Piney River Brewing Company

Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

A little more remembering

In Start up on February 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Back in December we spent a memorable weekend with our friends Marian McKinney and Calum Learn at McKinney Forge and Design Studio in Bucyrus.  Marian and Calum helped us forge four handles for the big BARn doors.

We completed the handles in a weekend, but Brian took them to work to drill holes in them, we had to polish them, buy big wood screws, etc., and we finally got our handles hung on the doors this past weekend, just a few days shy of the anniversary of our friend, Charlie’s death.  We aren’t master blacksmiths like Charlie was, but we wish he were here today to take a look at these handles.

One set of handles


Second set of handles

"PRBC" and "2010" are stamped into the tops of both left and right handles

McKinney Forge touchmark on the bottom of one handle

And one of these days when you drink a can of McKinney Eddy Amber Ale, this is what you’ll find on it:

In the heart of Texas County, McKinney Eddy on the Big Piney River was home to our friend and master blacksmith, Charlie McKinney.  Charlie toiled over an anvil with purpose, passion and pure Ozark creativity—an inspiration for our handcrafted amber ale.


Little Nanobrewery on the Piney

In The Beer on February 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm

There’s Bronzeback Pale Ale in the cooler carbonating and conditioning.  There’s Ozark Firefly Wheat fermenting.  And we’re brewing again this weekend.

We’re tweaking and tasting the beer.

We’re feeding lots of spent grains to the girlfriends.

Here's one of the girlfriends with her new baby. Look at that beautiful barn in the background. No, that's a brewery!

We’re continuing to work on the the BARn, making it ready for all the microbrew lovers that want to try a Piney River pint.

And it dawned on me over the weekend as Brian and I were brewing, this is the first job I’ve ever had where I had a beer in hand while working.  If that doesn’t make you want to work in a microbrewery, I don’t know what will!

One of my Missouri micro favorites...

So here are some photos from last weekend’s brewing sessions….

Brian gets the mash tun ready.

Adding grain

That's a rolling boil!

The hops are floating on the side in the boil kettle.

Is the brewer enjoying a microbrew, too?!

A fermentation keg that I'm cleaning prior to filling.

Chilling the hot wort with our cold, cold Ozark water.

Finally Brian does a little cleaning, too.

Today, we can actually be called a nanobrewery due to the quantity of beer that we brew at one time.  Amazingly, if we were brewing 100 gallons at a time rather than 10 gallons, the time would be about the same.  Thus, we are a nanobrewery today that is working very hard to be a full-fledged microbrewery.  We already have a larger system in the works….

Perhaps most importantly in getting our beer into your hands, we received our growlers and pint glasses this week.

We hope to open for public consumption in the next couple of months.  Meanwhile, keep following us on Facebook, and we’ve got a web page going, too at

And if you’re again wondering if we’re insane…heck no, we’re still having the time of our lives!

February 1, 2011

In The Beer on February 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm

It was on February 11, 2009  over a bottle of Brewery Ommegang’s “Three Philosophers” that we decided to make our own beer.  Almost two years later, on a day when we were tucked away at home awaiting “Snowpocalypse”, the first official Piney River Brewing Company beer was brewed.

For the record, the brewer (Brian) did most of the work while the assistant brewer (Joleen) did her day job, stopping only to take a few photos, much to the brewer’s chagrin.  The assistant brewer did provide much assistance with the clean up last night.

Up for the first brew was our Bronzeback Pale Ale, an homage to our favorite fish to catch on the Big Piney River–the smallmouth bass.

Four delicious smelling grains were ground first.

The grain goes in.

Mashing in the grain.

The first head that beer gets--in the boil kettle.

Boiling pale ale--two different types of hops are added at four different times when the pale ale is boiling.

Cooling the wort as it goes into a fermenting tank.

And 20 gallons of Bronzeback Pale Ale are fermenting away in the BARn.  No official word on the first beer sale at PRBC, but a good place to stay abreast of that is on our Facebook page.  We ordered growlers and pint glasses yesterday, too, so you’ll have a way to take home your own pale ale and serve in our cool brewery glasses.

And just before you brew…

In Start up on February 2, 2011 at 8:44 pm

You need a place for the water to go.

Since we need a septic for the brewery water waste and a place for the human waste to go from those visiting the brewery, we installed two septic tanks last week.

Again, that involved digging and more digging–places for the two 500 gallon tanks and deep ditches for the leech lines coming out of the tanks.  I’d really like to know how many feet of dirt have been dug and moved around here in the past six months.

Here's the truck delivering two 500 gallon concrete tanks.

We had to install two tanks/systems because the brewery yeasts and cleaners can screw up the ability for human waste to break down.  I know, that’s probably too much information, but it’s just another thing that had to be considered and accounted for when we started this project.

Don’t get any ideas about coming here to use our new restrooms because we are doing the important things first–building the brewery.  We’ll hook up the human waste side of things sometime in the near future.

I told Brian this week as we were hooking up faucets and drains to our new stainless steel sink in the brewery, “You know, when this place is done, you can say that you plumbed it.”

Now let’s get to brewing!