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!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Making Things Official

Things got a bit more official today.  We sent in the papers to set up the brewery as an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in the state of New Hampshire.  Included in this was a request for an official name.  We should hear back in 30 days or less.

I was able of get some work done today, in spite of the rain.  I put in quite a bit more sand fill and hoped that that would be the last before the regular fill.  However, it now appears that I will need one more load of sand.  Bummer.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Accountant & Solar & Aggie

Due to a brief illness and and spending some time working with the horses, I have not got much done on the brewery since the last post. However, we did meet last night with an accountant. This was a very edifying meeting. We discussed the structure of the business, financing, taxes and many other things. I was greatly heartened to hear that my ideas for the structure of the business met with the accountant's approval. I had put a lot of work into the business structure, but I am no professional, so it was nice to have someone in the know give it the stamp of approval. So it looks the brewery will be an LLC that rents space from the farm.

The second part of today's entry, has to do with power supply. From the start we have wanted to be as off-grid as possible. Finding the necessary tools to accomplish that has proved problematic. Today, at work, I met a customer who has been living off-grid for the last fifteen years, or thereabouts. He showed me how a relatively small and simple solar-electric system can provide enough power to do all the pumping and lighting we will need at the brewery.

The only problem would be heating the sales area in winter. We came up with some ideas of using the boiler to do this. The drawback, would be that anything that could not be allowed to freeze would need to be put in the cellar each night. However, since we are not sure yet if the brewery would be open to the public in winter, this might not be a problem.

So, any way you slice it, I have got a lot of new ideas to consider for the brewery.

Here is a bonus:

Last Sunday we hitched Aggie to a two-wheeled forecart for the first time. She had been doing so well with the ground work that we felt it was time to try a wheeled vehicle. Well...

Hooking her up went well. Then when Roy asked her to go, she started bucking and ran through a ditch. Somehow Roy held on and got her stopped. Then he walked her out to his back pasture and drove her around for a while. She definitely does not like downhills, which lends weight to the theory that she got he scars in a cart accident. She really began to relax as time went on and, overall, the training went very well. We still have a way to go, but it was a successful day.

First Day In Harness

Monday, August 9, 2010

Slinging Sand

Greetings, Dear Reader,

I apologize for the lack of activity this blog has experienced and the lack of photos in this posting. I assure you that much has happened since the last post. Mostly, this has been in small steps, hence my lack of posting, yesterday, however, experienced a big step.

Over the past few weeks I have been slowly putting in the foundation drain and drainage stone. This being a rather simple, if somewhat arduous task, I did it alone and did not request assistance. However, once the gravel was in place and it was time for fill, I was forced to admit the need for help. So I put out the call.

Great was my joy when upon Sunday morning no less than six volunteers arrived to help. They quickly divided into two teams of three, based upon family ties. So it was that the Bishop and Hogan Clans chose opposite sides of the cellar upon which to labor.

For my part, I drove the tractor, dumping sand on either side of the cellar as needed. Such was the pace work of the two teams that I was kept in a state of constant motion and was never afforded a rest. Many were the times when I heard the patriarch of the Bishop Clan call for more sand closely followed by the Hogans' protests that I was neglecting their needs.

When we finally called it a day, more had been accomplished than I ever dared hope. These guys had dropped the hammer like I never expected. Instead of a couple of hours of work and half the sand placed, I received more than five hours of work and all the sand was placed. It is truly gratifying and humbling to have one's neighbors give so much without compensation.

Well, not entirely without compensation, Tracy and I did provide our neighborly volunteers with a noon repast of pizza from the Alstead Village Pizza (excellent, as always). This was consumed with relish before returning to work.

When all was said and done, Sunday was a good day. My neighbors had showed up in force to assist me with building the brewery. We shared a mid-day meal. We got all the sand put into place.

When we finished, one young member of the Bishop Clan asked me how long I expected to run the brewery. I told him that I hoped it would last as long as I could last, hopefully another 60-plus years. He said that was good, because he had another 8 years until he reached 21 and wanted to buy a beer at the brewery he helped build.