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!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Seize The Opportunity

Our old friends from Woodell and Daughters offered me the opportunity to get some of their leftover wood for a good price. In anticipation of brewing this fall, I decided to take them up on the offer and start putting in a supply of wood. Tina mentioned it was bundled and I wondered just how big a bundle was.  She told me not to worry, she would use the loader to put the bundle in my truck! Then she disappeared among the sundry stacks and piles of the yard. This must be a big bundle indeed, thought I.

Soon I heard the throaty growl of a diesel engine and Tina reappeared driving a payloader equipped with forks and carrying a huge amount of wood held together with metal bands.  The bundle appeared to be larger than the truck and I wondered how she would make it fit.  

Not to worry.  With precision maneuvering and an expert touch, Tina lightly placed the bundle in the box of the truck.  It took up the whole width of the box and was as high as the cab.  It also extended about four feet past the tailgate.  I found myself once again glad to have a truck with a full-sized box and heavy-duty springs.

With a bit of flexibility in my schedule for today, I decided to get another bundle after I finished unloading the first.  With all that I still had time to work a bit on the brewery and get some of the garden put in.

Fuel for the beer.


The new birds are adjusting to life in the big girl coop.  They spent most of the day exploring their fenced run and at night only a few had to be chased down and put back in the coop.  This is one of the most fun times as the birds look like miniature adults.

A pair of blue cochins check out their new home.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Last of the Big Windows

Today we had no rain. Given this, I was eager to get to work on the brewery.  However, I first had to take a trip to the sawmill for some boards and a trip to Keene, which would prove to be for nothing.  Upon returning, I realized that the day was fading fast.  So instead of trying to get finished up with a few of the more detail oriented tasks, i decided to install the last of the big windows (4' x 5') by my self.

I am not sure what got into me, I guess that I just wanted to get it done.  So I wrestled with ladder jacks and catwalks for a time.  That proved fruitless due to the terrain, so I decided to install the window from the inside.  Below the window opening, I put up a ladder that had ladder mitts,  in case I had to set the window down on something.  Then I removed the sliding pane and hoisted the window into the rough opening.  Tilting it a bit, I was able to slide the window out the rough opening and pull it back into place.  It was then that I realized my drill/driver was out of reach.  So I had to take the window down put the drill/driver in a more appropriate location and do it all over again.

I put in as many screws as possible from the inside.  I then ran around the building, climbed the ladder and put in the rest of the screws.  I had visions of the window slowly separating from the building and crashing down upon my head.  Such was not the case.  In the end all went smoothly and the last of the big windows was installed and I did it all by myself.

A further bonus to the day was that I found a relatively inexpensive source for a t least part of the wood fuel we will need for the brewery.


The last of the big windows.  I did it my way...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wind, Rain, and Wasps

After battling the wind, rain, and wasps for the last three days I finally got the front of the brewery done.    The wind today really had the ladder shaking, but I was not to be denied! Only one more side and two windows left to do.  Pretty exciting that we are getting this close.

The siding on the front of the brewery is done!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rain, Hops and More Siding


I am starting to get really excited about getting this brewery done.  I have been hammering away (literally) every spare moment I get.  Check out the photos below.  I finished the north side of the brewery myself and trimmed the windows.  Last week I met my new neighbor Danny.  He has worked in the past as a carpenter and is a craft beer enthusiast.  On Sunday he came out to lend a hand.  Let me tell you, putting up siding goes a lot faster with two people!  We could have accomplished much more but rain put an end to our efforts.  Today I managed to put in a few hours by myself though, once again, rain put an end to my efforts.  The last piece of siding I put up went into place accompanied by the sound of rain and thunder.  Needless to say, I have no photos of today's efforts. We are so close!


I got caught flat-footed by the hops this year.  One day I was thinking it was time to trim the rhizomes and the next the hops had broken out and were a foot tall!  Now several are taller than me and booming right along.  In the past the first plants topped out about the end of May, so we appear to be on schedule.  Several of the bines are very thick and leafy.  Hopefully this indicates a good harvest is in the offing.

Until next time,


The north side, finished!

With Danny's help, this went very quickly.