World Beer Cup 5-7-16

Sometimes you just can’t catch a break. Today started off as just one of those days and was as high a stress day as we’ve had throughout the entire construction process. With the disappointment of not passing our final inspection weighing heavy on us, we had to keep plodding on and have a brew day despite all the other things that needed to get done. And we should have known that because of all the things going on that needed our attention, we would be constantly distracted, and we were.

It started right off the bat as we were milling in. For the time being, milling in is a two person operation, at least until we get our auger a variable speed adjustment. Someone needs to turn off the auger from time to time or else it gets clogged. Of course right when we are a couple of minutes in, our first order of kegs arrives from Microstar, and I have to step away to unload, leaving Craig to run back and forth from the brewhouse deck and the auger shut off switch. And in so doing, Craig banged his shin bad enough that it oozed blood for the rest of the day.

And then the phone calls and subcontractors started coming to us always in an order that mucked things up, like right around hop addition time, when the timing is critical. I would get pulled away by a phone call only to have Craig direct contractors as he was simultaneously trying to brew. We worked through it, but were being pulled so many different directions at once that we only narrowly avoided some potentially disastrous mistakes.

By the time Craig and I wrapped up the brewing process we were both exhausted, and kind of down on things (like I said we didn’t pass our final inspection and there were a lot of loose ends that were eating up a lot of our energy). I can honestly say it was a low point for both Craig and myself, we were both mentally and physically exhausted.

As we sat down at the end of the night to discuss Mother’s Day Weekend, Craig started getting a bunch of text messages all at once saying congratulations. I was confused, why would people be saying congrats? We didn’t pass final inspection. We had to push back our soft opening. I honestly thought people had mistakenly heard we were open. The misplaced congrats felt like salt on an already open wound.

And then Craig said, “I think we won something at the World Beer Cup, it’s the only time I get a slew of texts like this”. I had completely forgotten that it was going on at the time. With everything going on here at the warehouse, the WBC seemed lightyears away. Plus, I didn’t really think we would do well anyways, all our beer we entered was rushed as an afterthought to the more important task at hand, opening the brewery to the public.

We waited until someone finally texted that we won a Gold Medal for Apogee, our Baltic Porter. It’s crazy how that affected us right then. Craig’s and My spirits lifted immediately and it could not of happened at a better time. For one thing it cured the funk we were in, for another what better timing to win, right as we were in the home stretch for opening to the public.