Piney River Brewing Company

Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

Hello Arkansas! May We Introduce Craft Beer from the Ozarks?

In Beer Events, The Beer on July 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Last year, when Piney River Brewing was still a mere nanobrewery, we were contacted by a craft beer loving salesman, James Denoyer, from Glidewell Distributing in Arkansas.  James expressed his eagerness to have Piney River beer in the Ozarks.

Although we knew that a lot of great outdoor activities take place in Arkansas, we really couldn’t fathom making enough beer to send to Arkansas when James first contacted us late last summer.  Perhaps it’s time for a couple of personal disclaimers here….Brian has a great love for the rice fields and flooded timber of Arkansas, which are great places for duck hunters (which Brian is at least once a year).  As a small child, I lived in Pocahontas, AR where my dad had a job.  I had this crazy Southern drawl that sounded just about adorable coming from a three-year old, pig tailed girl.  I’m not that adorable sounding anymore, but I do have some fond memories of those early days in Arkansas.

While we couldn’t fathom making enough beer to send to Arkansas, Brian and I could both see how Piney Pints would work for craft beer lovers in the state.  As we were able to meet the demand from our Missouri distributors, we talked again to James about getting our beer out in Arkansas.

Glidewell is another family owned business with a long business history in Arkansas.  James is absolutely passionate about craft beer and getting it to people in Arkansas.  Perhaps most importantly, a brewer at another Midwest brewery spoke very highly of Glidewell and the job they have done promoting his beer brands noting that he wished all of his distributors would promote his beer as well as Glidewell.

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Brian and I submitted the required paperwork to the Arkansas Beverage Commission and were approved to sell Piney River beer in Arkansas beginning July 1st.  Shortly thereafter a refrigerated box truck from Arkansas appeared at the BARn, and we loaded a pallet of McKinney Eddy Amber Ale on the truck—Arkansas bound!

You can find Piney Pints of McKinney Eddy today at several places in Little Rock:  Colonial Wine & Spirits; Popatop on University; Springhill in North Little Rock; Flying Saucer; Big Orange Burgers and O’Looneys.  There will be many more places that will add Piney River beer in Arkansas, too…stay tuned.

We’re coming to see you, too, Arkansas!

Grapes, Grains & Growls (Beer Festival) on July 21 in Little Rock

Fest of Ales (Beer & Bourbon Festival) on August 17 in Fort Smith

Little Rocktoberfest (Beer Festival) on October 6 in Little Rock

The Flying Saucer in Little Rock is also opening their arms wide to the new craft beer in town.  Piney River glass night is July 26th—you can drink our beer in one of our pint glasses and keep the glass!    Then, we’ll be at the Flying Saucer on the evening of August 16th for a Piney River Brewing tap takeover.  You’ll be able to really get your Piney River beer on!

Personally, we’re looking forward to enjoying Piney Pints on the Buffalo and White rivers as well as Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes.  Maybe we’ll see you there!

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More Craft Beer in Cans = More Good Times

In The Beer on July 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm

You probably don’t know this: waiting for your new craft beer cans is like waiting for a baby to be born.  You know the outcome, but it’s painful getting there.

When Piney River Brewing put McKinney Eddy Amber Ale and Missouri Mule India Pale Ale into Piney Pints, we knew that our customers would say, “That’s great.  What about X beer?  When’s X beer going into a can?”

As we’ve told many of you, we have to purchase a half a semi-truck load of one type of can.  That’s no small investment.  Plus, we’re still very much in the “figuring it out/blazing a trail” with craft beer in the Ozarks, especially craft beer in cans.

We originally decided to put our amber ale and our IPA in cans because those are two very popular craft beer styles.  We wanted to make the IPA lovers out there happy with our Missouri Mule India Pale Ale.  And we knew our McKinney Eddy Amber Ale would be enjoyed by craft beer lovers and those that are just learning to enjoy craft beer and want to drink local beer.  Thus, our reasoning behind why we canned those two first.

You, our customers, have spoken loud and clear, you want more choices of Piney pints.

First up, Old Tom Porter….  When we first brewed this beer about a year ago, we thought two things, “This beer is delicious.” And “This one’s going to be named after ‘Old Tom’(the North American turkey, one of our favorite birds around these parts).”  Roasted grains with rich chocolate and coffee flavors were a great way to pay homage to the wild turkey.

Old Tom is beer that our craft beer loving fans love, and we even have a few “big box” beer drinkers that love the Old Tom, too, because they love coffee.  Please note: there’s no coffee in Old Tom Porter.

Piney Pint…Meet Old Tom Porter.

Next up, Black Walnut Wheat….  Recently, one of our distributors asked us, “Why didn’t you can Black Walnut first?”  This time last year, Black Walnut Wheat hadn’t even been discussed as a possible beer idea, let alone brewed!

Remember this blog post?  This is the one where I (Joleen) decided to brew a little beer.  It was an experiment.  Not because I might screw it up, but we were having a little fun with an “experimental” beer that might or might not work out for an Oktoberfest beer festival we were doing.

That beer turned out just fine.  The beer festival attendees blew through that keg of beer in no time, and we continued to make Black Walnut Wheat throughout last fall.

Yours truly with the very first glass of Black Walnut Wheat Ale (sweet wort, prior to fermentation).

Customers would come to the BARn as soon as we opened, slam two growlers down on the counter and say, “Black Walnut Wheat.”  (They were afraid we would run out, and I was kind of afraid, too.)  Weekend after weekend, we would serve every keg of Black Walnut Wheat we had on tap.

We stopped making Black Walnut Wheat in late fall. That didn’t make anyone happy.  The new BARn customer question was, “When are you making more Black Walnut Wheat?”

As soon as we had space in our big brewing system, we made a large batch of Black Walnut Wheat and kegged it all, just in time for the 1st aleiversary of the BARn opening.  You drank all of that batch of Black Walnut Wheat, filled dozens of growlers with it, asked, “When are you going to can this?”

Piney Pint…Meet Black Walnut Wheat.

We started the can making process about eight weeks ago…which is why waiting on cans is like waiting for a baby to be born.  We know what we want the cans to look like.  We know what we want to put in the cans.  We know that you (and our distributors) are ready to receive cases of Old Tom Porter and Black Walnut Wheat.  But creating a can with your design isn’t quite as simple as designing a label that can be slapped on a generic brown bottle.

We received the prototype cans yesterday (these are reasonably close to the final product, handmade more or less, so we can be sure we like the can).  Next up, scheduling these cans to be made at the factory in Mississippi.  The cans are made one day in Mississippi, and they arrive in Bucyrus the next day.  Then something like this:

Would go into cans to find a store shelf near you.

It’s all American, handcrafted beer.  Happy 4th of July to you and yours!