Usually I only post when my “Anniversary” comes around; I would tell you about what has changed in the past year and maybe give you a hint about what’s coming up in the future. When Ben asked me to blog, I couldn’t think of anything to write about that would be interesting to other people. I went through all my old photos and decided to write just a little about each one; plus, who doesn’t love a book with pictures!
The entire Bruery staff back in 2007!
Patrick & I just finished placing all of the brewing equipment.
The first oak barrel I ever got to work with. It took a long time to try and convince my previous employer to buy me one. I picked it up myself from from a winery in Temecula. I still have a bottle of wine that came from it.
A picture of me from the first article ever written about me making beer; I was 22 years old at the time. The Daily Titan (Cal State Fullerton’s newspaper) heard about me from a friend and they wrote an entire feature. This article led to a radio interview a few days later.
One of the first things I did at the Bruery was set up our QC program. Even before we made our first batch of beer, I wanted to make sure that the brewery would do its best to make “clean”, consistent beers. The QC director at my old brewery trained me on making different types of media; I flew up to Reno and spent 24 hours learning about agar and different chemicals. This photo includes a recipe for one type of media and my “blueprint” for the layout and piping of our current brewhouse.
My original desk and “office” when we first opened. Back then I really didn’t need one. I spent most of my time in the brewhouse: brewing, bottling and labeling each bottle by hand (physically sticking on the front & back labels!) Now, I spend a lot of time in my office making sure that our brewing and packaging teams have everything they need to get the job done.
Our original tasting room back when Patrick and I were the bartenders. We had 8 faucets but could barely fit 8 kegs into the kegerator. I spent about 3-5 days making this bar; just recently I finished building a second bar for our current tasting room. I definitely don’t miss the long days of having to work in the brewhouse and then serve beer. It didn’t make me a happy bartender!
I’m standing in front of a mound of hops in Yakima, WA. I went to Hop School with my old brewery (note the Bruery shirt…) and had the time of my life! Hopefully I can make it back sometime soon!
The start of our barrel collection in what is now our packaging area. Last time I counted, we have around 600 oak barrels filled and about 200+ ready to be filled. We are currently in the process of moving almost all of our oak barrels out of the brewery and into our new warehouse.
My view from the very first talk I gave at the CBC. I was on a panel with the brewmasters from Deschutes, Ommegang, Allagash and Boulevard with Karl Ockert moderating. I was honored to be next to them as well as scared out of my mind!
One of the first beer fests we attended as a brewery. My dad and I built this tiny replica of our tasting room bar the night before the fest. After seeing this photo of the bar when it was brand new, I realize just how much it’s been used.
Some of you may know that Sierra Nevada is my favorite brewery. I recently had the privilege of touring their brewery with Jay, Doug and Jarred. This is a photo of their open fermentors which I believe at the time had Celebration in them. We left this trip with a new found passion for beer and a few ideas to help make our beer better.
This day was HUGE! For the first few years we were open, the brewhouse was using 3/4″ water lines. Needless to say, if you were brewing and someone flushed a toilet you would know. About one year ago we ripped up the parking lot and ran a 2″ water line from the main into the brewery filter. I’m currently working on increasing the line size post filter so we can finally utilize this pipe 100%.
Another HUGE day for us was the purchase of a bottler. Previously it would take us 15+ hours to bottle 30bbls on our gravity filler, with our new filler it would only take about 5 hours! We still use the gravity filler for all of our sour beers. Just recently we packaged close to 60bbls of Oude Tart; our packaging team finished it in two days! Good job guys!
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