Piney River Brewing Company

Even Microbreweries Need Friends in High Places

In Start up on September 9, 2011 at 6:43 am

A craft beer fan told Brian today that if I didn’t blog about the brewery soon, they were going to start a “Piney River Brewery Won’t Blog” blog.

I know you don’t want to read excuses, but this writer has been thinking about writing while helping Brian brew; cleaning, sanitizing and filling kegs; cleaning brewing equipment, and helping with general brewery construction and maintenance.  There’s the day job, too, and fall soccer has started for Andy.  But enough about that; I AM blogging tonight.

Right now, the owners of Piney River Brewing Company are racing against the clock.  We’ve felt like we’ve been racing against the clock for over a year now, but we finally have our big brew house and all the other components are coming in for us to be able to brew on the new brew house.  We’ve been working with companies like Rees Oil (propane to heat the brew house) and Anthony Heating and Cooling (glycol chiller, brew house exhaust, additional brew house vessels) and Joe Posant (wiring, wiring and more wiring).  We’re still not done, but every day we are making progress.  It was too dark to take a photo of the exhaust coming out of the barn, but here’s what it looks like on the inside of the barn.

We’ve finally hooked up the water to our bathroom sink.  The fixtures were my idea, and with the help of Rust Utility in Houston, we made it happen.  I think it’s perfect for a BARn.

Old Barn Sink and Faucet

Old Barn Wood Vanity

There are plans to have restrooms for the gents and the ladies, but one working toilet was added this summer.  We hope to add a stall and a urinal in this particular bathroom before the year’s end.

The other clock we are racing against is the weather.  We may have wonderful weekends outdoors for many more weeks, but since we’re in the Ozarks, we figure the weather will be all over the place.  Since we’re running out of space in the downstairs portion of the brewery, we’ve got to work on our taproom upstairs.

Plus, more and more of you are making an afternoon out of your visits to PRBC.  You’re enjoying a pint or two with friends and family.  Connections are being made between old friends, high school buddies, former neighbors…it’s great!  We created this place partially because we wanted to have a space where people could come together and enjoy great beer in a unique space that celebrates our Ozark heritage.  We are enjoying seeing this happen, and we want to make sure there’s plenty of room for everyone as our customers have to move from the outdoors to the indoors.

We saved much of the wood off the barn after it was removed, pulling nails and stacking it upstairs.  All along we planned to put the wood from the outside on the inside walls, upstairs.  Brian and I started the process of using the unique, heavy, old oak boards a couple of weeks ago.  Visitors to the BARn were able to glimpse at the future walls of the tap room.  We hung boards to the tops of the upstairs doors and a little higher, defying Brian’s fear of heights in the process.

Luckily, our friends John McCarty and Jamie Smith who have less fear of heights came over with long ladders, scaffolding and tools.  Truly, they are friends in high places.

Jamie & John a few feet in the air

And here’s the wall almost complete.  If you haven’t noticed them before, yes, those are the hay forks that have been hanging in the barn since it was built….

East BARn Wall

West BARn Wall

We’ll be working on getting the wood on the walls and off the floor so we have some space to store some things like pallets of pint cans, pallets of grain and kegs.  We’ll also be putting a new wood floor down very soon, running plumbing and moving the tap room upstairs.  Tables and chairs are being sought.  The rail is in planning.  The porch off the tap room will probably be added in a few months, closer to spring.

Meanwhile, come check out the progress on the BARn this Saturday from 12 to 5.  Our friend, Jamie will probably be here, and John may show up, too.  You can shake the hand of one our high placed friends and thank them for helping to create a great space to drink handcrafted beer in Bucyrus, MO.


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