Misty Bleu Farm Blog

About Misty Bleu Farm

Misty Bleu Farm is located in beautiful Washington County, New York at the head of the Black Creek ValleyMisty Bleu Farm produces hops for the R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery.

Located on 50 acres in the heart of the Hebron Hills, Misty Bleu Farm is the home of R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery.  The Brewery and Taproom are open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 9:00 pm.  Come experience true field to glass farm-brewed beer at our farm, nestled among green hills and stunning natural beauty.  Our farm boasts over 600 feet of frontage on the West Branch of the Black Creek, with waterfalls and rushing cascades.  Tours of the brewery and grounds are available.  The Farm and Brewery are also available to be rented out for special events.  Please visit the brewery website, www.rstaylorbrewing.com for more details and directions.

Follow our journey as we create the Most Beautiful Farm Brewery in America!


Latest Project Updates

The Mysterious Tale of Mr. Crane Part Two

Misty Bleu Farm - Friday, September 25, 2015

 

A few nights later, a boisterous crowd had assembled in the tap room.  It was mostly a hard-scrabble lot from up in the backwoods in Belcher and beyond.  R.S. happened to overhear Crane's name bantered about the table and came over to give the men a what-for. 

"Pray, gentlemen, tell me you are not giving our good neighbor and friend Mr. Crane any more grief than he already has.  You know his lot in life.  I do not wish to hear him spoken ill of, what with no family or wife to call his own.  He is a good soul."

VonBrunt, the boldest of the group, looked up from his pint and burst out, "But R.S., he says he saw a ghost on Callaway Road the night of the last full moon - a headless ghost on horseback, no less!  Why he must've gotten into some of old man Irving's moonshine and dreamt up the whole thing!"  The table then erupted in laughter as everyone knew Irving's home-distilled imbibements were practically undrinkable.

"He wouldn't have seen a ghost, in fact, he wouldn't have seen anything.  He would have went blind drinking that stuff!" shouted another.  And with that, another round of guffaws rose from the men.  R.S. turned away, worried for Mr. Crane.  He knew the men just wanted a bit of harmless sport, but the poor soul was taunted enough in town as it was.  He did not wish to see Crane's torment increased.  R.S. took a pint from the draught and settled down with his moody thoughts.

Installment No. 3 to be released next week.  Stay tuned...

 

The Mysterious Tale of Mr. Crane Part One

Misty Bleu Farm - Monday, September 21, 2015

 

 

It was a dark and stormy October night.  A steady, chill rain tapped at the windowpanes.  R.S., safe and snug in the cozy tap room, contemplated closing early for the evening.  The clock had not quite chimed seven and the place was aglow with candles and golden firelight.  As R.S. peered out the rain-streaked window once more before closing up, he spied a dark figure coming up the sweep.

"Oh well," he mused, "a few more moments of my time and at least I shall make one sale this night."  R.S. waited anxiously to see who would venture out on such a night as this. The polished mahogany door slowly creaked open, and a fleeting chill ran up R.S.'s spine as he saw the bony, white-knuckled hand clenching the knob.  In with a rush of water and leaves came a thin figure, clad all in soaking wet black.  A hat covered the creature's head and the dripping brim concealed his face.  As the head turned up, R.S. locked eyes with his neighbor, Mr. Ichabod Crane.

"Why, Mr. Crane!" R.S. exclaimed, "What are you doing out and about on a night such as this?  'Tis not fit for man or beast, as they say."  Just then, R.S. noticed the wide-eyed, frantic look in Mr. Crane's eyes and said softly, "What evil malady afflicts you, my poor soul?"

"I, I cannot say for sure, my good barkeep," Crane replied.  "I seem to be plagued of late with fever dreams.  They have terrorized me so ever since the last full moon.  You see, I had a bit of a fright a few nights back as I returned home from work."  Now, everyone in town knew of poor Mr. Crane's plight.  Crane, meek and mild, was a clerk in town for the penny-pinching Mr. Marley.  No one else in town would work for him, save Mr. Crane.  His treatment of Mr. Crane was quite ill.  Yet Mr. Crane's station in life was a poor one, so he kept his job with Marley & Marley, Msgrs.  R.S. imagined Crane was probably delirious with exhaustion after Marley kept him after hours.

"So then, Mr. Crane, you have come to partake in one of my ales, then, to cure you of your ills?"

"Why, yes sir, indeed I have.  I came straightaway from Mr. Marley's office.  I shall head home after this."

"I insist you do not travel further this evening, Crane.  You shall catch your death in weather such as this.  Let me get the mistress of our house to make you up a bed for the night."

"I could not impose.  I have just come for a growler of your fine Amber Ale and I shall be on my way."

"As you wish, Mr. Crane.  And I do believe in the restorative powers of imbibing in a well-crafted ale.  The Amber Ale is a fine choice for your this evening."

And with that, Mr. Crane paid what he owed and left the tap room.  R.S. watched the solemn figure fade into the gloom.  He extinguished the flames and retired for the evening.....

Please stay with us for Part 2 to be released next week.

Thank You NY Ag and Markets

Misty Bleu Farm - Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rich met on Friday with the inspector for New York State Ag and Markets, the regulating body that will oversee our beer and food service operations.  It was a pleasant surprise.  The gentleman was extremely helpful, and for the first time in a long time, Rich walked away from the meeting feeling like these were people who wanted to help in the creation of our business, not hinder it.  What a wonderful turn of events! 

 

This initial meeting was a bit of a concern for us, but now our concerns are swept away.  We can concentrate on moving forward towards our grand opening!  We're still on track for an August 1st grand opening at the farm, and this moves our little operation one step closer to becoming The Most Beautiful Farm Brewery in America.  

 

Now our next big meeting is with the Regional Chamber of Commerce this Friday in Glens Falls to discuss joining the growing list of craft beverage producers on the Adirondack Beverage Trail.  There's already an impressive list of local breweries, wineries and distilleries on the Trail.  We feel honored to become a part of it. 

 

Stay tuned!  A lot of big things are going to be happening in the next couple of months as we ready the brewery and farm for opening.

Measuring the Brewery

Misty Bleu Farm - Monday, February 16, 2015

The deposit to Portland Kettle Works in Oregon has been sent.  Now it's just a matter of taking stock of our space and providing measurements for the 3.5bbl system.

 

 

 

Upstairs in the taproom:

 

 

Brewery Equipment Update

Misty Bleu Farm - Saturday, January 17, 2015

Many folks following our progress have been asking about what kind of brewing system we are going to install.  Of course, that is a HUGE decision, and Rich agonized over the choices for months and months.  We decided we definitely did not want to buy a Chinese-manufactured system.  We certainly understand those who make the decision to do so, but it would break our hearts to put a Chinese-made brewing system in our American-built farmhouse and barn.  We just couldn't bring ourselves to do it. 

Having said that, it looks like Portland Kettle Works in Oregon is the winner!  Rich is looking to install a 3.5 BBL system.  We already have a quote from them, and it is now just a matter of sending off a deposit check to hold our place in their production schedule.  They are telling us they are about six weeks out to begin manufacturing new orders.  We have to order now, because by the time they manufacture the system, get it shipped to us, and we install it and start testing it out, it's going to be pretty far into the summer before everything is up and running and we have brewed enough good beer to even think about a grand opening.

 There is lots to do in the meantime.  Our construction crew is hard at work.  They are all local folks from either Washington County or just over the state line in Vermont.  They all want to see this place start brewing beer just as much as we do. 

So, thank you all for asking!  It's nice that so many people are following our progress and look forward to our opening.  Our brewery Facebook page will be up and running soon, and we hope you'll keep up to date on our progress there, too.

The Lard Epiphany

Misty Bleu Farm - Friday, January 02, 2015

 

Yes, that's right, lard.  In between all the other details in the construction process, I have been working on formulating a menu of foods that we can legally sell at the Taproom.  We are applying for a 20-C license from the NYS Department of Ag and Markets so that we may be able to offer a nice selection of foods to our beer drinking customers.  Going the route of actual food service is JUST.  TOO.  DAMN.  HARD.  Hear that, health department.  Don't even get me started on all the crazy health department rules.

And that brings us back to lard.  Yep, lard.  I have been trying to perfect pie crust for 20 years.  (True, I have no life.)  I have tried everything to get a delicious and flaky pastry dough - vinegar, vodka, yogurt, you name it.  Never tried lard, though.  While I was shopping for holiday food at the Honest Weight Co-Op, I picked up a small tub of baking lard from The Piggery in Ithaca, NY.  What the hey, I say.  I had a recipe at home, just plucked from the pages of the New York Times food section, that was calling for it. 

Well, that lard was nothing short of a revelation.  The sausage roll recipe, based on similar rolls sold at pubs all across Britain, was a success.  The pastry was light, flaky and shatteringly crisp.  It even had flavor!  It held up and remained flaky and crisp even the next day.  Wow!

Next I used the same dough recipe and made an apple galette.  Bingo!  Now, you'd think that lard would impart some sort of off flavor in the dough, but it does not.  It does smell a little weird right out of the tub.  It's not exactly a pleasant smell, but once the pastry is baked, the smell is no longer there.  Even with the sweet version, the crust was flaky and delicious.  Of course, we can't say how it would have held up the next day as my family ate the entire thing for dessert with our New Years' Day dinner. 

Here's my version of that flaky crust recipe to use for a galette:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

1 stick butter, cubed

4 tablespoons baking lard, in small chunks

Put the cubed butter, baking lard, and water, each individually in the freezer for 15-20 mins.  Measure out the flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using the paddle attachment, mix the flours and salt for a few seconds.  With the paddle attachment going at low speed, add the chilled butter cubes and baking lard.  Continue to mix until butter is the size of peas.  Add the 1/2 cup of chilled water slowly and continue mixing until the dough just begins to hold together.

Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead slightly to get a cohesive ball.  Flatten the ball into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. 

Place the chilled dough disc on a floured board or countertop.  Flour your rolling pin and begin rolling out the dough just as you would any pie crust.  I found this recipe made enough dough for about a 12 inch diameter galette, after the edges had been folded over.  If you roll it thinner and divide the disc in two, you might get enough dough to make an 8 inch double crust pie.

BTW - This rolls out beautifully straight from the fridge, yes it does!  No cracking. 

Fill your galette or pie crust as you normally would, brush with egg wash or cream and bake in a 375 degree oven on a parchment lined cookie sheet for about an hour or so for the galette or until nicely browned and crispy.

Lard is my new best friend.  Make it yours, too.

 

 

Shout Out To The Nano Brewing Community

Misty Bleu Farm - Thursday, October 23, 2014

I received an email from a gentleman in the local brewing community recently that made me stop and think that perhaps some "thank yous" were in order for those who have been rooting for us while we develop the brewery.

The nano-brewing community is unique.  The rules of competitive business don't really seem to apply here.  Helping out your fellow brewer or featuring another brewer's beer as a guest tap is not only the friendly thing to do, but it remarkably helps everyone's business.  Promoting the local nano-brewing scene in general, seems to be the genuine goal of everyone we have met since we decided to pursue opening our brewery.

Now, on to some thank-yous!  Many, many thanks to Chris and Matt for all their advice on opening a farm brewery in Washington County.  They are true gentlemen and have a bona fide success on their hands.  Argyle Brewing is very popular locally.

Thank you to all of the local Washington County contractors and craftsmen involved in the building of our home and brewery. 

Thank you to Valley Malt in Hadley, Mass, and others involved in bringing back the art and craft of local brewing.  They are genuinely interested in bringing together farmers, maltsters, brewers and drinkers.  Just like it used to be.  They will be a huge resource for us as we seek locally produced ingredients.

And thanks to all our friends and family members who are actively supporting this project and continue to drink Rich's experimental brews. 

Hop Fest 2014 Starts This Saturday

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Our second year hop crop has been a resounding success.  The easy part is growing them.  Now comes the hard part - the harvesting and drying.

We are growing hops for our own use, not for commercial sale.  We don't have access to the hop harvesting equipment that larger operations do, so we have to do things the old fashioned way - by hand! 

This Saturday kicks off the hop harvesting season.  We're going to be laying in plenty of beer from our friends down in Argyle Brewery in Greenwich.  We want all of our pickers well lubricated and well-fed so they won't mind one bit helping us out here. 

Hop picking isn't hard work, but it is tedious.  It's going to take a couple of weekends to pick those bines clean.  And with any luck the weather will hold out for the picking and the drying.

Mid Winter Blues or Whites as the case may be

Misty Bleu Farm - Friday, February 14, 2014

Well, we seem to be having an old-fashioned snowy winter here in the Northeast this year.  No doubt about that. Cold, snowy, dreary, cold - did I mention cold?

I think we all are a bit loopy with cabin fever, especially after this last storm dumped 18 inches on us.  The farm is completely impenetrable at this point.  We'd need to snowshoe in, start up the bulldozer and then plow our way out through more than 2 feet of snow to get to the road.  Not. Going. To. Happen.  We're going to need a bit of a thaw before we can head up there again. 

Back here at home, Rich and I are fighting over details on the house and brewery plans - ok  We made our initial design deposit to Connor Homes yesterday, and we're going to have a conference call with two of their home designers on Tuesday morning.  Very exciting! 

Planning the Brewery Part One

Misty Bleu Farm - Monday, February 03, 2014

 

We have gone back and forth and back and forth about what kind of building we want to house the brewery and tap room.  We really want a barn building that looks like it belongs on the property - something that looks authentic and real.  We want to market the brewery as 'the most beautiful farm brewery in America' - so there's that as far as cutting corners is concerned.  Corners cannot be cut in the building of the most beautiful farm brewery in America, now can they?

 We considered Morton buildings, as they are very cost effective, but they kind of look too "fabricated".  We love the look of the Connor Homes barns.  Part of the problem in determining what to build is going to be what our expected usage is and how much profit the barn/brewery/tap room can generate. While Rich pretty much has the brewery floor plan determined, I have been doing research on barns as event spaces for things like weddings, parties, corporate events, etc.  It appears there is quite the market for more intimate event spaces in places like our little farm brewery.  So, how much money should we invest in the building?  There's the rub. 

With these types of properties, each one is so unique that it is difficult to determine how successful an event space will be.  There doesn't seem to be anything now in Washington County quite like what  we are planning.  We hope that will be a draw and not a detriment.