Last Tuesday, the 29th, I volunteered my time (and a talent unbeknownst to me) to helping a new friend do work on his soon-to-be-open brewery. Matt Czigler, a young, successful professional brewer, has made his dream a reality. In the 9,000 sq. ft. space which used to be an old auto-repair bay in the center of Hackettstown NJ, his brewery comes together, piece by piece. My piece in all this involved helping him cut hundreds of feet of pipe to be used in shelving to be installed behind the tasting bar. Now, the few of you who know me in real life, know I’m not the most industrially-skilled individual. But, within minutes, Matt instructed me on the procedure, and away we went. An hour in, I was running the machine like a pro. For those unfamiliar with the process, this machine holds the pipe and spins it as you use a clamp-like device to cut to desired length, then a second piece (which I’m seen holding) lathes the end to produce the threads in which to screw in an elbow or tee-joint. The bucket below is filled with oil and the filings, the gun applies the oil to the lathed end to keep it from smoking from all the heat and friction.
It was a relatively straightforward affair, except for the times I had to remind Matt what stage we were on as attention was diverted by phone calls from officials, contractors, friends, and family. More than once people stopped in to say hello and take in the progress, all of them excited to see Matt’s vision transform into reality.
He now has his fermentation tanks in, and if all goes well, will start brewing on April 9th and open by the end of the month. I had the privilege of sampling his beer he plans on brewing on the large scale. Tasty stuff, I might add.
I had so much fun working with my hands and volunteering my time, no doubt I’ll have pictures up of your favorite beer blogger next Wednesday.