Jake goes to Canada

Last week I had the great good fortune of visiting our poutine-lovin’ friends to the north, at the Master Brewers Association of the America’s annual conference. It was a my second time in Canada (12-year-old me had fun too) but my first time in Calgary.

On Wednesday we got a tour through the life-cyle of barley before it goes in your glass. First we stopped by Antler Valley Farm, a 4,000 acre farm run by two brothers. They grow barley, canola, wheat, two dogs, and a big fat pig named Betty. They said their shed is “5 feet wider than a hockey rink,” so now I know the most Canadian way to describe something’s size.

After that, we had the chance to see the next step in the process, at the Rahr Malting facility nearby in Alix. They had a stacked malthouse design that I’ve heard of, but never seeing person, so that was nerdy and cool. Rahr is a massive malting company, and they also own a malthouse in Shakopee, Minn. and it was interesting to the differences. Both are massive and can make more malt in one batch than we use in a year.

We went waaaay down in scale for our next stop. Red Shed Malting is a boutique malthouse making small-batch malt for brewers in the area. This business is also ran by a pair of brothers, and their roaster is a beautiful piece of engineering.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were full of classes, but those didn’t make for great pictures, and most of the people reading this blog aren’t too concerned about the dorky stuff. I stayed VERY well fed though, here are a few pictures of my food instead of class.

My top 5, in no particular order:

-Bacon-wrapped corn cob

-Poutine, of course

-Banh Mi

-Airport Japanese

-Breakfast Samosa

HPI Beer Pairing Dinner

Chef Kurt and the FHB gang

Chef Kurt and the FHB gang

We had such a fun time at the Historic Park Inn / Fat Hill beer pairing dinner! Here are some photos and the menu from tonight. We’d like to thank Chef Kurt and his team for all their hard work! Thanks also to all the nice folks who came out to eat (a lot) with us!


Hibiscus Saison w/
Warm Naan, Lemon Ricotta, Zhoug Sauce, Pomegranate Arils, Pine Nuts

Bangkok Brut w/
Cold-smoked Salmon Lox, Baby Bok Choy, Jasmine Rice, Lime-Grapefruit Glaze

Rongorongo NEIPA w/
Mahi Mahi Corn Street Tacos, Grape Tomatoes, Corn Salsa, Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream, Micro Radish Shoots

Milk Stout w/
Coffee-rubbed Half Cornish Game Hen, Chard, Dried Cherries, Wild Rice Pilaf

Scottish Ale w/
Breezy Lane Pork Osso Bucco with Sauce Robert,
Roasted Asparagus, Butternut Squash Puree

Autumn Bock w/
Cannoli Chips with Pumpkin Mascarpone, Lingonberry,
White Chocolate Drizzle

Some photos from tonight (photography by Aimee Mussman and Tom Kirby):

Belgium 2020!


Why Belgium? For a small country, this place has so much going on! Castles, a giant cave system, chocolate, cheese, lace, WWII history, mountains, canals, bike paths, palaces, amazing architecture, sophisticated international cities with great museums... and I haven’t even gotten to the beer yet. Unlike Germany where there has been historical restrictions on how beer is made, Belgium never had any rules, so Belgian beer is creative and diverse. There’s breweries run by monks and nuns, family-owned hundreds-of-years-old farmhouse breweries, small new craft enterprises, big international industrialized facilities, and a lot of places that have a unique specialty - one thing they do SO well they won’t bother with anything else - lambics, for example. Besides *drinking* beer, there’s lots of cool beer-related stuff to see in Belgium, like breweries of course (3 brewery tours included, more if you’d like on your own), the Hop Museum in the famous hop-growing region of southern Belgium, and the 1698-constructed Brewers Guild Hall in Brussels, which looks like a palace!

Want to learn more? Call the bank at the number above or come to our Belgium trip preview on Monday, November 11 at 6 PM. (Doors open at 5:30 PM)

Big menu change

Tims Honey.jpg

Way back in summer 2016, long before we even opened, we issued a survey on our Facebook page asking you all what beers you were most interested in. The most popular response? Beer made with locally-sourced ingredients. Supporting Iowa producers is very important to us, too. Over the years, we've gotten more involved in the local food scene here, especially through Healthy Harvest of North Iowa events, Brewer Jake's work on the Farmers Market board, and our farmer friends. We've decided that if we really want to be an advocate for local food and local producers, we need to put our menu where our mouth is: a local ingredient on tap all the time. To that end, our flagship beer list is getting an overhaul next week. The Honey Kolsch, made from our bartender Tim Huey's Nora Springs beehives, will be on tap year-round. Our flagship Blonde Ale, which has been with us from the beginning, will transition from year-round to seasonal availability to make way for this change. We hope you die-hard Blonde fans will find a new favorite in the light/smooth/summery so-delicious Honey Kolsch. Cheers to all the local food producers who work so hard! We're toasting you with our new menu.

What a nerd

With his backpack on and everything

With his backpack on and everything

I went back to school and passed my first test! Like a lot of brewers, most of my brewing knowledge comes from experience, books, a few classes, and help from other brewers. That’s a great way to learn, but I wanted to dig deeper, so I enrolled online in the Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s brewing program. The first level “General Certificate in Brewing and Packaging” was an introductory test. I’ve known a lot of the info covered for years, but it’s great to re-affirm that I learned the right thing. This fall I’ll be doubling up on test on the next level, each of the two tests (brewing and packaging) is based off 350+ pages of textbook knowledge. I think our beer is great, but I’ll always be trying to make it better!

RongoRongo adjustment


Remain calm!

From time to time, we make minor tweaks to the recipes or processes in our core lineup. Even the mighty mighty RongoRongo isn’t exempt in our quest for perfection. This time, we made a very minor tweak, but it made a noticeable difference in the appearance of your favorite beer. The hops, malt, water, and yeast are the same as the previous batch, but due to a process change, it’s more “hazy" than “cloudy." It’s still the mega-juicy flavor explosion you’ve always known and loved, just with its shirt half-way tucked in. Please let us know your thoughts, feelings, and emotions about this new batch (on tap Wednesday, May 22, at 4 PM), and we’ll use your feedback to steer the SS Rongo in the future. Do the hops jump through more clearly? Does it make you feel like you need to drink one more to think about it? Are you mad at our brewer thinking he can improve on the wheel?  We’ll be brewing the next batch in a week or two, so let us know soon!

FHB featured in Mid-Am Publishing Iowa Beer/Wine insert

Greg takes a few pictures while interviewing Brewer Jake

Greg takes a few pictures while interviewing Brewer Jake

We were very excited to be included in the Mid-America Publishing wine/beer insert! The insert went into 25 small-town Iowa newspapers the first week of May. To see the full insert, please click here to download the PDF. To read our article you can also just read it below here. We’d like to thank Greg Forbes of the Hampton Chronicle for the great job he did on the article!

Community brews

Fat Hill Brewing owners place emphasis local beer, community engagement

By Greg Forbes

                        For Fat Hill Brewing owners Jake Rajewsky and Molly Angstman, being third place is preferred.

            In this instance, “third place” doesn’t mean a bronze medal – it means owning a location where friends and family can unwind after a day of work with good company and meticulously crafted beer.

            “(A friend) used to talk to us about your ‘third place,’” said Angstman. “If home is your first place and work is your second place, where do you spend the rest of your time? The third place is where you spend your time voluntarily, because that place makes you happy or enriches your life in some way.

            “I think a strong community has lots of great third places, ” she said, “and we love being one of those here in Mason City.”


            A crafted community

            The husband and wife duo opened the downtown Mason City brewery on December 7, 2016 after leasing the building at 17 N. Federal Ave. in March that year. The two immediately began refurbishing the inside, constructing tables and other furniture and perfecting the recipes that would eventually flow through the taps. The turnaround was hectic, they said, and pretty much non-stop, except for one occasion.

            “We actually married here (in the building) on Nov. 12 and opened on Dec. 7,” said Rajewsky.

            As they worked to complete their brewery, Molly and Jake knew they wanted to not only provide a high quality product but also be a contributing and upstanding member of the Mason City business community. Their attention to quality, cleanliness and a friendly environment that encourages strangers to meet one another reflects that desire.

            “We just think that our taproom is providing something good for the community,” he said. “You see a wide variety of people in here and that’s one of the good things about our taproom. At one point, I could be talking to a CEO of a local bank and across the bar, I could be talking with someone who just got off the factory line.

            “One of the most satisfying things for us is when those people who have never met before talk and become friends,” he added. “That’s what we mean when we talk about building the community.”

            To further foster that sense of community and belonging to all who walk through the doors of Fat Hill Brewing, staff offer a wide array of activities including live music, arts and crafts and a book club. Angstman said those activities draw in a new clientele who arrive for a particular event and become more familiar with craft beer and their fellow patrons in the process.

            “For example, at our book club, we’ll have 12 people who don’t know each other sit at a table and talk for a whole hour and that’s just magic,” she said. “In this day and age, we may not necessarily even know our neighbors so just spending some time with some new people in a casual, no-pressure setting makes folks feel more at home in their city, more connected.”

            Localized libations

The focus on community is apparent in more subtle ways, as well. Perusing the menu, a patron can find some nods to Mason City’s history and area producers. Bank Demon, an imperial stout released in the late fall, pays homage to a spooky piece of Mason City lore. Legend has it that a slab of marble at a bank drive-thru once had an eerie marking that resembled the devil.

            “We just like to bring a little bit of Mason City history in here,” said Angstman.

            Rajewsky said that, when possible, he likes to craft new beers using local ingredients. A honey kolsch, a basil pale ale and an aronia berry saison have all used fresh ingredients cultivated from friends’ productions. Rajewsky said he’s able to experiment with those styles because of the fact that everything is made and sold out of the brewery. With six flagship taps and a few that rotate depending on the season, he said he’s able to get his hands dirty and explore new and different ingredients.

            “Selling out of the taproom, we can play around with different recipes, styles, barrel aging…so we try to have six of the same on tap but the other six or seven taps, we rotate,” he said. “That’s why we do things like brew with local honey or partner with friends.”

            Rajewsky said the focus on local ingredients in the beer is another step to support the community and provide support to businesses that have taken a similar leap as they did.

            “I’ve been trying to get more and more active in the local food scene,” he said. “We produce beer locally and we’re always looking for more local ingredients. We would love to talk with (producers) about partnering and we want to let people to know that if they have something interesting, to get ahold of us.”

            Angstman added that the emphasis on local ingredients, in itself, is a community-oriented detail. Before they opened, Angstman said they issued a survey on the brewery Facebook page asking what kinds of beer people were most interested in.  Beer with locally sourced products was the most popular response. 

            “It’s a constant challenge to get the right amount at the right time, so we really try,” she said.

            “People who care about where their onions are grown probably also care about where their beer is brewed,” Rajewsky added. “When they see the people who make the thing they’re consuming, that’s important.”


            Tedious taps

            Rajewsky keeps his approach to brewing simple – make something expertly crafted and don’t settle for just “okay.”

            “I do as much research as I can,” he said of his process before trying a new recipe.

            He said his brewing career has allowed him to see how much of an ingredient is needed and how intense an ingredient might shine through in the finished product.

            He said most beers pass his personal taste test but some have met an unfortunate fate.

            “We’ve had to dump four batches,” he said. “It hurts every time but that’s part of the quality control. If you talk to a brewery who said they have never dumped a batch, they’re either lying or they’ve served bad beer.”

            The staff, he said, even takes steps to make sure that “bad” beer doesn’t make it to the customer.

            “There are a lot of off flavors in beer and we’ve done off flavor training with staff,” he said. “There are flaws in the brewing process and if you know what to look for, you can find it. We just try to make sure to take steps to make sure the boil has proper ventilation, to make sure the yeast can clean up after itself.”

            Rajewsky said that it’s not just the seasonal and unique beers that require some trial and error. Even with the “core six,” he said, the product may come out with a different flavor profile because of the hop used. Depending on the season, he said, Rongorongo, a fruity IPA, may taste a little different than it did in the previous batch.

            “Sometimes, the mosaic (hop) is more papaya or sometimes it’s more mango,” he said. “We’ll always do a test to see if an ingredient keeps the beer on brand.”

            “None of this is accidental,” added Angstman. “This is all on purpose. Every flavor you get from the beer is because Jake wants it to be there.”

            The meticulous testing and tweaking results in products that entice beer enthusiasts and make new fans. With the core six and a rotating cast of characters, Fat Hill offers a range of beers that appeal to all customers and with a staff full of Cicerone-certified Beer Servers (roughly the beer equivalent to a level one wine sommelier), each customer can find something that fits his or her palate.

            “Customers come here to get educated, they want to know more about beer and want to know more about beer in general,” he said. “They want to know where the good beer is and when they recommend something, it holds weight.”

            At the end of the day, Rajewsky said Fat Hill staff takes the brewery seriously in order to give customers an experience that fosters enthusiasm for beer of all levels. Patrons at Fat Hill are encouraged to either drink leisurely or pick apart the subtle flavors that come in each glass. No matter the reason someone enters the door, Rajewsky and Angstman said there’s always one underlying goal they have for each visitor.

            “Beer is supposed to be fun,” he said. “We want to make sure we connect with the casual drinker and the most expert of experts.”


Brewer Jake's Top Five Pilsners in Denver




Sours…hit the spot.

Hamm’s with an olive or two…perfect after I just mowed.

I love great versions of all styles of beer, but when I just want a beer or four, there’s no better style than Pilsner.

There’s no better style to test a brewer’s ability to extract the very best flavors from just a few simple ingredients. There’s no roast, no overwhelming hops, no other adjunct to cover up for flaws in the process. You need to use the best ingredients, and treat them right.

I’ve been on a pilsner kick recently, so I couldn’t have been more excited to head to Denver for the Craft Brewer’s Conference. It did not disappoint, I had no fewer than 11 pilsners during my 4.5 day stay in the Mile High City. All of them were solid beers, and all were infinitely crushable.

Note: I parked at the AirBnB on Sunday, and left Friday. In between, I didn’t get in a car, so my beer tasting was limited to how far my size 10-and-a-halfs could carry me. I’m sure I missed out on some of the best pilsners in town, but that’s just an excuse to go back soon.

Here are my top 5, no particular order:


Austin Beer Garden Brewing’s Industry Pils / Our Mutual Friend’s The Fizz

When you’re trying to sample all the Pilsners, sometimes you need to be efficient. I ran into our friends from Lark Brewing at Ratio Beerworks, and after a few satisfying pints, we decided to walk a few blocks to Our Mutual Friend Brewing. They had Industry Pils, from ABGB, on tap, and I knew I had to have it. ABGB is on the current Mount Rushmore of Pilsner brewers in the country, having won multiple gold medals in multiple categories of Pils in the last few year.

OMF had a Pilsner brewed with 100% Colorado ingredients, so I had to sample native terroir too. It was a solid beer, but Industry was hard to beat.

So, why do these two beers get a joint entry? See above for a pic that Sean from Lark Brewing took.


Jack’s Abbey Pils

Jacks Abbey.jpg

I had to drive 12 hours west to try this beer, which is made on the East Coast. The drive to Denver was filled with gut-wrenching gas station food, gas stations without indoor plumbing, and, somehow, 34 hours of Nebraska. I got to Denver in the afternoon, got my badge for CBC, then started exploring. I came across a bottle shop called Mr. B’s, and struck gold. I’ve heard great things about Jacks Abbey, but never tried it.

Holy cow, this hit the spot. Most beers are good after a 12 hour drive, but I was as blown away by the last 5 cans as I was by the first. (not drank on the same night, don’t worry mom)

So flavorful, next time I see it I’m getting at a case.

Lil Yella.jpg

Oskar Blues Brewing’s Mama’s Little Yella Pils

I mean, just look at my view from the Rockies game. How could this one not make the list?


Saurez Family Brewery’s Palatine Pils


Dan Saurez is probably on the Mount Pilsmore with ABGB. This beer usually doesn’t it make it too far from their small farm brewery in upstate New York, but they brought some to Denver for CBC week. Wow, it lived up to expectations. It was tasting even better since I had it on the patio of Finn’s Manor with friends on a beautiful day.

I can really appreciate the Saurez approach to this beer, making slight tweaks while brewing and re-brewing this beer in a never-ending pursuit of pilsner perfection. They came pretty dang close with this batch.


Slow Pour.jpg

Bierstadt Lagerhaus Slow Pour Pils

When we were looking for a place to stay in Denver, close proximity to Bierstadt was at the top of priority list.

I’ve heard so much about this beer, it’s almost become a myth. Triple (or maybe 4x?) decocted, 30 hour brew day, lagered for four months, 7 minutes to pour…how could it be worth all that fuss?

But…it was. Just look at that thing! The foam stability alone had every one of the 10,000 brewers in Denver drooling. Once you took a sip, the clean, crisp, sharp flavor of the malt overwhelmed you. The succinct bitterness cut through it, balancing things flawlessly.

This was probably my favorite beer at CBC. It stood up to finely-tuned judging when you want to analyze it. But it was most useful blending into the background while meeting new friends, as all great beers are.


Oh yea, I should probably mention that I learned some new things too. I figured the beer I drank would be more interesting blog material than my new insight into adjusting mash pH. Here’s a picture from that talk, just in case you thought I was under-selling it.

Mash pH.jpg

Quarter Hoop Crowlers FAQ


By popular request, it's time for Quarter Hoop (Rye Whiskey barrel-aged American Barleywine), crowler edition!

Q: Why are these crowlers special?
A: Special size (750 ml), barrel-aged label, and rare (only 150 were made). Can be enjoyed now or aged.

Q: How long will they last?
A: These crowlers were purged of oxygen and filled from the bottom, meaning they can be aged for several years if they’re stored at cellar temp (65 or lower). We’d recommend trying one now and sticking one in the cellar to see how the flavors develop and round out over the next year. If you’ve never aged beer before, this would be a great one to start with. 


Q: What's is a “quarter hoop”?
A:  A "quarter hoop" is the term for one of the metal rings that keep barrels together.  Specifically, the quarter hoop is near the top, which reminded us of this beer, as it's at the top of everything -- alcohol content and flavor!  At 13% ABV, it’s probably the booziest beer we’ve ever made.

Q: What does it taste like?
A:  Sweet and boozy. The spicy rye, charred oak, and massive malt, combined to create a chewy, lightly carbonated behemoth with notes of molasses, blackberry, tobacco, and charred oak.

 Q:  Where did you get the barrels?  
A:  The barrels are from J. Carver Distillery in Waconia, Minnesota, which is our brewer's home town.  

Q:  How many do you have left?
A:  We sold a lot on release weekend but we have plenty left.  Come and get 'um!  Limit 3 per person per day.  $20 each.


80s Prom Winners

Prom King and Queen, Perry and Marla Buffington

Prom King and Queen, Perry and Marla Buffington

The ruffles! The neon! The popped collars! We had so much fun at 80s prom on Saturday and hope you did too. Thanks big time to our two incredible bands, Ruthless Ruth and Fernando Ufret, who did all-80s sets for us, and all the folks who were so enthusiastic with their outfits! We would also like to thank Today’s Your Day for the fun balloon arch and our hard-working staff for their endless hustle. Our 80s Prom King and Queen are Perry and Marla Buffington, who showed up in authentic vintage ruffles-for-days formal wear, real prom flowers, and super big hair. Totally rad!

One Vision’s Baseball and Brews recap


Bucky Covington, Juni West, hot dog people, the local baseball team - oh my!  We have so many thank yous to make for the One Vision’s Baseball and Brews event last night. Wonderful musicians! Great food! So many volunteers! Great crowd! It was a fast, fun event we were very excited to be a part of. We heard today that the amount raised for the One Vision's Children's Autism Center was just under $3,000. Wow!

Fat Hill visits BSG Warehouse

Semis with our giant grain orders can’t get through the alley behind Fat Hill lately because of some bigtime construction stuff, so we took a road trip last week to the Brewing Supply Group (BSG) Warehouse in Shakopee to pick up ingredients ourselves. This may sound like a hassle, but whatever the city is doing in the alley sounds very important so we are absolutely cool with it, and our grain road trip turned out pretty darn amazing. Why? They gave us a tour of the warehouse!

Owning a brewery has given us the opportunity for so many unexpectedly cool experiences - tours, visits, or connections that would have been such oddball ideas back in our everyday-at-the-office lives a few years ago. The BSG Warehouse tour was definitely one of those we’re-going-to-do-what-now? experiences that we have come to love.

The first thing you notice about the 80,000 square-foot warehouse is obviously its vastness. It goes on and on and on, pallets of stuff stacked to the ceiling. BSG is one of the biggest distributors of ingredients for breweries in the US and pallets of grain, hops, and adjuncts come in and out of its loading dock all day long. Here’s the moment on the tour when BSG’s Warehouse Manager Matt Smith tells Brewer Jake that two silo’s worth of grain goes through their facility EVERY DAY:


The automation they have in place is very cool. Here is a video of the bagger machine in its section where bags are fluffed out and then filled with malt. Much of the malt comes from BSG’s sister company down the street, Rahr Malting. The bagger machine can fill twenty 55-pound bags per minute!


Grain orders usually come to breweries with a treat on the bottom of the pallet - a sort of reward for hauling 55-pound sacks of grain all over the place. Finding free candy at the bottom of a pallet makes any brewer’s day, so when the tour took us to the adjunct and “miscellaneous” room at the warehouse, we were pretty excited to see the candy section. Currently, BSG buys Pearson’s Salted Nut Rolls by the pallet. THE PALLET.


The last stop on the tour was the customer pick-up area, in which Brewer Jake immediately recognized our order. It was the tiniest one on the shelf that day. Since we’re in our grocery-getter SUV, we only picked up stuff for one batch of beer. Still 600 pounds of stuff though, so not too shabby!

And guess what… they didn’t forget our treat!


Miraculously, everything fit into the car:


Thanks very much to BSG Warehouse Manager Matt Smith for the great tour! It was so fun to see where so much of our grain comes from!

St. Pat's 2019

Our new St. Patrick’s Day hero  -  glitter beer!

Our new St. Patrick’s Day hero - glitter beer!

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate St. Patrick's Day weekend with us! We also want to thank our wonderful bar staff for their relentless hustle, Main Street Mason City for organizing such a busy bar crawl, all the taxi, DDs, and Lyft drivers that got everyone home safe, and total rockstars Betty and the Gents for an incredible show. There were so many enthusiastic costumes it was hard to pick just one so we ended up crowning a king and queen of St. Patrick's Day and they will share the honor! Our winners are John Richards, who rocked shamrocks his beard and a kilt, and to Kiera Jordan, proud owner of a dozen Irish-themed accessories, including the best light-up green fanny pack in Mason!

Thanks again to everyone who helped make this weekend so fun. We're already planning for next year.

FHB Team Holiday Party


We love our staff here at FHB and we were so glad we found a quiet Monday night everyone could get together for a belated holiday gathering. Beyond the food and beer, this party was a bit special — your favorite bartenders competed against each other in a series of escalating beer-related challenges!

First, the Slow Pour Challenge. The winner is one with the highest foam, and because we don’t mess around, every beer was measured with not one but TWO levels.


Next up, the Find the Rongorongo Mystery Flight Challenge! We had stocked up with different hazy IPAs the day before so wanted to see if we could trick the staff into not recognizing our beloved NEIPA. Everyone found it though. Darn it! They’re just too good.


When you’re a bartender, feats of agility and precision are important! So the next challenge was the Keg Cap Toss. Harder than you think, especially when Brewer Jake makes a tiny keg at the end worth the most points!

We also tested our team with a FHB beer trivia contest and challenged them to list the current taps in order from one one to sixteen.

Thanks to our wonderful team for all they do every day! It was so fun to torture you with all these challenges.

And we guess the Christmas Card picture for next year is ready! Nice work, everyone! ;-)


Ladies Day Out JDRF Designer Bag Fundraiser


Wow, ladies, thank you! Fundraising grand total yesterday for JDRF Eastern Iowa is a whopping $5,608! WOW. One more time...WOW. Thanks to all who attended for your generosity, the volunteers for all their hard work, and the sponsors for all the donated items! There are plans to do another event like this in the future so please watch the Fat Hill Facebook for updates. Thanks again!

'Twas the night before Christmas


'Twas the night before Christmas, and in the brew house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The taplines were cleaned by I, the brewer, with care
In hopes that weird gunk would not grow in there
The customers were all home, drinking crowlers with friends
The high ABV beers causing visions in their heads
And I amongst empty fermenters and kegs, the quiet mash tun
Beer needed to be brewed, much prep work done
But after our anniversary the busy season did ensue
And I had been late ordering ingredients in time to brew
If grain didn't meet hot water, or yeast dance with glee
Taplines would be empty, all the fermenters totally free
Customers would sob loudly, the bank louder still:
"Why is there no beer," they'd cry, "and also please pay your bills!"
So with empty glass, heavy heart, and sad soul
I sat in silence, wishing the floor drain would swallow me whole
When out on the loading dock arose such clatter
I sprang from my misery to see what was the matter
Away to the alleyway I flew like a flash
Rolled up the door careful not my fingers to smash
Hand to my eyes, I squinted, not believing what it seemed
Off trucks, vans, semis, and borrowed U-Hauls, moonlight gleamed
A volley of "Happy Holidays" and "Merry Christmas" and general good cheer:
The entire fleet of delivery folks had did miraculously appear!
There was UPSFedExDayton Freight Lines, Inc., and R+L Carriers
The US Postal Service with boxes, oh I couldn't be merrier!
Grain bags and yeast bricks and hop piles they brought
Also there were bulging envelopes of odd spices I sought
All was quickly unloaded, brought forth through the cold
Then they smiled, waved goodbye, and left for more stops untold
A grain sack in my arms, heart still aflutter
What relief I felt, so to the now-empty alley I mutter:
"This Christmas miracle is a strong reminder to me
That without deliveries how'd out of luck we'd be!"
Many, many thanks to our delivery folks this holiday season
If we're a successful business, you're a big part of the reason
I'll haul the grain now downstairs, ready to mill
Then sparge it, boil it, add yeast, and chill
My business safe once again, my worries are light
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


We are sharing our profound gratitude to all our delivery people today, who we've been watching work SO HARD the last few weeks especially. Everything we get delivered is gigantic or weird shaped or a million pounds, but our delivery people are such good sports about all of it. We couldn't do what we do without you folks. THANK YOU!

Holiday Extravaganza! 2018 recap

We had a great time getting festive last Saturday! We celebrated with an all-day event. First, there was our pop-up gift market….

Chipped Inscriptions was also around during the afternoon to do a Christmas pillow painting workshop.


We transitioned from afternoon to evening at 5 PM when the Ugly Sweater Contest started and the Over the Hill Brass Band arrived. In a dramatic turn of events, our Holiday Extravaganza's staff-favorites ugly sweater contest had THREE winners! Returning champs Hollie and Brian Meyer showed up again this year, this time with hand-made sweaters featuring a Fat Hill Christmas tree topped with a picture of our owners, and a snowman made out of our logo. And Brian was in gold lamé pants, just to add another festive note. So they win! But wait! We decided that since Brian and Hollie already won last year, we should spread the love. So Wendy Veng, dressed up like a festive version of the Bird Lady from Home Alone, wins too! Congrats to the Meyers and Wendy - may you celebrate your victories with your $50 FHB gift cards.

Pictures of The Meyers:

Pictures of Wendy, the “bird lady”:

Pictures of everybody else below! Thanks for coming, everyone, especially the Over the Hill Brass Band!