The first step and the most obvious step of all before beginning a journey to establish an estate brewery–get some land! Chris and Lawrence Warwaruk showcase the land they bought where they will be building the Farmery Estate Brewery on Arden Ridge near Neepawa, Manitoba. Arden Ridge is known as the end of Lake Agassiz, the post-glacier lake that formed many of the lakes and geological sites of Manitoba.
The land around this area that formed the bed of Lake Agassiz is very fertile and makes excellent farm land for the grain and hops that will go into the beer!
Lawrence takes out the discer and cultivator to break up the land to make it ready for seeding the first barley malt crop. Check out how flat and beautiful the land is!
Lawrence breaks out his seeder and seeds the land with the malt barley that will go into the Farmery’s beer. Look at how healthy and fertile the ground is!
We can see the barley malt that will go into the Farmery Estate Brewery beer in different stages, from a field dotted with barley leaves just poking their heads from the soil, to a mature, beautiful golden barley crop.
We follow Chris and Lawrence as they buy hop rhizomes from a local hops grower, and after the machinery breaks down, we watch as Chris and Lawrence along with their two other brothers plant the hop rhizomes by hand–3 acres in total! It took about five hours to do, and now we wait until the hops establish themselves on the Farmery Estate Brewery.
The time of the season has come for the barley crop to be harvested. The first thing to do is to swath the barley, or cut it down to cure and then combine. Anyone living in Manitoba knows how unpredictable the weather can be. Manitoba actually has the most number of Sun-Filled Days in all of North America…and thanks to the weather, the barley harvest matured a little early.
Lawrence has to fix the combine before he can take it out and harvest the barley malt that has been swathed. The combine is an old Gleaner from the early 70’s–these farm boys don’t need no spankin’ new machinery to harvest their grain! Those old machines work just fine as long as they are maintained and fixed properly. But no worries–Lawrence (with the help of Uncle Julian Warwaruk) figured out the problem and set out to start combining the Farmery barley malt.
Lawrence operates the Gleaner combine to harvest the barley malt. The weather was at first a little iffy as it threatened rain (we could see rain falling in the distance) but as chance would have it, the rain clouds passed around us and we were able to harvest the barley in record time!
The first pass with the combine has filled up the hopper with beautiful barley malt–the perfect time to inspect the fruits of the harvest! The barley is gorgeous and the first batch is ready to be transferred to the grain truck so more harvesting can be done.
Lawrence lowers the auger arm of the ol’ Gleaner combine and empties the hopper of all that golden barley malt into the grain truck, to start the next round of combining until the job is all done.
Now that the grain has all been combined and emptied into the grain truck, Lawrence has to move all the harvested barley malt into the grain bin located on the farm. How a farmer does it is through the good ol’ auger! Even though the auger is old, she still does the job.