Buy your brewing supplies here

We now have a range of base and specialty malts for sale. A catalog and new website is coming soon. Let us know what you need and we will sell it to you or special order it for you. Please bear with us during this initial stage and we will have the full service shop available in no time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Almost there!

I have been delaying the next entry so that it could be an announcement of our official and actual grand opening.  I can't wait any longer and have to share how close we are to opening. The outside of the building is basically done and we are moving rapidly along at having the inside finished.  As soon as we have climate control to protect your ingredients, we will moving in and place new orders for malt.  We are so appreciative of all of our customers that have patiently waited for us to open.  We think it will be worth the wait.

It will be a while before we host food related events, but we are excited that we have the basic infrastructure that will allow us to have an inspected kitchen.  We envision great possibilities with being able to host paired beer dinners, as well as various educational opportunities and workshops.

We are focusing now on getting the shop finished so we can begin to serve our customers.  We are so excited to set up the shop, complete with our malt crushing area, and all of the bulk malts we carry.  Customers will be able to come in with a recipe (or and idea) and make up their grain bill, including milling if necessary.  With the new space we will expand the range of malts we stock (even though it is extensive now.  We will also continue to stock a large variety of commercial hops, as well as our own estate hops.

So, please forgive our delay and join us in the hopeful excitement of our opening in the VERY near future.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Better Late than Never

 While it seems forever that we have been planning and waiting for construction to begin, it is happening and happening fast (well mostly fast).  After a long delay of waiting for our "special" materials construction began a week ago on the new building.  We now know why you put a time clause in a construction contract.  In any case, the building is well on its way. 

 We went through so many versions of thinking the building was going to be too small or too big.  While we had layout designs for the space that we needed, it was still hard to tell.  Hence, it was really exciting to actually see it with the framework and the roof, which is now on.  Now that I can actually stand inside of it, it looks rather big.  I am sure the interior space will shrink as we fill it up, but it looks pretty huge right now.  I have to admit, when I first saw the size of the door and the open area in the front of the building my first thought was, "wow, we could put a 60 bbl fermenter in there".

While a slightly different shape, the new building fills quite similarly the space that was occupied by the old barn.  I hope the old silo approves of this new friend that is being installed.  Now we just have to figure out something interesting to do with the silo.

It is going to be fun setting up the brew shop.  I might miss my quaint little spot in the basement where I currently fill orders, but I am sure I will adjust quickly.  Right now we have over a thousand pounds of malt spread out in two rooms in two floors of our house.  I am looking forward to having everything together and accessible in the new shop.  We will have it set up so customers can see, feel, smell and taste all of the malts.  Further, we will have it where customers can buy a whole sack or 2 oz; none of this buying in only 1#, 5# and 10# increments.

It is a little scary making the investment, but we are trying to maintain a build it and they will come attitude. If the malting goes well we will be a shop where to can walk in and purchase hops and malt grown on site, as well as the best of hop and malt products from around the world, ...we just hope they come.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I guess it is Spring (another out of date draft posting)

This past trip around the sun was a strange one.  The one little bit of snow that fell, actually happened when we were out of town.  Thus it really was a winter-less year for us.  It didn't really even get that cold, at least that I noticed much.  I remarked to a farmer-colleague the other day that we may be evolving to a Sonoma-plus humidity climate.  Our growing season is already fairly long and this winter was even shorter.  That being said, however, there is a freeze warning for the next couple of days.  I bet the fruit growers are a bit nervous right now because I think most have already pruned, despite the calendar.

I finally broke down and purchased a 3-point rotary tiller.  Those of you following the blog may remember that I debated at long length on the question of tillage implements.  I am actually glad to have the turning plow for sod areas, but the tiller really does a nice job.  I used it to put the barley in and I will report on that operation later.


We are slowly making progress here on Windy Hill.  The barn is nearly destructed.  I pulled the last piece of tin off it today (3/10/12).

It was kind of sad in a way.  The very last nail held on tight.  It is really too bad the barn wasn't built better in the beginning. Most of the wood is white oak that was probably cut and milled on-site.  We don't know for sure, but it was probably build in the early 20's.  There is a date in the mortar on the silo next to the bard that says 1923.  We did discover when clearing the behind the barn that there is the shell of another silo that was knocked down to ground level and filled with dirt.  Perhaps that one is older still.  I would like to know more about the history of this land.  Fortunately, the sheep farmer across the highway was born in our house.  I would like to somehow document his memory and knowledge of how it used to be.  If he is willing, it would be neat to get him on video talking about the "old place".

I find it more than ironic that the strangely shaped tree in the front of the house died the same year we completed the deconstruction of the old barn.  How long have they known each other?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

This Week In the News

Here on Windy Hill we have been really excited about the documentary that has been produced on homebrewing in southern Illinois.  We were flattered to appear (somewhat prominently) in the video.  David Kidd, of our local PBS affiliate station WSIU, filmed and produced the documentary over much of last year.  If you missed the broadcast version that aired over the weekend you can see the streaming version here. I think it does a great job conveying the dynamic and exciting change that is happening in the local beer community.  
For example, two breweries are in the process of opening by brewers featured in the film.  Our friends Aaron, Marika and Ryan are in the final stages of opening Scratch Brewery in Ava.  Having already sampled their beer and food I am confident they will quickly build a following of pilgrims in search for quality and meaning in their beer.  Also featured in the video, Ken Rhude has broken ground for a new brewery to be located at The Bluffs winery.  Ken is an excellent brewer and I believe he has great plans for Little Egypt Beer.  These two breweries are actually in the general vicinity of an area northwest of Murphysboro and I see them as pinning down the north end of the soon to be Southern Illinois Beer Path.  I could go on, but lets just say that great beer things are happening in southern Illinois.  With Big Muddy Brewing in Murphysboro we will soon have 3 breweries in a 15 mile radius.  There are even things happening to the south, but I'll save that for another post.