Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A New Brewery

The notice of a new brewery opening up nearby is like a cross between being told Christmas is coming when you weren't expecting it, and a Pavlovian bell being rung. It gets us giddy as children and has our mouths watering with thirsts that suddenly need quenching. And, of course, for us words such as: organic, artisanal, traditional, and authentic, leave us quivering with desire.
If you haven't guessed where we're referring to yet, it is none-other than Shooting Creek Brewery ( The much-anticipated "mini-microbrewery" is slated to open Saturday, June 14th, 2008. It is a moment highlighted on our calendars.

Why should this one be any more exciting that any other brewery? Well, it is located in Floyd, VA so it is only a stone's throw from here. It is, according to Shooting Creek's blog, the first producer of "legal" grain alcohol ever in Floyd; the building structure and brewery were handbuilt by family and friends; they are a "mom & pop" outfit - no outsourcing, they did it all themselves; and, most importantly they "will be first farm brewery to open in Southwest Virginia – they would hope to encourage more microbreweries around the region to open –it’s about brewer’s brotherhood." Now if that doesn't make you giddy with excitement, well, you just need to get giddy!

The owners of Shooting Creek Brewery already own a wonderful organic farm, 5 Penny Farm, ( where the brewery will also be located & whose produce we delight in finding at the Salem Farmer's Market. Now, if only they could sell the beer there!!

Don't be shy, let us know what you think of Shooting Creek Brewery. Let's all toast to them and hope that they have much success! CHEERS!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Big Brew Day

'Today was Big Brew, the anniversary of Jimmy Carter once again making homebrew legal. We weren't able to make it to the Guild's meeting today, but we did manage to brew some of our own - and of course, we toasted at noon in honor of the celebration.
Today we brewed our first Brown Ale, affectionately title "Back Porch Brown #1." To add to our normal all-grain set-up, we added for the first time today a second burner - so we could use one for heating the hot water and one for mash temperature control. All went well if you don't count the following: the wort chiller hose still has a leak, and when we were funneling into one of the carboys Tristan, our 21 month old son, stuck his hand into the brew. What can we say, we train them young and they're curious!! ha ha ha.
This is our first try at a good Brown Ale. We figure that a good brown ale is essential because in our society Americans have a pallete that has been bred to appreciate the taste of a good brown ale. Often, when training novice brewers how to brew ale, the first ale taught is a basic Brown Ale. With this being the case, brewing a Brown Ale is essential. We've chosen to name our's "Back Porch Brown."
Today we also added our second burner for the process, which could've eliminated the need for an insulation jacket, though we still used the jacket in order to save propane and constantly running the gas. Eco-thoughts: tis better to insulate than to waste gas! (Ok, even my immature mind snickered at that one ..... if you didn't, grow up and get a little immature .. laugh more! It is funny!!)
Either way, is a photo:

Ten gallons of sweet "Back Porch Brown #1" fermenting. I've been trying to upload a good photo of it all brewing, but for some reason it just won't upload. Don't you love the age of computers, blogs, and all that technological shit???
Hope you toasted to the day that once again we were all allowed to homebrew legally once again. And we hope you toasted to those who said "Fuck this shit" and brewed anyway all along - because, in all honesty, where would we really be without them??
No matter which way you view it, brew on!