Otter Blogg!

Onward, Upward

Dear OtterFans: 

It’s been a while. We know, we know. The three of you (are there three?) who read these posts are clamoring for more. 

We know. 

We’ve heard you. 

And we know. 

So what have we been up to? Let’s see: 

– Brew Five Three: We were the newest of the #WAbeer craft breweries at Tacoma’s own beer festival, and we were thrilled that we received such a warm welcome! It was the most fun we’ve had since we’ve started this project, and we appreciate all the love and the attention you gave us. 

– Equipment Update: Our glycol chiller (maintains the developing beerlets in the fermenters at the proper temperature so that the beer can become beer) has arrive, and we’re waiting for a sunny day so that we can put it on the roof. We’ve also received all of the heating coils for our big boy electric brewing system and we’re getting ready to take her for a test drive. Whee!

– Buildout Update: We very nearly have our second bathroom! We have also been busily framing, drywalling, and painting so that the place will be livable for those of you who intend to live here. 🙂 

– Merchandise Update: Brew Five Three cleaned us out! We’re waiting on a shipment of Momma Otter’s Pancake Porter t-shirts, which are the coolest threads you’ll see anywhere when they finally arrive. We can’t wait. 🙂 

We have a lot of work to do, but we have great people on our team, and we’re working very, VERY, VERY hard to get things done as quickly as we can. 

When can you come in for a beer? We’re hoping mid-September. We’ll keep you posted. Track us on Facebook, Like us, and get ready for some otter nonsense. 


The startup process is painful for everyone: for techies slapping together a new app, for brick and mortar retailers hawking their threads, for anyone attempting to sell a food product in a packaged or in a restaurant format. It’s difficult. It’s endlessly challenging. And there is a great deal of the process that is extraordinarily costly because the things that must be done can simply not be done by the proprietor, either for lack of knowledge/skill or for lack of certification (licensing and bonding for buildout projects). 

But there are things that can be done oneself. And there are always more solutions than there initially appear to be. A couple of us here at Odd Otter spent much of Saturday night building these doors to provide a physical separation from the neighboring print shop. We need them to be able to open and close because most of our palletized deliveries will be coming through the print shop’s grade-level garage door – that is the path that our 1200 lb, 14 barrel, 10’8″ fermenters and brite tank took to get into our space. 

Entities that regulate our permitting require physical separation between our alcoholic products and neighboring businesses. The thinking, as I understand it, is that separation is necessary so to prevent someone from walking up to one of the fermenters (that can hold 440+ gallons of beer), placing their mouth on the nozzle at the bottom, and drinking tax-free beer without informing the various governing bodies regulating our business. Now, doing so would drown the person almost instantaneously upon opening of the valve – the time it would take would be the travel time of a 441 gallon column of beer from mouth to lungs – and it is unlikely that anyone would actually attempt to end their life in this fashion. But is it conceivable? I suppose it is, somewhere, somehow, at some time, in some place. 

We built the doors with salvaged plywood we found during the demolition phase of things here. And we bought just enough wood from Home Depot without leaving room for error – wise or thrifty? You tell me. 

They cost us about $75 to put together. We’ll hinge them on the steel frame of the door, line the jamb with weatherstripping to prevent free airflow back and forth, and we’ll lock them in place. 

So with this, we #BusinessSocks. Come by and we’ll show you our handwork. 

Fermenters Arriving

We are expecting our 3 beautiful 14 barrel fermenters and our 14 barrel conditioning (carbonating) tank today. Big, big stuff. 

Want to come help us get it into the space? We’d love to have you! Even if you can’t help, that’s okay. Soon we’ll have everything in place, and you’ll be able to come and see what the brewing side of the house will look like when it is all put together. 

Looking forward to showing off some shiny steel stuff!