Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Heath Robinsonness


It's probably because my parents were brought up in the war. Most of you won't remember it, it was a long time ago, even before I was born. But back then there was austerity. No, real austerity. I mean, you think things are tough now because the council won't repair the pot holes and your benefit cheque just doesn't pay for the damage to your low profile wheels. For goodness sake, you can't even afford your mobile phone contract any more. Well, during the war, so I'm told, it was much, much worse. It was really bad then, you had to eat your pet rabbit just to survive.

Today we are in a period of austerity at Hardknott, not because we can't sell our beer, but probably because I've spent too much money on pipe fittings. Much as I'd like to get a proper mezzanine floor installed for my grist store, and have my old fermenting vessels fitted with proper cooling jackets, I can't. My fork lift truck is well down the flipping list. Unfortunately we need to sell more beer before we can afford anything else. More over, Ann seems to be selling beer as fast as I can make it, so I need to spend most of my time making it, leaving my spare time to either fix up the brewery, or go to the pub. For some reason the pub seems to win. Development of my in-situ fermentation gravity measuring system will have to stay in the planning stage and replacement of the flexible hoses with a more elegant solution will remain a pipe dream.

Luckily, my meagerly ancestors have taught me to mend and make do. It does have the advantage that I can get stuff working with minimum expense. String and sticky tape is great. The pictures here show most of my brewery in its current state, awaiting further vessels to be delivered so that I can organise the brewery into an efficient quality beer production facility. I might even run the cables neatly then.

Notice the mallet on top of the casks. It used to be my Grandfather's, and he's been dead 15 years. I suspect the mallet is some number of decades older. I doubt it'll last the year out with the number of shives I'm having to bash in with it every week.

9 comments:

Barm said...

At least you seem to have plenty of space. You can hardly turn around in most of the micros I've been to.

HardKnott Dave said...

Space Barm? That is something we have loads of. The pictures probably show just under half the total space we have. Costs us peanuts as well. If we outgrow the space we have then there is an unused unit next door.

Besides, this isn't a grumbling post, I enjoy Heath Robinsonness, I guess that's why I used to enjoy Blue Peter, well, that and Leslie Judd.

Velky Al said...

Give it a couple of years and you'll be looking for your first tied house for a fledgling estate!

ChrisM said...

The first thing that strikes me is that your cask colours are the same as High House Farm in Matfen, Northumberland!!

Look forward to trying some beer, though :-)

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

I'm looking to be the landlord of the Hardknott tied house in Ambleside.

zythophile said...

"… replacement of the flexible hoses with a more elegant solution will remain a pipe dream."

Ho!

StringersBeer said...

Lesley Judd? D'ye remember when she did a piece trying out as a "roadie"?
Cut back to the studio and a fellow presenter (may have been PP) chimed in with: "Lesley a roadie? More like a well-used footpath."

HardKnott Dave said...

Chris, yes indeed. The colours were a mistake that we failed to realise until we had got too far with our cask ordering. We understood that the green was different, sadly it turns out it is not.

BU180, I am also looking forward to that situation....

Zythophile, it just had to be done.

Stringers, what is scary is that she turns out to be born not that long after my mother. Mind you, my mother was young when I was born.

ChrisM said...

Chris, yes indeed. The colours were a mistake<<

I guess it makes swaps easier, and I for one would be happy to see some of your beer over in the East ;-)