Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Party 2010

We celebrated the holidays with what is now our 3rd company holiday party. It's been a pretty interesting way to track our growth over the past 2.5 years. The first party was just 5 of us enjoying a homecooked dinner at Patrick & Rachel's house. The second party was about 12 of us having lunch at a nearby gastropub. This year, between Bruery employees, Provisions employees and significant others, we had over 30 people celebrating together at our brewery.

Patrick coordinated with some of the other great brewers around the country and was able to obtain some pretty incredible (and hard to find on the west coast...or anywhere) beers for us all to share, plus we had one of our favorite local food trucks, The Lime Truck, cater the event. It was a pretty amazing time. Can't wait to see what next Christmas brings.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This year for our Batch 300 contest we are donating the $10 entry fee to a local clinic called Lestonnac. They are a free medical clinic that provides care for the poorest of the poor in Orange County.

Yesterday, Patrick and Benjamin had a chance to go down and visit the clinic to learn a few things about what they are doing and we were incredibly impressed. The clinic provides everything from dental care to general medical care to minor surgeries to pharmaceutical needs to psychiatric care to prenatal care. They even have a food drive on Thursdays and run a toy drive over the holidays where the director of the clinic dress up like Santa and rides in on a sleigh. Wow.

We also learned that the majority of the money we raise through the contest will be going specifically to a 4 year old boy who desperately needs surgery to keep from going deaf. He is currently hearing at only about 70% and that will continue to decline if he doesn't get treatment. With our funds, plus the support of a local hospital's surgery staff, we will be able to restore his hearing and keep him healthy. Pretty amazing what a few homebrewed batches of beer can do!

We are really looking forward to working with Lestonnac on this project and hopefully for future charitable events.

Good luck to all of you in the contest and thank you for your donations!

By the way, if you are not a homebrewer and are just interested in supporting Lestonnac, you can simply mail a check for any amount you choose and we'll include it with our entry fee donations. Simply write the check to The Bruery and write "donation, no entry" on the comment line. Send attn: Batch 300 to 715 Dunn Way, Placentia CA 92870

And of course, if you are entering the contest, you can always send a check for more money than the required $10 if you so choose.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Three Years

(Our first GABF)

Every December, not only do I add on a year to my age (I was born December 28th), I add one on to my years here at The Bruery. Three years ago I started working here while finishing my Communications degree at California State University Fullerton. Three years ago to this date Patrick and I just finished placing the brew-house equipment in its current place. It's kind of fitting that exactly three years later I am now getting ready to move some of that equipment to make room for more tanks. For those of you who have been to our brewery, you will notice some big changes coming in the new year. Our 30 barrel bright tank will be moving almost up against the tasting room bar along with a new 60 barrel bright tank right next to it. In its place we plan on installing one 30 barrel fermentor with another new 30 barrel fermentor not too far away from it. On top of all of that, we plan on placing a new 45 barrel fermentor in there as well! To help make room for the bright tanks and our new 45 barrel hot liquor tank, the whirlpool vessel that so many of you lean on during tasting room hours will be moving between the mash/lauter tun and boil kettle. We should be getting these tanks in early January so you’ll probably see me in the brewery looking more like a contractor than a brewer in the next month or so. As I am writing this I am just thinking about all the stuff that has to be done in the next thirty days and I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed and scared, but this is what I love doing, I get the chance to redo parts of the brewery and make it so much easier for the brewers to do their jobs.

It's kind of weird that I was doing the same thing three years ago. I didn’t have the knowledge back then that I do now but I'll probably say the same exact thing three years from now. Three years ago I was worrying about setting up our brew-house procedures and placing equipment so it couldn't limit us in anyway (I guess I didn't do that good of a job!). Now I’m looking at charts, graphs and layouts worrying about pipe capacities in gallons per minute, effectively heating our HL tank without a boiler, shutting down production to modify our current glycol piping and hiring two new people to help us package our beer once these new tanks are up and running. So if you see me stressed out at The Bruery, it’s because I am! The sooner I can get these tanks up and running, the sooner we can make more beer!