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, November 29, 2010

Sunday Framing Party

The Comcast internet outage prevented me from posting last night. So let me tell you now, Sunday framing party was a big success.  We had five people show up to help out: Ira Cass, Greg and Sue Taylor, and Vin and Tina Cass. 

The day was clear, but that also means cold this time of year.  When we started, the nail guns were too cold to function properly.  So we took them inside to warm up while we nailed by hand for a while. The first item of business was to get to work on the wall extension.  The wall extension is critical to our design as it will allow enough vertical space to raise the mashtun high enough to allow our system to be principally a gravity fed system. This will also create more storage space in the loft area. Krister had already cut the studs, so we were able to start construction right away. The wall extension went up surprisingly smoothly and needed little squaring. 

We worked straight through to near-completion on the wall extension. then broke for a late lunch. Tracy had made her from scratch homemade piazza.  This hit the spot as we were all getting a bit cold and tired by then.

Then we went out to put the last touches on the wall extension and start on the rafters.  Vin showed me how to step off rafters and cut the first two.  He must have known what he was doing: those first two fit perfectly. With the wall extension completed and the first two rafters cut, the sun was fading fast.  So we decided to cut the rest of the rafters to length and call it a day.

The only framing left to do is the rafters and ridge pole.  With luck, we can get a crew out this coming Sunday and get that done.  Thanks to all who helped out!

Putting up the first section of the wall extension.

The studs in place for the next section of wall.

Vin and Sue working on the wall in the loft area.

A days work: The wall extension framed.
We are trying to get another crew together for next Sunday. If you are interested in helping out, shoot me an email: Thanks!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Current State of Framing

Given my recent incapacitation due to traumatic injury (ruptured tendon) I have been unable to accomplish much on the brewery. However, I felt it necessary to bring all of you up to date as to the current state of the framing process by posting a few photographs. Shortly (a matter of hours) before my injury, Krister and I had managed to place all of the floor joists for the loft (the last being placed as darkness settled across the land) and get to the point where we were ready to put up the wall extension. The following day, working alone, Krister cut the studs for the wall extension. So that is where we stand. Tomorrow I will purchase the lumber for framing up the roof. For this comingSunday, Tracy has organized a framing party. Hopefully this will give us a push forward, or at least we can have some fun!

The most recent photographs of the framing process are below:

Image 1 - First floor framing is complete.Floor joists for the loft are in place.

Image 2 - South side of the brewery showing two doors and four windows.

Image 3 - Interior view showing floor joists for the loft.
 With luck, after next Sunday we will have even more interesting photo to show!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More Progress and a Setback

Last Sunday we made good progress on the brewery.  The first floor framing was completed and we also got all the floor joists in place for the loft.  Let me tell you, trying to climb a ladder while holding the end of a 16 foot rough cut 2x10 should be an Olympic event.

Given Sunday's success we were looking forward to even more progress on Monday.  It was not to be.  While talking to Tracy out in the pasture, my foot came down wrong in the mud.  Tracy heard the pop and down I went. I had to crawl out of the pasture.  Needless to say I did not do much on Monday.

Krister came out and worked by himself.  He managed to get all the studs cut for the second level.  Hopefully we can get some more help for next week

For my part, I found out that I habe a ruptured tendon in my ankle.  About 50 % of the tendon is left, so surgery has been ruled out for now. However, I will be in an air cast for at least three weeks and a full recovery is about 16 weeks. This may set the brewery back a bit.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Shirts Are In!

As you already know from the new header the t-shirts are in.  The reader may judge for themselves, but I think they look pretty nice.  The art work was done by Tracy, then I added the letters and we sent it to the printer.  They guys at the print shop were pretty excited about the idea of a brewery being built just a few miles up the road.

So all we need to do now is to sell enough of these to pay for the brewery.  So get out and spread the word.  The more shirts we sell, the sooner we get this brewery going!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Bit More Framing & T-Shirts

Although felled by a raging fever, some work was accomplished on the brewery this weekend.  On Sunday, our friends Tom and Kristen came out to check on our horse Aggie. Aggie was having trouble walking and with Tracy out of town I was not sure what to do. Kristen agreed to come over and check things out.  Fortunately it turned out to be just a bit of muscle soreness.  She even cleaned and redressed our visiting horse's cut for us.  So she pretty much took care of the horses for us.  Thanks, Kristen!

While they were here they decided to help a bit with the brewery.  So we framed up the rough opening of one of the big windows. As we progressed with the framing, it became clear that I was fading fast. What had begun that morning as the subtle suggestions of an oncoming cold were developing into a full-blown nasal knockout.  So once we finished the window framing we packed it up. By 6:00 PM I was comatose with fever.  Happy Halloween!

The next day I was feeling better and Krister came out.  We worked on finishing the last of the first floor framing and squaring the walls. We also started putting on the last of the top-plates. However, I had a dental appointment so we had to stop early.

Today I voted, as all of you should have done, and picked up another load of lumber from out friends at Woodell and Daughters.  Most importantly, I also stopped at RJ's Sports and got estimates on printing up shirts for the brewery. Hopefully I will be able to place the order tomorrow and soon the world shall be wearing Belgian Mare apparel. With luck we can sell enough of these shirts to pay for the brewery!