Monthly Archives: August 2011

intermission, part 2 (DIY ’til I die)

More entertainment for your viewing pleasure!

Successful and enterprising brewers have long shared the common trait of making their own equipment and modifying existing pieces and parts to fit their needs.  The craft brewing industry has taken this spirit beyond the nuts and bolts of the brewery to the structure of the beer itself as way to explore new and curious ingredients in the pursuit of flavor and complexity.  While I could share many examples of these types of behaviors from my days at Deschutes Brewery, one that truly defines how I am going about building this brewery and the beers it will produce has nothing to do with beer at all.  It has to do with building a deck.

The land that our brewery resides is paramount in importance to our product.  From the water to the spirit of wild nature; this place has the feeling of a homestead at times and a wild land preserve at others.  We moved here to experience a connection with land that is hard to come by these days.  It’s grounding and very satisfying when, instead of having to drive to Home Depot, I can harvest materials from my backyard to complete a project.  This, to me, is sustainability.  It may take extra labor, but the greater impact on our society is much less, and also much more positive.  So, when we needed to build a deck on our small house after its construction, I bought myself a nice chainsaw from Jerry’s Power and had him file down a couple chains for rip sawing.  Then, I chose a couple trees.  Both were around 80 feet tall, a spruce and a white fir.  I cut them down, borrowed an Alaskan chainsaw mill, and ripped planks from them.  The longest board is well over 20 feet long and the widest plank is over a foot across.  All boards are different widths, but in the end, it came out great.  Not perfect, but unique and an experience unto itself.  The process is evident simply by standing on it.

This is exactly what I’m going for with the beer from this brewery.  An experience that will hopefully translate beyond even the beer in the bottle…one that represents everyone involved and the change that we want to be a part of in our small part of the world.  One that includes, for better or for worse, two-stroke engines (but not in the brewhouse, thank you very much).