trying to make their dream of brewing beer for people to enjoy a reality.  We had meetings with architects, meetings with landlords, and have worked and reworked blueprints to see if our equipment and the equipment we want to be able to scale up to will fit. Through this whole process we were very blunt and honest with potential landlords, maybe to a fault, but we would rather be completely upfront with them instead of trying to say what they want to hear.

     Then we were introduced to 77 Main St.  We walked into this shell of a space and could see the possibilities.  The unit had already gone through demo, so all we saw were bare walls, framing, floor, and ceiling with all the utility connections in open view.  This didn’t scare us, but instead inspired us since we didn’t have to imagine moving walls or changing the layout. Then we saw the basement and dreams off barrels and casks filled with aging beer danced in our heads. 

     Then came the hard part: securing the space and getting approval to open in Peabody.  For 2 friends who just want to make, share, and enjoy good beer we are learning about zoning regulations, architectural plans, occupancy limits, and interior design (which we know nothing about, just ask the women in our lives).  This whole process of getting all the details together, such as: production and growth forecasts, equipment specs, brewhouse layout and more, has taken up most of the past year. And all before we ever had a lease. However, as you hopefully have seen, our build out is in process and we are getting closer to that great day when we get to fire up the brewhouse for the first time in our new home.