Wednesday, February 3, 2016

@hawksbillbrew Developments

Since the brewery expects to have a lot of support from "active tourists" - the folks who come to Page County for the triathlon and bicycle races - we picked up our first sponsorship with the Tri.  We'll sponsor the Hawksbill Double - this is the event for triathletes who will compete in both the Sprint and International events!

Link here:

We're pretty excited about this partnership - the brewery team has been part of the the Tri as either participants or volunteers for a long time.  When the opportunity came up to join in this new role, we couldn't resist.

As if that wasn't enough, it seems that we've entered a season of a lot of activity with Hawksbill Brewing Company.  For one thing, our LLC is now registered with Virginia, and our lease is just about finalized!

We are designing our space and working out the specs for our brew kitchen - those updates will come soon.  It's just a very exciting time.

Of course there will be more updates to come.

Monday, February 1, 2016

@hawksbillhops Developments

It's the offseason, but there is a lot of planning and early purchasing going on to support the hop yard.  The Old Dominion Hops Co-op had its quarterly meeting, for one thing, at the Bad Wolf Brewery in Manassas.  After the business meeting, some of the members took a brewery tour - the photo above.

Some of the things we've done since the last post are to order our rhizomes for the spring.  I am going to add another row of 60 Chinook; pull out the Centennials and save them for later, but replace them with another row of Fuggles; and add 50 or so Cascades to fill the rows where some plants didn't make it last year.  

I've also spent some time this year doing research on getting an orchard ladder that we can use for minor maintenance during the season.  It will save us from having to run the tractor out if we have a string that needs repair, or for other small adjustments.  

This thing is designed as a tripod, so it has flexibility and stability on unsteady ground.  It's 15 feet tall, but the highest standing platform is 12 or 13 feet, which should allow any of us to reach the top cables of the trellis.  In the photos I am not all the way to the highest standing platform - I am still two steps below it!

As far as purchasing details go, as you might expect for a piece of professional gear like this, it wasn't cheap.  It's Japanese made by Hasegawa, and they have quite a few other styles and heights as well.  The dealer I worked with is New England Ladder Company - click that link rather than a Google search, because you could get some local fire department.

The dealer was absolutely great.  If we need more ladders that's who we will work with, couldn't recommend them more highly.

The road ahead?  Well, there is a meeting with north Valley growers coming up - we'll talk about all these new breweries opening in Edinburg, Woodstock, and Winchester - and see if there are areas where we can collaborate as growers.

Also, there is a regional conference coming up in early March down in Richmond.  I'm planning to attend that, as I did last year in Winston-Salem.  The co-op tells me we have 180 members now, which is incredible!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Stanley Snow Day

Stuck as we were in Alexandria, we didn't get to visit Hawksbill Cabin over the weekend.  We asked neighbor Dan if he could take a look at the place to make sure everything was okay - and asked him to feed Momcat.

Dan and Sally were out on their cross country skis, and made their way over pretty easily.  I'm jealous of that - Mary and I have snowshoes but not skis.  Maybe we'll break down and get some.

I was worried that in our little hollow, which is just on the start of the upslope to the Blue Ridge, we'd get a huge dumping of snow.  But the pictures Dan and Sally sent back don't look so bad - maybe two feet up on the roof there.  In 2010, Snowmaggedon (click on the label for more info about that one) we had quite a bit more snow up on the roof, and hired the roofer to come over and shovel for us.

It's really quite a pretty setting.  Hopefully there'll be some snow left next time I get out, I'd like to go sledding in the front yard!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Alexandria Snow Day

It's hardly news anymore, but we had quite a big snowstorm last weekend.  Today I'll post a few highlights from the dig out in Alexandria, following up on yesterday's post about Luray.

I'll finish up the series with a couple of shots of Hawksbill Cabin, taken by neighbor Dan, tomorrow.  I've tagged this post with Snowmaggedon, as well - that was what we called the 2010 storm, and the label will take you to my posts on that one.

This time, the snow began on Friday evening and continued until very early Sunday morning.  True to form, Sunday was a beautiful sunny day - perfect for all of us to start digging out!

I powered through our stairs and got much of the walks done, and then Mary came out to help.  She found the Equinox, buried over there under a huge drift, and got it most of the way freed.

We learned our lesson from past storms, though, and didn't clear the driveway out to the street - we decided to wait for a plow so we wouldn't have to clear the space twice.

This plan worked fine, except by Monday night the plow still hadn't come.  So we dug out anyway.

We also went around back to dig out.  This was a major storm, around 20 inches of snow with deep drifts.  So I decided to make sure that we could get out the basement door and the sliding glass door in the back of the house.

I also shoveled a path part of the way into the yard so Tessie could get out there (she prefers to go in the street though, I think because she sinks in in the yard).

As a final touch, I cleared the space around the generator - just in case we need to go on generator power.  We're all set!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Luray Snow Day

There was no shortage of coverage of the east coast's 2016 blizzard last weekend.  Mary and I stayed in and watched it from the windows in Alexandria - or virtually on Facebook.

Meanwhile, my friend David was industrious and rigged up his tractor with a plow blade and went to work clearing some of the roads out there.

One of the photos he sent of his progress was this one of the tractor parked in front of the building where we plan to ope Hawksbill Brewing next fall.  I guess he cleared the parking lot there - although that might have been taken care of by the Luray Fire Department, so he was just parked.

He also took a photo of Hawksbill Hop Yards all covered with snow.  The plants are all snuggled in, dormant for the winter.

As I posted last week, that won't be for long - we've already started working on plans for the growing season, which will begin in April!