Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 21: My 1st Beer Festival (was last saturday)!

To start, let me answer a question from my last post: When are we going to use the new brite tank?

The tank still has some passification and washing steps before we can use it. We will probably do that this week to prepare it for use next week. Currently only two of our beers (Nordic Blonde and Lone Peak IPA) are brewed and fermented in 20 bbl batches. So, as of now, only those two will be packaged from the new tank.

Saturday was my first beer festival representing our brewery! It was called the Big Sky Brewfest, organized by the Big Sky Resort. It was a small festival, only a handful of breweries were in attendance. In my opinion it was a great opportunity for us to showcase our beer for the following reasons:

1) There were less breweries to choose from so most of the guests had to leave their comfort zones to get their beer fill
2) We are located only 7 miles from the brew festival and everyone entering or leaving Big Sky has to drive by the brewery... hopefully as these guests leave town they stop by for a growler.
3) We brought our Headplant Pale Ale and our Hopfest '09 Brown Ale, two great beers to showcase what we can do!
4) The small crowd atmosphere allowed us to walk around and mingle with many of the guests (I made many friends!)

There was only one major mishap during the whole event, the Kettle house beer cooler blew a seal and started spewing foamy Coldsmoke Scotch Ale everywhere. All us brewers chipped in to help fix the problem, pulling parts from our own toolkits. It was a great reminder that while we are "competing" companies, we still have to watch out for eachother when facing the big bad world. By the end of the event, the 4 oz. pour rule turned into 16 oz. pints. Most of the younger crowd was still mingling and essentially chugging beer to kill the kegs. I was encouraging this because I knew that any partial kegs would have still belonged to the Big Sky resort and they wouldn't have done anything with them but return them to us in a week, still with beer... so DRINK UP!

Below is a shot I took during the setup of the event. Notice the nice new Lone Peak banner that I had to figure out how to hang up! Classy!

On Sunday, Steve and I decided to hit up some of the world's finest fly fishing on the Gallatin River. The salmon flies (big juicy dumb ones) are hatching and the trout are supposed to be hitting anything floating that is smaller than a squirrel water skiing. Too bad we spent more time floating around than off the boat fishing... still a great time though! Here is shot of the view we have. Reminder, this is only a few miles from my condo!!!

I believe that Steve put it best, "Trout don't live in ugly places"

Today, the actual day 21 at the brewery, was a short one (7 hours short). In the morning I cleaned out the small brite tank and pre-cleaned fermenter #4 with the left over caustic wash. It usually takes one pre-clean with semi-used caustic and one clean with new caustic to get the tanks done right. After that I helped whip up some small batch Lone Peak Rootbeer for the kiddies. It will be carbonating over the next few days and we will try it later this week!

Thanks to Toby, BA from Boise, for stopping in on friday evening. I hope you made it to the Bozeman Brewing Company after you left. I am very excited to say that he dropped off some great Deschutes and Stone brews (in exchange for some Lone Peak and a few other goodies).

Cheers, Prosit, and Skoal!


  1. Hey, thanks for the answer to the brite tank question. You sure do live in a beautiful part of our great country. I'm a city guy and I'm jealous. Keep up the good work. DA

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