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Brewing always brewing

Well it’s official, we have been up here for more than a year, actually I think I have even been at the brewery for close to one year as well.  Some time in early to mid August I started volunteering at Ice Harbor, back then I had no idea that I would ever become the assistant brewer, within a couple of months I had a good idea that things would be shaken up as things were just not working out with the at the time assistant.  I’m not sure “Assistant Brewer” is a good description of the assistant at Ice Harbor.  I’ve done 72 out of 112 batches this year so far and from what I can figure I’ve produced more than 800bbl of beer on my own so far as assistant.  I calculated it out the other day and so far this year I’ve produced somewhere around 25000 gallons of beer.  This is on a 10bbl system mind you that usually grosses more like 11 to 12bbl out of the kettle.  To put this in perspective the average brewpub probably produces between 200 to 300bbl a year, I’ve already brewed like I was at a small brewpub for 3 years or more. in less than a year (I’ve been assistant for 10 months).  Really for experience sake it’s more about how many batches you have made (Full Sail brewing has fermenters that are a capacity that is half of our annual production in one shot).  So I’ve done 80 batches which wile doesn’t seem like a lot really is.  The head brewer says I have the experience now where I should have no problem getting a brewing job down in Oregon, that is a good feeling the only problem will be trying to find an opening.

I’d still really like to open a brewery in Salem but I just not sure that my wife and I can afford it.  I’m seriously thinking of starting a nano-brewery just to get my foot in the door of the Salem market.  I know I know it’s not a brewpub, which I think would be really disappointing to a lot of Salemites but it’s probably all I can manage unless someone wants to invest in our place.  I’ve been trying to keep a finger on the pulse of Salem as long as I’ve been up here through blogs and such and I stumbled upon someone commenting that they wished there was a local brewery in downtown Salem, check out What’s Up With That? I made a comment.  My dream is to have a brewpub that makes worldclass beers not just over the top hop bombs and makes tasty handcrafted wood fired pizzas in a giant clay pizza oven.  Maybe someday…..


One Response

  1. Start one in Salem! We need one desperately!

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