Piney River Brewing Company

Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Building of a Craft Beer Bar at the BARn

In The BARn on February 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm

A long, long time ago we dreamed of having a cool bar in the top of our barn.  That dream was before we even hauled hay out of the top of what is now the BARn way back in 100+ temperatures in July 2010.

In November or December this year, we went upstairs and measured and drew and talked through building the first craft beer bar in Texas County.  We bought a bar sink, ran water upstairs, and put electricity into our bar shell.  We added some tables and chairs and lighting, and found Tim Prater’s Wood Mill.

We were actually put in touch with Tim in the fall when a friend told us about “a guy in Raymondville” with a bunch of cherry wood flooring–a possibility for the upstairs of the BARn.  Tim showed up one day with a beautiful piece of the wood to show us.  We were sold.

Meanwhile we decided to put wood partially up the side walls over the rafters to not only protect the insulation, but to provide something on which to hang a few things.  We decided to talk to Tim about that, too.  And, of course, we ended up talking with him about a bar top, too.

If there was ever a reason to visit Raymondville, MO, it’s to see The Wood Mill, Tim’s shop in Raymondville.

The Wood Mill is a cinderblock building right in the center of town.  After our first trip there, Brian and I agreed that the entire building could collapse, but it would held up by the amount of wood inside the building.  It’s truly amazing.

I know; it looks like it might be hard to find things, but I’m pretty sure Tim knows every piece of wood in his shop.  When we first visited him he showed us all types of wood.  He would mention something like maple, and he would disappear behind stack of wood, head deep into the bowels of stacks of wood, to pull out a random piece of beautiful maple, or cedar, or white oak, or yellow pine, or you name it.

As Tim would talk about the wood he could provide to us for a specific project, he would take us to a specific pile and show us what he could use for the walls or the floor or the bar.  Then, he would say, “Let me show you some of my private stash”, and he would pull out a large beautiful piece of cherry or pine, etc.  Tim would point out unique characteristics in the wood like each piece was a work of art.

There’s only one way to describe Tim’s feelings about wood–he is passionate.  Here’s an example of Tim’s passion: when we were in Tim’s office which is heated with a little wood stove, Brian asked Tim if he heated with scrap wood.  Tim explained that he purchased a pallet of “ends” from a local sawmill to burn in his wood stove, but the wood was “too good” to burn.  Back we went into Tim’s shop to look at the oak scraps that had beautiful colors…definitely good enough for planing and using for some special project.  Tim just burns wood shavings instead; they are beautiful but hard to plane and put on a wall or attach to the floor.

So, a guy that’s passionate about wood from the Ozarks meets two people that are passionate about creating craft beer in the Ozarks.  It was meant to be.

Besides the cherry wood floor that Tim is making for us, we also got some of his “private collection” of white pine to hang on the walls in the loft.  And Tim is building the top for the BARn bar.

Today, Tim asked us to take look at the top as it has come along so far.

Here’s all 30′ of our soon to be BARn bar.  Oh yeah, it’s made out of Ozark grown red cedar.

Brian, Tim and Andy check out one of the pieces.

After inspecting and approving Tim’s great work, we went home and worked on the bar facing, using more of our old barn wood.

Barney, our original BARn cat, sits on the old wood while we work.

After cutting boards the proper length for the bar front, Brian attached them to the front while I put a coat of clear polyurethane on the white pine wall behind the bar.  About five hours later, we had the bar front mostly covered and one pine wall ready to be trimmed.

Every weekend we have visitors to the BARn that enjoy their trip into the rural Ozarks where handcrafted beer awaits them.  All of our visitors plan to come back, and we have many “regulars”.  The BARn is a becoming everything we imagined that it would be…a gathering place for friends new and old.  And when the bar and the taproom at the BARn is complete, it’s really going to be something special to be enjoyed by all.

Sunday afternoon in the taproom at the BARn.



Bucyrus, Missouri–A Craft Beer Town

In The BARn on February 15, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Bucyrus.  Pronounced “Bue-sigh-russ”.  I know.  It doesn’t look like that.

Bucyrus is little more than a postal code.  In fact, Bucyrus is one of the rural post office towns that’s on the post office chopping block.  But we’ll get to keep our name.

A whole bunch of good people live in Bucyrus.  I imagine that every single resident of Bucyrus has had the distinct pleasure of giving someone we don’t know our zip code for a town look up only to receive complete silence while they try to figure out how to pronounce the town that just popped up.

At Piney River Brewing Company, we’re pretty proud to brew in Bucyrus.  You may have noticed that right on the front of our cans, we’ve written “Canned & Brewed in Bucyrus, Missouri”.  Our kegs have “Bucyrus, MO” embossed in the stainless steel.  It’s all good here in Bucyrus.

However, a name change was suggested today for Bucyrus.  The new name reflects the current activities in our tiny Missouri town:

Personally, we can’t help but love the idea.

What do you think?

Craft Beer Shoot at the BARn*

In The Beer on February 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm

*There were no beers injured in the making of this blog post.

There comes a time in every beer’s life where a professional must be called in.  In this case, the professional was once again Brooke Hamilton of Grindstone Studio.

This time, Brooke brought her camera, a whole carload of “stuff”, and her mentor and teacher and our friend, Marian McKinney.  Here’s how it went down:

The Star:  Piney River Beer

The Professional:  Brooke Hamilton, Grindstone Studio

The Assistant:  Marian McKinney, McKinney Forge & Design Studio

The Beer Runner & Other Assistant:  Me (Joleen)

The Beer Pourer :  Brian (while cleaning the brite tank)

There were extension cords and tripods and umbrellas and a big white box and papers of different colors and a metallic cloth and REALLY HOT lights and I was thinking, “Thank God we’re just dealing with a beer model here and not a human model!”  I couldn’t imagine what all we would need.

Brooke arranged.   Marian assisted.  Brian poured.  I ran with full pints.  Brooke photographed.

Then we would drink the beer model.  (I know, we should have called you and told you what was going on in our efforts to leave no beer behind…we’ll try to let you know the next time we do this.)

Brooke ended up taking photos of pours of all of our beers.  She took photos of cans.  We used an old mule shoe and Charlie’s anvil.  It was fun.  And Marian had the extreme pleasure of being the assistant to her student.

Marian & Brooke

Remember how I said there were no beers injured?  I can’t say the same for our beer signs.

John McCarty of McCarty Signs made us some very cool signs to hang from our fermentation vessels.  They were hanging on the wall behind the box that Brooke was shooting our pint photos in.  Brooke had positioned a tungsten light behind the box, and it came into contact with one of John’s Missouri Mule India Pale Ale signs.

Brooke, Marian and I all noticed this slight burning smell, but we thought it had to do with something Brian was doing while cleaning the brite tank.  Then smoke started curling up from behind the box.


So a custom made sign got a little charred on one side one night in the BARn.  It’s just another great story to tell in this chapter at Piney River Brewing Company.

And we’re not letting John repaint that sign!