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 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.

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