The three brewers at Actual are awaiting license approval, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t hard at work. Co-brewer Rob Camstra said it’s a 70-hour-a-week job right now, but these guys are having a lot of fun.
“I love that we get to brew every day. I’m pretty obsessed; I wake up and I go to sleep working on this,” co-brewer Fred Lee said.
The third brewer, Max Lachowyn, is currently working full time as the beer buyer and general manager at the Campus bar Mad Mex while spending his free time at the brewery.
After finding an ideal space in April — office space in the front, with a garage area in the rear that had the necessary drainage system in place — the three were able to ramp up the operation and bring in some equipment.
“We decided to wait until we had the equipment to file for the license,” Lachowyn said.
Currently, The Actual Brewing Co. has the equipment to be at a 500-barrel-a-year production level according to Lee, but they insist expansion is in the future.
“That’s the game; it’s all about volume,” Camstra said. “We’ve definitely got an expanding craft beer market in town.”
Easing the hard work is a genial, Merry Prankster-esque atmosphere. Last Friday the facility was abuzz as a batch of their Fat Julian Imperial Stout was being brewed. Nearly a dozen people were on hand, chatting, laughing and discussing beer.
The brewers emphasize this wouldn’t have been possible without their friends, family and business acquaintances. There’s a whole team — sales and marketing personnel, a welder and a chemical engineer to ensure beer quality, just to name a few — that makes the brewery go.
Once Actual secures its license, the plan is to focus on bottling and kegging beers equally, as well as opening a brewpub Downtown. Being in stores will help promotion, but they also know the bar is where craft beer culture is strongest.