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High Tide Progress and an Expansion Update

As you can see from the photos, I spent Labor Day Weekend working the brewhouse at Port Brewing.

First and foremost, the High Tide Fermentations (there are three tanks going) have progressed along nicely. We are at terminal gravity for all three tanks and tomorrow, we will begin preparations for the conditioning phase of the beer.

Dude, that's a lot of fresh hops

It’s great when they let me back out there. Brings a smile to my face to shovel grain. And yes, I am being serious. As DOBO (Director of Brewery Operations) I often find myself behind the scenes doing all manner of things except brewing. It sucks. But that’s the reality sometimes. That being said, it’s been a very exciting week.

Yesterday, a second truck carrying Simcoe Fresh Hops left Yakima, WA. and is doing the Convoy thing. Not sure if The Bandit is along for this ride or not, but we’re ready. The Fresh Hops will arrive in the early afternoon and head straight for our refrigerator.

On Friday they will be stuffed into body bag-sized sacks and tied off to the insides of the conditioning tanks. It’s crazy how much work goes into prepping for their arrival and usage. But it’s all worth it in two weeks when we tap that first keg of Glorious Hop Infused High Tide IPA.

This is now the 5th year we have produced High Tide. For this years undertaking we brought in 1,100 lbs of Fresh Cascade Hops for the brewday. An additional 720 lbs of Simcoe will be added to the tanks before the weekend. Given how vibrant and green those Cascade hops were, we could be talking about a seriously dank batch of beer. I can’t wait to see how green and stinky the Simcoe’s are as well.

Seems like only yesterday we were brewing that 1st batch of High Tide in our single warehouse. Fast forward to today and we’re in the final stages of securing rights to a 3rd warehouse for Port Brewing. Last fall we moved our Distribution Center across the parking lot to make room for more beer. Later this week, we hope to sign the dotted line on the old Aramark building to our east. This is one of the few buildings in our block that Stone didn’t occupy when they were tenants here. It’s exciting for everyone.

Gordie may be the happiest as we’ll be moving the bottling line out of the office area and expanding the conveyor lengths with new accumulation tables as well. Matt is giddy with glee as a guy can be as he is slated to have his very own office. Now he’ll have a place to hang that diploma from ASU that he rarely puts to use. The Head Cuban is strutting around like a proud peacock as he’ll have his own desk to sit behind and wave at people through the window just like me. David is counting the days until he has more space to build orders in his warehouse since we’ll be moving all of the raw materials and glass out of his warehouse.

Yet, I might be have the biggest grin from ear to ear as we’re going to build an even bigger lab area with dedicated grow rooms for our critters, wild yeast and bugs. It’s super exciting to think about what we’ll be working with in those rooms. It also means we can finally talk about a real growth curve for the barrel aged sour beer program. Not having enough bugs and critters going is always a problem. I think we’re close to alleviating those concerns. And for that, I am thankful that we have another building expansion to deal with this fall.

GABF is next week and there is a whole slew of Port Brewing and Lost Abbey support heading to the Rockies. Look forward to the GABF Competition summary to appear on Friday September 17th in the early afternoon. The judging will have taken place and ballots will have been cast by then. The only thing left to do is sit back and wait for the best 2 hours of our year when our friends, competitors and great brewers get to reap what they sow. We have entered 15 beers between the two brands this year. There will be lots to read about.

Stay tuned.

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