There are so many things that can be said about how this started…we always wanted our own business, we like to drink distinct beverages, we want more independence from the traditional 9 to 5, we had this cool beer tour in a big barn in New York…. All of these things have been in the back of our mind for many years, then I (Joleen) read a New Yorker magazine article about microbrewing and the founder of Dogfish Head. I made Brian read it, and then I read it again.
On February 11, 2009 over a bottle of “Three Philosophers” from Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY (they brew in a big old barn), Piney River Brewing Company was born. We’ve still got that empty bottle.
Within the first year, almost the legal limit of alcohol was brewed on our stove. We learned how to bottle, how to keg, how to pitch yeast, how to sanitize and sanitize and sanitize some more. We brewed quadrupel, kolsch style ale, india pale ale, amber ale and lots of wheat and pale ale. We also made some hard cider. The great thing about brewing your own beer is that you can keep your friends really happy. We witnessed the emptying of many coolers and kegs of our homebrew.
After a year of homebrewing, lots more reading about brewing and trying a lot of microbrews from around the nation (and world), we coupled our microbrewing with our long term vision for the 60+ year old barn on our property. Piney River Brewing Company could find its start in the barn–renamed BARn (that would be “bar-in”).
July 29, 2011 marks the day that the barn transformation begins. A new brewing system is in boxes, just waiting for its new home.