Brian Benchek and Dave Schubert see progress. The federal brewing license is in hand. The copper kettles are collected to the steam line in the brewing room. The pair are confident that their new business, BottleHouse, a DIY brewery on Lee Road, will open in spring of 2012.
Once that happens, the brewery will join an eclectic mix of 130 businesses in the 70-year-old Cedar Lee district, one of the oldest of 12 business districts in Cleveland Heights. Customers will be able to brew a keg of beer and return two weeks later to bottle it. The brewery, which in December 2010, will fill the vacant space between and .
Patrons will be able to choose from 70 recipes for custom-made beer. They'll spend two hours mixing sugars, malts and hops, with help from Benchek and Schubert. After the mixture or wort ferments on site for about 15 days, the customer will be able to bottle the beer at the brewery.
Folks who aren't into DIY can sit and sip at the bar. Six beers from the brewery's offerings will be on tap.
"Three taps will be consistent daily, and three taps will change," Benchek said.
The business was . The pair is rehabbing the building themselves and found some unexpected problems, such as leaks in the gas line. But the delays allowed for some changes in the concept.
On the weekends, the brewery will feature food from Perla Homemade Delights, Benchek said. And the front room will feature a stage where local musicians can perform and jam.
The business owners aren't planning a big kick-off.
"We'll do a slow roll out and phase in the opening," Benchek said.
Then he returned to the business at hand: laying the wood floor in the soon-to-be bar.
An earlier version of this article noted that Cedar Lee is the oldest business district in Cleveland Heights. Coventry is older by three years.