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!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Site Work

Right now it does not look much like a brewery...

In spite of the rain, I have been able to get a bit of work done on the brewery site the last two days. I have cleaned up a good bit of the brush. There are still a few bigger logs that will require some chainsaw work. Our woodpile from this tree is huge and I would guess that I still have about half as much to bring in as I have already brought in.

It was a real shame to have to cut down the big maple. At least we are getting a good supply of prime firewood. Some of the big pieces are rock hard. I hit one big chunk right in the heartwood with a freshly sharpened axe. The axe bounced out! It occurs tome that I may not be able to split these with the maul.

Larry and I have been discussing the concrete work. While I would still like to do the concrete span, it appears that cost will make that impractical. But we shall see. Either way we will still have the full cellar, which is key to giving this brewery a large enough capacity to be viable.

What remains to be done now is to get together some volunteers that are willing to do some concrete work!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Building Permit

This will be a very short entry, but I just wanted to let all of you know that we have received a building permit from the town of Alstead. It also looks like we may need to redesign the foundation of the brewery, but we will have more on that later. A little closer...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Building Design & Reform School

OK, so I missed a post...but it was my birthday. The important point is that I received a very nice gift for my birthday. That gift is a book on building barns and other such structures. Contained within that book is a set of plans for a building nearly identical to what I envisioned the brewery to be. This is significant because I was at a bit of an impasse as to how to build the structure I had in mind. I knew what I wanted to do, but getting there was a bit of a mystery to me.

This particular tome, which Tracy saw fit to bestow upon me as a birthday gift, broke that impasse. It shows how to do everything I need to complete the brewery. Framing walls, stepping off rafters, it is all in there. Most importantly, it has plans to frame up a barn that has 12-foot exterior walls. Given the height of the mash tun/boiler complex, we need the interior height provided by 12-foot walls.

So now we have a much more solid design for the building that will house our brewery. This is good because I submitted the application for the building permit today.

Still a long way to go, but things are coming together.

Aggie goes to school

In other news, our big girl, Aggie, namesake of our farm, etc. will be going to reform school this summer. As many of your know she is a real powerhouse when on her game, but there are some problems with, for lack of a better term."panic". Regular readers will recall that our friend Roy is the only person who has been able to bring her down from one of her panics. Roy is one of the best trainers I have ever seen, and remember that I started working with Dave Patton.

So the plan is to send Aggie to stay with Roy for a while. He will train her and integrate her into his farm. He will also train me. I need training as much as Aggie. The final goal is that Aggie and I will both be able to assist with the final cut of haying this season. Perhaps a bit ambitious, but I believe that Roy can make it happen.

Dear Reader, I shall keep you posted.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nail Gun, Anyone?

As groundbreaking time for the brewery draws near, I am looking into what tools I will need and acquiring as much material as I can. I have stockpiled what seems to be an obscene amount of wood. In fact, I am now stacking it outside as we have filled the shop. Still, I know that this is not nearly enough to complete the project. We are getting there though.

One of my neighbors suggested we have a local builder supply wall panels, thus speeding the construction of the building. Great idea! However, when I spoke to the builder he made it clear that he considered both me and the project idiotic. Naturally, I drove home fuming.

Then I got to thinking: What do I need to make wall panels that I do not have? A nail gun! I do not have one, but my neighbor Tom has one and he wants to help out on the brewery. I think my problem was solved before it began.

In retrospect, I am glad the builder was not interested in my project. He just saved me a lot of money.