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The Hop Head is Alive. Long Live the Hop Head.



Yeeha!  The officially sanctioned Bandit Brewing Co. Logo.

I’m assembly (making) brewery equipment!  Very exciting to be moving away from construction of the building to construction of the brewery itself.  This week we are wrapping plumbing (one slow fixture per day it seems) and getting the walk-in cooler up and running.

I did the 13 minute (not minute like 60 seconds, like minoot- small; because it took me all F**’in day) tasks to get the “Brew System” ready to assemble for a dry (it’s actually wet because we use water) run.  I’m starting to assemble the bits and pieces for the glycol cooled fermenter- which seems to include at least one Amazon order per day (hey- free 2 day shipping; you know what I mean?).

You might remember this picture of my trusty and loyal compadres getting the 400lb pressure tank out of the truck…


And here’s me at my most photogenic polishing the inside of the tank…


Below my helpers are doing a little quality assurance testing after I welded legs on the tank and prepared her for her maiden voyage to the moon…  The tank has a identification plate on it that says it was made in 1965 and can stand 100 psi and the side walls are 3/16″ thick stainless steel.  I think it will work fine to carbonate beer at 15 psi.


Never forget about safety.  Better safe than sorry as I always say:)


The site is “essentially” done.  It looks a world better.  I have to locate some railroad ties as parking space designators and put up a 4″ screen between us and the neighbor.






We started thinking about a mug club.  The main reason for the mug club is two fold- create customer loyalty and almost as important; create enough cash to actually buy the grain and hops to brew the first eight batches!  After surveying the valleys mug clubs from the other breweries we decided on members 1-10 running $100 for membership until Jun 2016 and 11-15 being $75 (a little vanity in the top 10 will cost ya).  Renewals are $50 a year after that.

The perks include a pre-opening tasting of all the beers on tap, draught and growler discounts anytime, Birthday boys and girls drink free for their day (all 48 oz. limited by law), weekly random free drink drawings, and monthly tasting for new releases.  Plus they can always drop by for a free taster on the brewery side.

We tossed the idea out to Dave, our site guy, and he liked it so much he took $200 in beer barter and member number 001 off our site bill!

We hosted Emma’s 7th birthday at the brewery and I “popped” a 5 gal of a Scottish Ale I brewed and all 17 parents basically hovered around the cooler drinking beer while the other 17 kids ran wild:) Hil and I mentioned the mug club and   by today we’ve sold all but 2 of the top 10 and 3 of the 11-50 numbers!

I am depositing the cash in the Bandit account for brewing materials.  I think we can squeak by to opening and having the grain reserve will be a lifesaver!

By the way mug clubs in the valley start at $150 to $250 per member and cost $50 or more annually.  SO we’re probably priced right for Darby.

I did a lot of work today on the brewery and I have hopes that I “might” be able to brew a SMASH (single malt, single hop) test batch on the new brew system be the end of the week.  I need to have the fermenter ready to temperature control the brew.  I have about 5-7 after that to make sure the carbonation tank is ready.

If all goes well- Bob’s you’re Uncle; we’re brewing like mad!

You know an ICE COLD draft beer in Mexico is a very affordable price of approximately $1.25! Click Here to Buy Us a Beer.

3 comments to The Hop Head is Alive. Long Live the Hop Head.

  • big cheese

    OK- I did the “dry run” and I have one leaky weld (because it was my crappy weld not Dave N’s pro TIG weld) and my pump won’t pump. I had a suspicion I would need to upgrade pumps. SOOOOO- $600 more dollars spent on Amazon for a marginally bigger pump. Should be here by the weekend. Still hoping for a SMASH brew!

    Whoops! I need to buy some grain and hops! I better get on that….


  • big cheese

    OH- just a FYI; for 45 gallons of beer you need slightly more than double that in pounds of grain for an average 5% ABV beer. So, I need about 100 lbs of grain.


  • big cheese

    It’s really not that late either. It’s actually 9:45pm here in Montana.