SPRINGing Forward

Let me start by saying that I’m no blogger.  I’m not the best at taking time to share information beyond the regular short facebook statuses.  Shouldn’t the plural of status by “Stati”?  I was never the kind of kid that kept a journal or wrote about personal stuff very much. However, when I get down time in the mornings I usually spend it in front of the computer.  Funny thing is, I only seem to get “down time” when I’m “working”.  By that, I mean my current job requires me to travel to many locations and we sometimes are in hotels with days between our Smoke School programs.  Right now I’m stuck in Tucson, AZ with absolutely no objective for today but to sit by the pool and go visit a local brewery or 2 (There are about 6 here, all with taprooms and great beer).  Luckily we’re reevaluating these schedules by moving Smoke Schools closer together and that will result in more hectic traveling but more time home in Cottontown for BriarScratch!!

The main purpose of this post in to give a little update for the coming months.  I’ll be on the road for another 3 weeks but due to the sweet nature of working for a Smoke School, I’ll be starting my “off season”  which means I’ll be home from the middle of May through the last week of August.  Sounds sweet but I actually work significantly harder when I’m at home then when I’m actually doing what pays the bills.  Tending to a large garden, finishing a major construction project or 5, mowing, bushhogging, weedeating, truck restoring, helping out friends, helping with my friends band, on top of numerous DIY brewery projects the help get the ball rolling.  Still gotta make time for family, girlfriend, music festivals, cookouts, annual summer canoeing, time on the lake, beer festivals, tastings, and crafty events, weddings, and all the little things that make up the big picture of my life.  Many times I wonder how I’ll ever get this brewery off the ground so soon!  I definitely know I can’t do it alone.

Since I’m on the road the rest of April, the remaining part of this month only consists of communication (and fermenting beers back home).  In the past few weeks however, I met with an attorney that specializes in the industry, contacted the County Clerks office and informed of my venture, briefly spoke with the county law director along with the county zoning planner, and basically learned that I’m going to have to do some serious groundwork with the local government to convince the “permission granting” people that this is a really good idea. Also its important to note that TN’s fix the beer tax campaign wasa success and the states tax on beer will be adjusted to a more fair structure.  This is great news for breweries, small business, and consumers alike!  On the brewing side of things, I brewed 3 beers last week; an experimental farmhouse style ale with local honey bittered without hops and only lemon zest and dandelion flowers from the farm, The Creekbank Blonde, and my first collaboration beer with Murfreesboro brewers, Panther Creek, which is a super hoppy brown ale.  I recently emailed the Beer Board chairman, County Law Director, and Building Commissioner and am awaiting responses that will hopefully have some insight on helping me moving forward with this.  On may 10th I’m scheduled to brew my first 20 gallon batch with my new shiny brew kettle!  It will be a recipe I call Sumner Summer Ale, a light German Kolsch style beer.  Then another the following week that I call Dusty Trail Pale ale which will under go a process called “Dry Hopping”  that accentuates the natural citrus and herbal flavors of american hops.  There are several other smaller batch brews on the agenda that will be announced when the time gets closer.  I’ll be working on finalizing my home brewery with a water line, gas line, fermentation room, and finally the patio! Of course a party will be in store for that!  We are working on several local Sumner events for this summer which includes a good friends wedding, a local music festival, and hopefully a local bar or 2!  These events should help gain a lot of local recognition.  In a couple weeks I’ll be posting some dates for some of these events where hopefully YOU can taste some of my beer.  Until then keep supporting your local TN breweries or where ever you are keep it “down home” ya’ll!