Brewing and a Sabbatical

1379484_10151923245024419_1902350231_nIt seems like forever since I wrote a blog post. Maybe its just writer’s block. We have a few changes coming around the corner, but I’m not just ready to spoil the fun.

It’s been a strange but interesting year so far. We’ve gone through some cosmetic changes in remodelling to chiming in on local legislation. With the cooperation of Denizens and politicians, we’ve accomplished so much and helped to make a bit of Montgomery County history.  

We went from only being able to serve up samples to being able to serve up pints. Growlers were a big deal too, before, growlers had to technically be “pre-filled.” Then it was only being able to fill our growlers. Now apparently you can bring in any growler as long as it has the surgeon general’s warning and cleaning instructions. Yes, there is such a thing as a legal growler.

Finally, thanks to even more legislative changes, we are able to self distribute in the County, no more having to drive up to the DLC to drop off product. There are still stores out there that don’t believe us, they are very set in their ways. 

I’ve only recently returned to the office after several months of working from home. I only do administrative work and run the tasting room occasionally now and I’m fine with that. During my little sabbatical, my brewers really went to town and really blossomed as brewers. I can learn a thing or two from them.

I had some rather unpleasant life threatening allergic reactions to something at the brewery, even had to jab myself with an Epipen just outside the brewery. A very special thank you to the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department for coming to my rescue.

Ailments are not without a bit of humor. On my last visit to an ER, the attending physician wrote a letter for me to my boss. When he handed it to me I could help but get a chuckle out of it. A letter to me to give to me. This wasn’t the first time I joked about a health issue, about 15 years ago, I had a tiny little run in with the big C. My first dose of radiation happened to fall on my birthday. To make myself feel better, I joked around about being my own birthday candle. The way I see it, if you can’t make a little fun of yourself, you won’t get better. As it turns out, its an antibody thing and it looks like malt dust was the culprit.  

Malt contains all sorts of micro organisms but don’t let this keep you from enjoying a nice pint of beer. There are dust mites, hard to get around these little buggers. Wild yeasts and other fungi can be present such as penicillium and in some cases, ergot. Some historians speculate that ergot, which sometimes shows up in rye, may have been responsible for such events as the Salem Witch Trials. This nasty little fungus may have also been responsible for other strange historical events. We don’t and have never had grain infected with ergot. Luckily, I’m not allergic to anything else like hops or beer. 

This is not a sympathy rant, I see it as part of the journey of having a brewery. It’s just another hurdle and learning experience. I am very proud of my staff for stepping up to the plate. Well, that’s it for now. I’m going to try and write a little more often.