Saturday, May 14, 2011
Lewis & Clark Brewing Closing in on Major Expansion, New Tap Room
The oldest part of the building has seriously thick rock walls and dates to 1888. Its top floor, accessible by an ancient elevator of sorts, served as ice storage to cool the meat packing business for which the building was constructed. The ice room has wood walls and floors (and no windows) and the ceiling must be twenty feet up. Ice blocks would be cut from the area's lakes and hoisted up to the storage area where the cool air would radiate down to the lower levels. A drainage system built into the wood floor carried the melting ice water out of the building. The building later became the Columbia Paint factory from its founding in the late 1940s until it's closure in 2007.
The new location is also allowing Lewis & Clark to switch from bottles over to cans. Cans, Max says, are far cheaper to transport due to their lighter weight and have the added advantage of being impervious to light and more easily recycled. Another bonus? One canning machine replaces the four machines currently needed to bottle Lewis & Clark's beers.
Lewis & Clark is shooting to open the new location around the week of June 20. All signs suggest everything that makes the current tap room work well are about to be taken to a whole new level. Another visit soon is definitely in order.