This is the 3rd and final episode of our series about cold brewing in shared spaces. In this episode, we’re joined by Jason Gershowitz from Coffee Counselor in Baltimore Maryland. We discuss cold brewing in a shared kitchen environment and all of the pros that come along with that. As the third episode in the series about cold brewing in shared spaces, we’ve learned that the pros far outweigh any cons that may come with brewing in a shared space.
If you’re looking for the previous episodes in the series, you can find them here:
- Part 1 with N7 Cafe and Forage from Eau Claire, WI
- Part 2 with Cafe Mule from Boise, ID who moved from donut shop to brewery
Highlights & Takeaways
Cold brewing in shared spaces has benefits reaching out far beyond that of just having a space to work in
Sharing spaces with other business owners opens up many other avenues and opportunities
Working in the shared space, thus far, has been a wildly positive experience – pros far outweigh any cons
The space is licensed for food prep and production, but as a beverage producer/distributor, state licensing still had to be obtained to bottle and sell beverage products
Working in the shared space has allowed Coffee Counselor to grow the business incrementally
Episode 53 Transcript
Introduction: [music] You’re listening to Drips & Draughts Podcast. And today we’re talking with Jason Gershowitz with the coffee counselor in Baltimore, Maryland. Jason joined us back on Episode 22. When we talked about lessons learned while exploring cold brew production approvals. If you’re interested in listening to that episode you can do so, by going to dripsanddraughts.com/22.
This episode is the third and final episode in our series on cold brewing in shared spaces. If you’d like to hear part one of the series where we talked to Katy Stevens from N7 Café and Trish Cummings from Forage, a shared kitchen space, you can do that by going to dripsanddraughts.com/49.
If you’d like to hear part two of the series where we talked with Matt Bishop from Café Mulé in Boise, Idaho, you can do that by going to dripsanddraughts.com/51, where we talk with Matt about Broon and shared spaces, where he moved from a doughnut shop to a brewery.
Today in part three, we talk with Jason from Coffee Counselor, who works out of the B-More Kitchen in Baltimore, Maryland. B-More Kitchen is a food incubator and Jason talks to us about all the benefits of working in a shared space like this. Before we get into today’s episode, I feel like it’s been a little while since we’ve read or asked for a review. If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while. Hop on over to iTunes, leave us a rating, and a few lines for a review.
We’d appreciate it. Here’s a recent review that we’ve received from X.R. 650 piglet. The title is Great Info For Businesses Too. The review says, “Great work guys, I’ve been listening to your past and current podcasts here at the brewery in the mornings while I rock the morning e-mails. Lots of good info. We do Kombucha here in the Midwest and are getting into the cold brew and nitro coffee world as well. Really enjoyed the latest episode with bonafide.
Jake from bootlegger brewing in Kombucha.” so Jake thanks for the review. Make sure you all go check out his website. It’s Bootlegger-Brewing.US, the hardy woodsmen Ginger Kombucha tea looks good. I love the label with the lumberjack on there. All right, that’s about info our into today. [music] Let’s get into today’s episode with Jason Gershowitz from Coffee Counselor.
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Brendan: All right, you’re listening to the Drips & Draughts Podcast. Today, you’re listening to the third episode in a series of shared kitchen episodes that we’re doing. We’re joined by Jason Gershowitz from a Coffee Counselor. How are you, Jason?
Jason: Doing really well, how are you both doing.
Interviewers: Doing good.
Brendan: That’s a lovely day here in Southern California, it’s sunny and we’ve got a beer in front of us so–
Brendan: Very good can’t complain.
Jason: I’m missing that, we had 80 degrees yesterday and snow warnings today so I’m just playing it’s safe.
Brendan: It’s quite a shift.
Brendan: Yes. No kidding. Well, Jason, you joined us back in September on Episode 22 where we spoke about production approvals and trying to get shelf stability for cold brew. And today you’re on to talk about Shared Kitchen Spaces and you work out of a kitchen called B-More Kitchen in the Baltimore area.
Jason: That’s right. It’s an awesome spot. It’s pretty young. I think there a year in roughly. I think they’re coming up on 20 members, maybe more, maybe actually almost 30 members now. We’re just having a blast, just being in the space, being with other people, doing food and beverage businesses. It’s been a lot of fun so far.
Brendan: Nice. Yes. I pulled them up on, I pulled their site up online and it said, specifically it said food incubators. What is a food incubator? Could you kind of tell us what the idea behind the B-More Kitchen is?
Jason: Yes. I’ll take a stab at it from a member perspective and I think there are probably there’s a lot of variation in what different kinds of food incubators might offer. This is just kind of our experience. Shared Kitchen Space would just be access to facilities and scheduled time or whatever you need to be able to do your business and there are different kinds of agreements and levels of interest, and levels of membership depending on the kind of shared kitchen you’re in.
Previously we were in a Shared Kitchen Space with one other partner. That was the majority of the space and the majority of the time. There’s definitely a lot of different ways that purchase, the food incubator angle, it’s like an interesting blend of kind of a soft support network. We have monthly meetings, where we’re getting together with all the other members to generally receive some sort of cool presentation. Help us build capacity.
They had somebody coming in on like food business finance management and accounting tips and tricks. We’ve had people come in that have focused on packaging photography which is really cool. Some have come and talked about distribution opportunities and a lot of these folks that are coming in are experts and business owners that have been in an industry for a long time in the Baltimore or the Mid-Atlantic area.
Jason: There’s like a huge networking benefit there. You’re getting to know people you could be working with or they may want to work with you. There’s that kind of cross-pollination of member questions about what distribution looks like that helps you learn a lot. I think a lot more a lot more quickly about those aspects of business.
Brendan: That’s awesome. It’s like bonus classes for–
Cary: Yes. Anybody looking to grow a business.
Cary: So jumping down the list a little bit. I’m assuming you guys get some good interaction with people you can potentially partner with. I’m sure you’re just building a great network by being there.
Jason: Yes, and with great people, right? It’s one of the things it’s nice, the group that’s B-More Kitchen right now are just, they’re all a lot of fun to work with like to be in a Kitchen Space with them, then I think we’ve been there. My brother Eric and I were there late a couple of weeks ago and we were doing some an extract tasting. We had no origins, we were trying to taste at about 10:45 at night and–
Brendan: Oh, my God.
Jason: We would have done by ourselves, but there were four or five other members that were hanging out in the conference room. I think after like a family dinner kind of gathering and we popped in and were like you can we use this space for tasting also do you want to join us. I think they were a little reluctant, like how much coffee are we about to drink at this time.
Jason: But we had a lot of fun and just from like conversations like that there’s interest in one of the members in the room as a Baker and she was inquiring about different origin coffee extracts that she could use in her baked products. Another member at that time was a bagel company and they do a lot of breakfast service and obviously, there’s a breakfast coffee bagel connection. It’s been a lot of fun.
Brendan: Yes. But kind of talking about Shared Kitchens in general and especially pertaining to a coffee or cold brew coffee business, a lot of people are going to ask why, what’s what are some of the pros and cons of using a Shared Kitchen Space, what made you guys jump into that?
Jason: I think for us, we’ve built our business and grown.
The work that we do really incrementally kind of learning as we go and iterating to build to change the business and letting it evolve to stay within our focus and hit on our strengths is just a logical step to move into a Shared Kitchen Space because one of my original conversations with Jonathan, the genius behind B-More kitchen, he was sharing some comparison points for us if we were looking at building on space, and he put something out there and like a $100 a square foot for design, and who knows what else is involved in those other costs.
I didn’t even go much out of that and thinking about it. Just from a cost perspective and like financial outlay, we can get the space we need it far far far less than monthly payments mortgages rent lease would be for our own space. One of the other major things I love so B-More Kitchen is a pretty large facility. We saw some other Shared Kitchen Spaces that were much smaller.
The catering space we were in prior to being more kitchen was actually larger but it was a different kind of orientation of business and they didn’t have some of the same equipment that B-More Kitchen. They have an incredible range of top of the line equipment, and I mean like top of the line brand new really well-maintained equipment. I don’t even know what the different types of ovens are that are in there but there are different kinds of ovens for different kinds of baking–
Cary: That’s how I’d love to like–
Jason: Learn about that learning in life.
Jason: But having all of that equipment there and not having to have that outlay not just on the space, but on equipment, I think it’s been a huge benefit to members. For us, it’s a little different, because being a production and packaging business, the equipment’s pretty unique and most of it, if not all of it, outside of maybe some maintenance equipment that we use, it’s stuff that we’ve brought in.
We haven’t necessarily gotten the benefit in terms of like the baking, cooking equipment angle, but in terms of like cleaning, the sink build-outs, access to nice dishwasher, all the cleaning materials and equipment, it’s all there. It’s stocked. Everything is included in our membership, it makes it just really easy to take a bunch of kind of — just keeping yourselves alive stuff out of the picture. It’s taken care of.
And then, I just think that they — I’m trying to pick one of the many things that really popped out for me. We have the power drops and the space are incredible. They’re like every three or four feet or whatever in the ceiling.
If we need to move our production equipment around at some point in time, because we need to change kind of our orientation of our space, or we are spreading out more, or condensing, it’s all right there and it’s already built out, so just like knowing that, as the space grows and we grow, it’s already designed for that kind of flexibility, it’s a really nice backstop.
Brendan: That is nice, no kidding. Is this place big enough to where you guys can just go in at any time or how do you guys– how does scheduling work?
Jason: Yes, so I gather the different shared kitchens, there’s a lot of differences. For us, we have 24-hour access. I think there are two levels of membership. One level is like nights and weekends, and one is every day, all day. I have a little key fob, buzz myself in and out of the building or use the loading dock whenever we need to, which is helpful for teammates that have multiple jobs.
We can schedule our stuff around whatever time we’re available. The space is always there. For us, we ended up buying our own tables in the space, because we wanted a specific format and layout, to be able to move our kettles around and kind of reorganize our structure, our production line, based on the different kinds of packaging or rum we’re doing. Everything’s there and available to us at any time, that physical space is always ours.
Jason: The physical storage space is always ours. We don’t — I imagine if you’re, I don’t know, two huge bakers were in there, working at the ovens at the same time, there would be some coordination needs that were gone. We don’t have to worry about that, but I have so much trust in the team behind B-More Kitchen, and have had a great experience in the opportunity to engage with all the other members, that I’m sure that they just have some quick conversations and those kinds of challenges are resolved really quickly.
Cary: Wow, that’s awesome.
Brendan: Do you guys have a space that’s physically allocated to you? Like an area or workplace that’s yours and nobody else is going to go in there and mess with your stuff or interfere? Or is it just yours when you’re in there?
Jason: The way the space is organized is members get like a table, or a half table, I guess, and those are all stacked up in like a main area. I’d love to give you some pictures. There’s actually a couple on the website. You can take a look at. And maybe I’ll send some to you, just to get a sense of like the orientation. Members have those tables, and those tables are theirs always in those spaces, always.
And then, I think there’s community use rule applies, so if you need to drop a couple of trays on somebody else’s table and they’re not there working at all that day, I think you’re encouraged to do that, and then you spread out a little bit when it’s emptier. Then you just clean up after yourselves, and that’s kind of the way it goes.
For us, when they built out the space, they had kept the side area open for more unique equipment needs, or more unique member interests. We slide right in there, because we need to set up our production line. If you think about a kitchen that’s stacked with a bunch of tables, that’s not bringing all those tables together and making it really easy to bottle 50 cases of cold brew.
We have our tables that are over in that area. I think we’re the only member right now that’s in that unique equipment space. Also, our membership is a unique deal that we come with B-More Kitchen, to make sure both of our needs were being met regularly. We can go into that space, pull our tables off the wall, set up our production line, or reorganize tables based on what we’re doing, and get to work.
Cary: That’s nice. So there’s never really a shuffle, when you guys go in to produce some cold brew, you don’t have to worry about, “Oh, this guy’s here. I need to move him around.” or “I need to make sure I’m going to have my space.” you have that allocated.
Jason: Yes, I mean the spaces that are more shared, like the dish room, or some of the other wash areas, we haven’t run into any conflicts yet where we’ve had to wait to sanitize bottles, for example. Maybe that’s just the nature of our production runs right now, as we get busier, some of those conflicts might start to arise, but I know that the relationships we have are going to allow us to work through those really quickly.
Brendan: Right, it sounds like there’s not too many, or really any cons right now for you guys, as far as working in a shared kitchen, or at least you didn’t mention any yet? [laughs]
Jason: [laughs] No, it’s interesting. I mean, right now, I’m just so like gleamingly happy about the experience so far, that there is nothing like wildly negative that pops to mind. I can see some benefits and maybe some minor efficiencies to being able to customize things a little bit more for us. But there’s so much flexibility, and the way that our co-packing offerings have evolved, we actually kind of thrive with that flexibility.
It’s almost encouraged to us to kind of stay nimble, whereas if we built out a specific space to just do keg filling, that space then is square footage that can’t get used when we’re not doing keg filling. That’s actually, to me, that’s a loss of resources that sunk “I can’t do anything with that 10 square feet or whatever it is, I’m paying for it and only using it, one, two, three times a week.”
The fact that I can reorganize everything right away, I’m maximizing that investment. There’s no idle resources somewhere in the space. I mean, when it’s busy, there’s definitely — foot traffic is a thing, but it’s kind of nice to be working with other people in a kitchen that are all interested and excited about food, and they’re really professional and really just focused on quality. I look at that as a positive, although I’m sure, like I said, if all the bakers were in there at the same time, they might not see it as a positive. [laughs]
Cary: [laughs] Yes, so the cons, if there are any cons, don’t seem to be big enough to, you know, justify the cost of getting and maintaining your own space, at least at this point?
Jason: Well, I mean, I guess I would — also, I’ll put some cons out there that I think would exist for different kinds of memberships or different shared kitchens. This is something we’ve actually talked to another investor who had explored opportunities to build out a shared production kitchen space, like explicitly not for caterers and for people who are producing and packaging goods.
He didn’t end up going down that route, but I found that conversation really interesting, because I think the reality is there is like a ceiling in the shared space for us. That ceiling, we can easily increase it. There is a lot of flexibility. We could expand our membership and conversation with the folks at B-More Kitchen. I hope that we could, but I gather that we can.
If we decided we needed more space, or we needed more storage; refrigerated space or ambient storage space. What we did is just from the beginning, we set what we thought our peak was going to be for this year, and made sure that our membership included that capacity. I can see that, as you grow beyond that, some of the costs might start to be prohibitive, where it might actually make sense to be in your own space, but for now, that’s not an issue for us.
The flexibility we’ve had around bringing in our production equipment and managing our own set up has been a big positive. I think if there were multiple packaging companies in the same space, there would start to be some friction. That might be difficult. That’s why I think a lot of, particularly like beverage production and packaging, on this, you need unique equipment and I don’t actually know of any spaces that are shared beverage production and packaging spaces, that seems really interesting.
Most of those spaces are, they do what we do. They’re co-packers. They’re much bigger than us. They’re behemoths that have HPP and all kinds of crazy, incredible, amazing equipment. Once you have all that, why wouldn’t you just do the production yourself? I guess that’s why something — that model hasn’t popped in a different way.
Cary: Got you. That makes sense. I’m sorry, I totally lost my train of thought there, I’m going to have to edit this out.
Brendan: [laughs] He was too busy looking at his empty beer, thinking, “What should I get next?” [laughs]
Jason: You guys are tempting me.
Brendan: [laughs] What time is it out there? Seven?
Jason: Eight o’clock. It’s about that time.
Brendan: It’s about that time
Jason: It’s always that time, I know.
Brendan: All right, so going back to your, kind of your production, would you mind talking about your current production capabilities and the volume that you guys are able to produce in relation to a shared space? This might have to be a guesstimate, but what you think that might max out at, as a production capability in that shared space, until you have to think about going into a larger space, or a different space?
Jason: Yes, I mean, the way we’ve built out our production is it’s very incremental. We were scaling down to really small kettles for a small runs, and we have larger kettles, thanks to you all, that we use for bigger runs. I think we would — the threshold to moving to a bigger space would be around the single– if there were consistent runs that we’re using our full capacity, then we would want to increase our kettle size.
I don’t know that we would be able to increase our kettle size and still meet our process authority of requirements in our current space, because once you’re talking about a 200, 300, 500-gallon kettle, that’s got to be in refrigeration, or you’ve got to be adjusting your process to meet health requirements. I think once we were maxing out at that regularly, there would be efficiencies that would be achieved moving out into a space that we could custom build to give us the larger kettle production capacity that we would want.
Brendan: Got you. Right now, you’re operating in a refrigerated area when you guys brew?
Jason: We’re brewing. We’re dropping brews in ambient space, rolling equipment into a massive, incredible walk-in for brew time, and our process allows us to then pull it out and do our — we’re doing filtration and then packaging, and then it goes right back into the walk-in. We do have equipment moving around.
This is the kind of thing that like, if you built out a space, you might do it entirely in refrigeration, or if you had access to, I know some of the other folks in the podcast, I think there’s a gentleman from the Northeast that had family members that had a business, that had a full refrigerated packaging company. Now, that would be incredible. He has access to that through that family relationship. That’s not there for us, and there would be a different kind of investment to get something like that off the ground.
Brendan: All right. Getting off topic a little bit, would you mind talking about your brew times and ratios? How long you steep for, and then maybe some ratios, and if those change between your different beans, your different origins?
Jason: Yes, for Coffee Counselor branded products, for our stuff that we do and — but we’re very specific and it’s just something that I feel really strongly about. We want to let the roasters that we partner with and the origins that we get through those roasters, we want those variations to shine in the product. How we brew one origin that’s under Coffee Counselor label is the exact same as we brew a different origin under the Coffee Counselor label.
Same deal with whether we choose to produce that and turn it into a nitro or a bottle product, or just straight cold brew, because we want those flavors to shine. Some of our roasters have offered like, “Hey, if you’re doing it as a nitro, maybe we’ll roast a little darker.” I think that’s really interesting and I would love to explore that a little bit more, but my response has always been the same, it’s like, “I really just want you to roast this bean to the exact perfect way that you think it can be roasted for a cold brew.”
Typically, it means it’s roasted a little lighter than they might do for something else, but they’re taking their best judgement and for the younger groups they were with maybe it’s 10 years experience. Some of the roasters were working with, or 30 years of experience in the industry.
There don’t have a lot of expertise to bring to the table, and letting that the best face of that bean shine. I don’t want to tamper that. Our brew time’s always going to be the same on those drops. Our ratio is always going to be the same. One of the things that we found this really interesting, a lot of the co-packer partners that we work with, we allow them to provide their own specs. We’re here to brew it the way that they want it to be brewed, and it’s their brand, so they should — we want to help their vision best come true. I would say roughly half of them have sent us their custom specs, and their custom specs are the same as the specs on the piece of paper you get inside a toddy when you buy your first five-gallon toddy system. [laughs]
Brendan: [laughs] And the reason I wanted to take that side note and ask you that was because that’s still carrying, and I get that question probably multiple times per day. People starting up a coffee business, or even people who are just switching to one of our systems ask us, “Okay, what ratio should I use? How long should I steep this?” and I think our answer is always the same; it’s general. But it changes based on your water, your bean, whether your ambient or in a refrigerator. There’s so many different variables that are involved.
Jason: Yes, so that was one of the things I love about our story, is that we really started with the exploration of those variables and dialed in what we thought was the best across the whole origin. Then frankly, I’ve been really crazy about it. We stuck exactly to that always since that point. I don’t know if you remember from one of our earlier conversations, we had 30 origins at one time and we obviously had to like perfect what we were doing, and then do it the same way, because if you were not just managing supply for 30 origins, but managing production variations for 30 origins.
Brendan: Oh my Gosh, that’d be a nightmare.
Jason: There’s no way, it’s impossible.
Brendan: Yes, I think you sent us a picture of that, you had all the different origins on tap.
Jason: It was gravity tap setups.
Brendan: Yes, incredible. That would be a lot of fun to try. I don’t think I could try all 30, but yes, try quite a few next to each other. [crosstalk]
Cary: Very small amounts.
Brendan: I think that’s awesome.
Jason: If we ever got to the point where we were opening up a cold brewery with the front end, I don’t know that there would be 30, but there would be a heck of a lot of cold brew tap handles on that wall.
Jason: Because I think that’s what it’s all about for us, I mean, there’s definitely a product that I think is the coffee that we brew that is most likely to be liked by the broadest set of our potential customer base. But I also think that I can’t brew that perfect coffee for everyone, but I can brew a perfect coffee for anyone. If you give me a chance, in terms ofe finding the right origin and what your flavor preferences are.
I really like that aspect of exploring our palates, and I don’t think — I think it’s really costly to do that in a lot of spaces. Like even tasting menus and nice restaurants and things, they’re just, it’s expensive.
Coffee doesn’t have to be that way. It’s something we do every day. There should be better opportunities to explore our palates and I think you see that happening with the rise of the pour-over bar. I think the industry is shifting to folks that are really getting that there’s more than just this cowboy coffee flavor going on. It can be different.
Brendan: Yes, it can be vastly different and, I mean, the ingredients are almost always the same, just coffee and water. I think that’s going to be cool to see where that goes over the next year or two, because I have a feeling there’s going to be many cold breweries opening up.
Cary: Yes, we’ve talked about that also, coffee taprooms almost. It’s having all these different ones on tap.
Jason: Well, when we get there, you’ll be the first ones to come for a tasting. We’ll make it happen.
Brendan: Yes, I will have to fly out.
Jason: It will be worth it at that point.
Brendan: Road trip. Getting back to kind of the shared spaces, you guys have a decent production capability now. What are you guys doing with all your spent grounds?
Jason: So, we have a — [pause]
Brendan: Sorry, go ahead, there’s a little lag here.
Jason: No worries. I was just making sure it wasn’t me. Where we are currently phasing into some new partnerships with some local community farms and garden activities. We do have a vision for a better use of those grounds, translating into another product but we’re just not there yet and it’s important for us that we stay focused on the one thing we do really well right now until that’s like completely solidified, before we invest more into that.
One of the things that we’ve been talking about as well with the kitchen is kind of what are ways to — we haven’t really advanced this conversation enough actually, I think we should spend more time on this, note to self. There’s food waste coming from all different kinds of members, and different kinds of food waste, what are the best ways that that food waste can add value to communities?
I can imagine that there’s maybe like composting network or partnership. They can end up doing pick-ups from the kitchen. If you think about it, coffee is a pretty acidic output, some of the other food products are more basic. If somebody’s actually thinking really hard about their composting and they’re studying some of the science, I actually have looked at a lot of the science for this, I find it wildly intriguing.
If you just composted coffee, there would be some additives you’d have to mix in there to make it a little bit more basic, to allow worms or other food products to grow really well. I think it would be neat to look at if you were like the master composting chef and you could pick your food wastes from a shared kitchen. How cool would that be?
Brendan: Oh yes, “Come in and just make your own recipe”.
Jason: Right, like custom composting badges for-
Jason: – “This compost is perfect for your pepper garden.”
Brendan: Yes, the company that we had on talking about tea a few episodes back, Piper & Leaf out of Alabama. They started out as a composting company. That was their idea, selling organic compost. They took it to a farmers’ market, but they also took some tea that they had made. I guess, the tea just sold out and went crazy, and the next week tea sold out, went crazy again, nobody even asked or looked at the compost, and they said, “All right, we’re on to something.”
They started tea company, and now, I think, they’ve got multiple locations. They’re wildly successful with it.
Jason: That’s awesome. I think the key is just this value of sustainability is really important. I think businesses that are popping up, that are local in nature, like the tea company, I think, that you’ve just mentioned, I hope that they get to grow and do national level distribution it if that’s what they want to do. But in terms of being here and existing in a community, having that kind of foundation they make me sure they — in that case, they started with composting, so it’s clearly part of their story.
But other businesses that are getting off the ground, I think that’s got to be a question you’ve got to ask yourself before you get too far down the road. What can we do to best benefit or give back to the environment? How can we reduce our footprint and impact? And those questions get asked around energy consumption, or around packaging materials, shipping costs, and composting, and food waste.
Cary: Sure. All right. I guess we’ve got a couple more things on the list here, one being water filtration. Do you guys do anything particular to your water? Is there filtration there at the B-More Kitchen?
Jason: We actually worked with the kitchen to get some custom water filtration installed that has some really high volume water filtration, which is awesome because we were working with some low-volume water filtration before, and it’s just coffee and water, no matter how we stagger production resources to try to maximize our time and be efficient, at the end of the day somebody will still sit in there waiting for water to come out. That’s ridiculous.
Jason: Those days are gone, thank goodness.
Brendan: That’s nice.
Jason: So thankful to the B-More Kitchen team for making that happen. They make a lot of stuff. I guess, going back to pros and cons, we were chatting about power outage recently. Yesterday there was a power outage while we were doing a production run, and that sucks. [laughs] There’s no good way around that. Fortunately, the relationships that the kitchen folks had either the lock of a call or the severity of a power outage, whenever it was, they outage was only two hours long and everything was back online.
The kitchen also had their electrician come out and be on site to ensure that all the equipment was started up right, and everything was functioning, and there were no circuits blowing or anything like that. I can’t imagine that if we had our own space we would be able to afford to have that resource there making sure everything worked right. And there’s less to deal with because it would just be our stuff. It’s still likely that something could go wrong.
But having all these members in that infrastructure, and their priority being making sure the space is clean and passing – it’s not just clean, it’s freaking spotless. It’s unbelievable, and that the inspections are all there, all the equipment is up to par. That backstop is just incredible.
Cary: That’s got to be a huge perk for being in a shared kitchen as not having to worry about the inspections and the food licensing, doing all that individually. Having that more or less done for you. That’s got to be great.
Brendan: Maintenance costs, all that stuff.
Jason: Yes, the space licensing and inspection is there, but for us, for beverage production, we still ought to have the Maryland state folks come in and approve our specific production equipment. But I imagine if you’re doing something else on preapproved equipment or you just have a catering business, being in the space is all you need, so you’re good. You’re right, all those maintenance bills, all that stuff is all taken care of, it’s all packaged into our membership costs.
We keep our stuff clean. When you walk into a space that is so clean, for me, I can’t leave it less clean than I find it. It’s something you may really get frustrated about.
Jason: I’m sure if the folks in the kitchen —
Brendan: You need to come to our office.
Cary: We were just saying today what a mess this place was. We’d love to have you as a guest if you can’t leave it.
Jason: Well, I don’t know. If I’m walking in dirty, it means leaving it better is leaving it dirtier at that point.
Jason: I can leave some empties behind now.
Brendan: Yes, we expect that. The last thing we’ve got on here is talking about roasting. I don’t know if you made this note or one of our other shared kitchen people made this, but is that something that you guys might have in your future, roasting your own coffee beans?
Jason: I think I didn’t make this note, but the flag that there was a conflict with roasting and shared kitchen space because of the ventilation. That’s a specific setup, so you would have to either have a shared space — this would be really cool, what if somebody opened up as shared roasting facility or a shared kitchen with a roasting wing or something, and different coffee folks could come in, just like home roasters could come in and get a chance to use incredible roasting equipment, that would be really neat.
But in terms of shared space, there’s a pretty heavy amount of residual mess in action associated with roasting, so it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t line up. I think the B-more Kitchen explored that a little bit and ended up not heading down that road-
Brendan: Makes sense.
Jason: -because of some of those issues.
Brendan: Sure. Got you. All right. Well, that more or less covers our list. Is there anything that we skipped over that you might want to talk about or–? I think we’re good.
Jason: I’m good. I mean, I’m always happy to help answer questions, and I think there’s probably some kind of list of considerations that I think of when entering a shared kitchen space that were probably the topics we talked about today. I can’t wait to hear the other two podcast episodes on their experiences at their shared kitchens, because I think there’s so much variation in what they’re offering.
I wonder if there’s something out there that might help folks that are thinking abut cold brew figure out what kind of spaces would be right for them.
Brendan: Yes. You know what? Maybe we’ll pin you and the other couple of guests that we had on and see about putting together a checklist to see if a shared kitchen is right for you.
Cary: That would be cool.
Brendan: Yes, make that a downloadable PDF or something.
Jason: That sounds awesome.
Brendan: All right, Jason. Well, if people want to find you and Coffee Counselor, where can they go to do that?
Jason: You are on www.coffeecounselor.com, chek us out on www.facebook.com/coffeecounselor, and you can alway grab Eric or I – my brother or me – that’s [email protected] or [email protected] We love this stuff.I’m always happy to chat, always happy to learn, and always happy to do anything that has to do with coffee.
Cary: Awesome. Yes, sounds good, man. Well, I appreciate you taking the time tonight, and we will talk again soon, I’m sure.
Brendan: You’re still there?
Jason: Yes, hi.
Jason: I tailed off, I didn’t know what was going on. Thanks for having me, you guys are awesome. Thanks for doing what you do. Have another beer, and let’s enjoy the day.
Cary: All right. Thanks, Jason.
Brendan: Take care, Jason.
Jason: See you.
Brendan: The best ambient.
If you’re looking to learn more about cold brew or draft coffee, make sure you check out Keg Outlet’s Ultimate Guide to Cold Brew Coffee and Serving Coffee on Draft. But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Here’s Daniel Browning from the Browning Beverage company in Marfa, Texas.
Daniel: I got on the internet and started looking around, and I found Keg Outlet’s Ultimate Guide to Cold Brew Coffee and read it a couple more times than I’ve read anything in my life, that was pretty much all the research I needed.
So if you’re looking to start your journey with cold brew or draft coffee Check out The Ultimate Guide to Cold Brew Coffee and Serving Coffee on Draught. A free 34-page eBook offered at kegoutlet.com. You can get there through the Drips and Draughts website by going to dripsanddraughts.com/ultimateguide. All right. [music] Thanks to Jason for joining us today.
Make sure you guys check out his website at coffeecounselor.com.
And, if you’re looking for links or show notes for this episode, you can find those by going to dripsanddraughts.com/53. Another thing I’d like to mention is we’re about to start up a collaborative project. We’re looking for coffee companies, cold brewers or basically anybody to collaborate with. We’re going to do an eBook on cold brew cocktails.
So whether you’re a roaster, a coffee shop, a cold brewer-if you’ve got a cold-brew cocktail that you like, we’re looking for recipes. And we’re going to put an eBook together. And hoping to promote a lot of our customers and clients and people who listen to this show. So, if you’ve got a recipe, let us know.
Shoot us an email to [email protected] Or tag us on a social media post.
Our handle is @dripsdraughts. That’s: D-R-I-P-S-D-R-A-U-G-H-T-S. All right. That’s going to do it for today’s episode. Thanks to Jason Gershowitz from Coffee Counselor for joining us today. I’m Brendan Hanson, and we’ll see you again next Friday.