Thursday, January 6, 2011

Visit to Baying Hound Aleworks

Last week I had the opportunity to meet someone I first interacted with on this blog.  This is the first time my "blogging life" has intersected with my real life.  I was visiting family near Silver Spring, MD who live a short drive away from Baying Hound Aleworks, who we recently interviewed as part of our nanobrewery series.  I contacted Paul Rinehart and he graciously agreed to let my family and I visit his brewery.

My immediate observation upon seeing the brewery is how small nanobrewing can be.  This is something I understood intellectually, but it did not fully dawn on me until we walked around Paul's brewery.  The brew house features two 55-gallon Blichmann stainless pots, one acting as the mash tun and the other as the kettle, with two 42-gallon Blichmann conical fermenters and a plastic fermenter.  While bigger than many homebrewer breweries, it is not that much larger (they use the same size propane burner as Jeff does at home).  The other observation that stuck me is the obvious enjoyment that Paul and his assistant brewer, Hank Miller, take in their jobs.  This was apparent in their interest in discussing brewing processes with me, their excitement in tasting and analyzing the Baying Hound ales, and their excitement over Paul's plans for the future.  Their good-natured humor is best captured through the following "Brewery Rules," which were posted on the wall:

  1. Must consume [beer] at least once during bottling and/or brewing.
  2. No burping unless you can't help it.
  3. When in doubt, have a beer.
  4. It is encouraged to break into song, especially when you have a beer in your hand.
  5. The beer you drink at the brewery is only rented.
  6. The toilet [seat] may be left up if no ladies are present.
Here are some of the pictures I took at the brewery.

Baying Hound Blichmann pots and burners, which is the same burner Jeff uses at home

Baying Hound Blichmann fermenters - they use the plastic one for test batches

Baying Hound Pale Ale labels, which were just redesigned, the new one is on the left

Thanks to Paul and Hank for sharing their beer and stories with me.  The visit was definitely a highlight of my holiday travels.



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