We have blog followers that are craft beer enthusiasts, that are in the business of craft beer, and that are friends or family members. We also have several blog followers that have craft beer business aspirations of their own.
Everyone asks questions about how we manage to “do it all”–work our day jobs, have a family life, farm and run a microbrewery on the side. Today was a great example of “doing it all”.
Bright and early this morning, Brian rounded up our cows (the girlfriends) and their calves, most of which are almost a year old. The calves will be sold this week. Such is the life of beef farmers. Our calves and their mamas have been eating spent grains all year, so they weren’t too upset about the separation with some grain just for them in the trough.
Here’s a photo of the girlfriends and their kids before we separated them from each other:
And here’s our cattle separating helper:
We separated the cows and calves after the Sunday morning church service. After finishing our farm chores, it was time to move on to the brewery chores.
This baby–the brite beer tank–was FULL of Missouri Mule India Pale Ale.
That’s 15 barrels of the IPA that our customers, the retail stores and our distributor are clamoring for. We fired up the MicroCan canning machine from Wild Goose Engineering and went to work. Brian was the main most canning machine operator. I shuttled filled cans from the machine to the packaging table and did whatever else was needed. Our friend Jamie snapped tops on the filled cans, filled cases and stacked them in the walk-in cooler.
Andy also served as a beer shuttler from the tub of water the cans fell into after being filled and seamed to the table where Jamie was packaging. After taking some water and beer in the eyes, Andy decided his swimming goggles were the best way to go. He looked a little like a miniature baseball player preparing for a championship celebration!
We can’t say enough about what a great kid Andy is. He’s as involved as he can possibly be in our family business adventure, and we truly hope that it will help mold him into a fearless go-getter as he grows up and develops his own passions.
At one point, we had the canning machine spitting out 26 cans per minute. That’s a little over a case a minute. Missouri Mule was rocking the canning machine!
And about 6:30 this evening we had this beautiful site in the walk-in cooler.
We all cleaned up and headed back to the house for hot showers, a bowl of chili and bed. That’s how it goes down at Piney River Brewing Company. Weekends are fast and furious…kind of like weekdays. But there’s a huge amount of satisfaction in knowing that much of our Missouri Mule IPA is already sold, and Piney River Brewing craft beer lovers will have their beloved IPA back in their hands very soon.
For our fans at Fort Leonard Wood, the IPA here will hit Class VI as well as our McKinney Eddy Amber Ale. We wanted to make sure our military men and women had great, local craft beer to enjoy over the holidays. They certainly deserve it!
To all of you–thanks so much for your support of your local craft brewery. We’re workin’ hard to make it all come together for craft beer lovers in the Ozarks. Cheers!