Though a nanobrewery, Council Brewing Company is big from a popularity standpoint. Just over a year after opening, marrieds Liz and Curtis Chism’s baby was getting too big for its britches from a capacity standpoint. Their answer: the Council Beatitude Magic Factory, an 1,800-square-foot industrial suite located in the same business park complex as Council’s brewery and tasting room.
The Chisms signed their lease on the property in February. After several tenant improvements, they began using it in April. It is currently home to six 45-barrel plastic tanks. Three of those are fermenters, with two being utilized for fruiting and the last one for blending. The space also contains a ten- and three-barrel fermenter. Overall, Council is up to 15 fermenters with seven being used for clean beer and the other eight for sours. Adding their secondary facility should allow them to up production more than 400% from Year One and as much 567% more than the initial 12 months once the space is maxed out.
The Beatitude Magic Factory is named after the company’s popular tart saison, because this is where it will be fermented, fruited, blended and packaged. The day I stopped by was their initial bottling of the beer, which will soon be sold at Council’s tasting room (with a one-case limit). It will also be lightly distributed to some bars and utilized for special events. The Chisms state lack of visibility as being one of the larger challenges of being a nanobrewery and hope that some placement of their beer outside the brewery will help them overcome that.
When asked why lead with a tart saison, Liz says it’s because the beer is well suited for San Diego’s mostly-sunny year-round weather. On top of that, the beer is a hit among Council’s fans, and the Chisms aren’t interested in competing in the local IPA arms race (even though their Bully Pulpit IPA took bronze in the American-style India Pale Ale category at last month’s San Diego International Beer Festival).
The Chisms also have their eyes on a 4,000-square-foot suite within their park that, if acquired, will house a quality-control laboratory and be used mostly for storage as well as administrative space. Of course, the couple has plans that go beyond their current digs. They would like Council to grow into a larger brewery with a 30-barrel brewhouse; stainless steel, glycol-jacketed fermenters; larger barrel-aging program including a foudre farm. This is what they are working toward and, given their early success, the odds seem favorable that they’ll get there someday.