Join with us on our adventure as we build East Alstead's first brewery and what is quite possibly the only off-grid commercial brewery in the United States. We feel that what we brew and how we brew it are equally important. If you would like to help out with this project, contact me at:

The Belgian Mare Says Hello!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One More Meeting - Sad Hop News

Tomorrow is another meeting with the Planning Board. The purpose this time to show that we have made the requested revisions to the site plan. Lonn has delivered the updated site plan and everything looks good. Hopefully this will be the end of the meetings and we start digging!

Sad Hop News

Our hop year that started with such promise has turned into a struggle. With all of the recent wet weather, fully half of our third-year plants (our original planting) have fallen to root rot. It was tough to watch plants that had grown 13 feet in four weeks, that I had tended for two years, wither and die.

On the positive side, some of the younger plants seem to have recovered from fungal infections and are doing well. Also, the remaining third and second year plants are producing cones. So we will have a harvest this year. Granted, it will not be the harvest we expected in May, but we will have a harvest!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Things are Looking Up!

No doubt my regular readers have been waiting for a report on the outcome of the zoning and planning board meetings. I apologize for keeping you waiting. In short, things went well. The zoning board gave its approval and the planning board gave its approval as well, with five conditions. So we go back on the 27th to show we have, or can, meet the conditions.

The threatened opposition failed to materialize. On the other hand our support came out in force. They arrived early and in numbers. It was strictly standing room only for the first meeting and they all stayed for the second meeting. No riots broke out, but our supporters made their presence and feelings known. It was very gratifying to have such a showing. We thank you all.

As before, the view from the driveway was an issue. We can take care of that. A few board members appeared to want to require that we cut down some of our 100+ year old maples as a condition of approval. Thankfully, the planning board chair made the point that the field of view was the issue, not how it was achieved. Particularly heartening was the zoning board chair making a point of going on the record as being against removal of the trees and for maintaining the integrity and character of our property. Without those trees, we might as well live in the ‘burbs. I say that as someone who spent four years on the tundra and learned the value of trees.

Many hurdles remain to be cleared, but we have got over two of the biggest. Let me state again how much it meant to us to have so many of our neighbors show up to support us. I do not believe that I have ever been so much a part of a community. Looking around the meeting hall that night, I knew that we made the right choice when we decided to move to Alstead.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Big Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the big day. We finally have our public hearing with the Zoning and Planning Boards. We have faced a bit of last minute opposition, but have received much more support. Three of our biggest supporters are planning on attending and giving statements of support.

The support and enthusiasm from our neighbors has been tremendous. Sometimes I think they are more eager to get this going than we are! Having this kind of support is great. It really helps keep us going during the lean times when this dream seems so far away.

I do not know what will happen tomorrow. I hope all goes well and we can started on building this brewery. No matter what happens, you can read about it right here.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Public Hearing July 13

It is official. We will be having our public hearing before a combined meeting of the Alstead Planning and Zoning Boards on July 13 at 7pm. We are looking forward to the opportunity to make our pitch. Several of our supporters are planning to attend. We have all been waiting for this for a long time.