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This past week

It’s Saturday morning July 4th, 2009.  Happy Birthday America!  Yesterday was July 3rd which happens to be my wife Maureen’s birthday.  It appears that we get 48 hours of parties each year because of these two days.  Not too shabby!  Yesterday the gang at Stone Brewing Company hosted local radio station 94.9 FM in the brewery gardens.  The party started at 6 AM with the early morning DJ’s and featured .94 cent beer samples all day.  I was asked to come out to the gardens to spend some time on the air.  My slot was 11 AM with Hilary (the mid day DJ).  Hilary also happens to be a friend of Maureen’s so we loaded the Arthur’s up and headed for Stone Brewing.  When we arrived, it was damn near impossible to find a parking space.  The restaurant was packed and at one point they made an announcement that the restaurant was out of sample glasses as all 750 of them were full of beer.  The party was great and I am thankful that 94.9 and Stone got together to give us a chance to talk about San Diego beers on the air.  Mike even got in on the act.  As chief marketing guy (and head brewer), he asked everyone to show up for our Christmas in July promotion in January.  DOOH!!!  Oh well, at least he makes great beer!

Speaking of Christmas in July, it’s true Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus.  Three weeks from now, we are launching what we hope will be another great day of festivities at the brewery.  On July 25th, 2009 we will be celebrating the arrival of our Bourbon Barrel Aged Santa’s Little Helper Imperial Stout.  We also will be releasing our 2009 bottling of Older Viscosity plus a new little diddie called simply Duck Duck Gooze.  All told, it will be an awesome beery day.

We’ll open the doors at noon.  There will be food and Santa is scheduled to arrive at 1PM.  In exchange for an unwrapped toy (suggested donation no less than $15) you will get access to food, a great band and an opportunity to have pictures taken with Santa.  We know that the local economy is in the toilet right now but we still think all kids should get to celebrate Christmas with toys.  We will have two Marines on hand from Toys For Tots to accept our donation as the day draws to a close.    Lastly, there will be a giving tree on site as well.  As our gift to you, we will have a tree loaded with envelopes.  For a $15 cash donation, you will be able to pull an envelope from the tree.  Naughty or Nice, Sinner or Saint, we won’t be judging.  We promise the tree will be loaded with rarities and things that haven’t been for sale in quite some time.  I am very excited for Christmas in July and can barely contain my enthusiasm for what promises to be an amazing day of beer, food and festivities.

Lastly, this past week is the title of the blog for today.  Why?  Well, we had one of those weeks here at the brewery.  Thursday was about the worst day ever here and I really want to take the time to thank all the guys who chipped in a put a little bit of extra time in for us.  We packaged Older Viscosity on Thursday.  During the run, one of our tanks (Judgment Day) developed a leak at the gasket sealing the door to the tank.  As we had over 120 bbls of beer in the tank, there was little we could do.  This was mostly due to the fact that we had no empty tanks to move the beer to!!!  Yes, it was truly an oh shit moment.  We were able to devise a strategy for dealing with the door but it required an enormous amount of effort and I even jumped on the bottling line to assist the guys in the production of 400 cases of Older Viscosity on Thursday.  That was the bad news for the week.

The good news is that we shipped our first sets of Microstar kegs out this week to the East Coast.  Those of you in the Boston area should start seeing some of our beer next week at your favorite watering holes.  Look for Wipeout IPA, HOP 15, Devotion and Ten Commandments.  Coming in August you’ll also start to see Panzer Pils in bars and on the shelves.  This years batch is off the charts and gets the Schrago seal of approval.  That’s all for now.  I need to get my office cleaned up as I leave for Chicago on Monday for a couple of days of promotional work.  The kind of work my liver quivers over.

Happy 4th of July.  Remember our troops as you celebrate today. We all know somebody who’s out there keeping us safe

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Anyone trying Gnoel De Abbey today?? Live in the tasting rooms!