A year ago in September we still had some old barn wood on the BARn. There were dirt floors, and there was certainly no plumbing or electricity. The TTB probably hadn’t even opened the box with our application for licensure.
Somewhere over the past 52 weeks we got a concrete floor, plumbing, electricity, and we actually opened a nanobrewery. Brian has brewed almost 70 batches of beer (10 gallons at a time). I’ve cleaned a million kegs or maybe two million kegs (or so it seemed). We’ve had hundreds of people come through the doors of our brewery. We’ve had the opportunity to introduce some people to craft beer, and we’ve had the opportunity to enjoy sharing craft beer with fellow craft beer lovers.
If the last 52 weeks went by quickly, the last three of four weeks have been moving along at a warp speed.
The 7-barrel brewhouse is very close to being started up for the first time…we could do an hourly countdown at this point, I believe.
The fermentation vessels and bright tank are hooked up and have glycol running through them.
The upstairs tap room is beginning to take shape, and we have at least a ton of grain upstairs waiting to be poured down the pipe after milling, directly into the mashtun.
And I haven’t taken photos or blogged about any of this because there hasn’t been time, but I promise to document some of this with photos over the weekend!
Our prototype Piney pint cans are good to go, and we’re waiting on a date from the factory for a trip to Mississippi to see our cans made.
Our canning machine is scheduled to ship next week, and we may actually have cans of our beer in some of your hands for your Oktoberfest celebrations.
In between all of this we’ve been brewing beer, kegging beer and making tap room plans. That’s right, a week ago we decided that we would have the tap room open every Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m. We are going to be able to meet the demand with our new system, and we’re even training some help so we can take a weekend off every so often.
I remember sometime earlier this summer when Brian and I had worked several late nights in a row, I told Brian, “We can sleep when we die.” We laughed about it, and we still do because right now death would seem to be the only way to get a lengthy amount of shut eye.
I’ve been watching some other up and coming breweries as they ready tap rooms and install brewhouses. Some of them have more “professional help”, but all of them are up to their elbows in something, and nobody gets much sleep. But it’s the best sleeplessness I’ve ever experienced because as I write this I can only smile about how far we’ve come at Piney River Brewing Company. And a year from now we probably won’t have longer nights of sleep, but we will have progressed even further in building our microbrewery.
Come out and smile with us this Saturday or any upcoming Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m. Cheers!