Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Visit to BrewCraft USA

"Every man has his gift, and the tools go to him that can use them." ~Charles Kingsley

October 19: Today I spent the day at BrewCraft USA. My husband Jon Graber is the new Operations Manager here. They just moved into a new warehouse near the Portland airport. BrewCraft sells home brewing, winemaking and distilling equipment, ingredients and supplies to homebrew shops all over the country. Above is a photo of Jon standing with some pallets of goodies about to be shipped out.

And let me tell you about the goodies! What a fun place to walk around. It feels like a football stadium full of tall stacks of all the goodies you could want.

Canned grape juice and extracts from all the grape-growing regions of the world for winemaking. Sacks of malted barley, hops and yeast in the cooler for beer making.

Plus little bottles of interesting extracts for making homemade liqueurs for Christmas gifts. Corks, crowns, corkers, crowners, foil cork covers, labels, books and equipment such as grape crushers, malt mills, "water purification" stills, and carboys of all sizes including squat carboys in plastic baskets for winemaking.

Jon's office is in the front of the building, but sometimes he needs to get paperwork to the warehouse guys in the back. (He actually works all over the building.) He found a little bike at Goodwill to speed across the warehouse to take care of business. He can put paperwork or small parts in the basket. I told him he needs silk hop vines to decorate the basket and he agreed.

I spent most of the day looking up rental companies online and checking Craig's List for house rentals. I couldn't update my blog because all my photos are on my laptop and I couldn't plug into BrewCraft's secure network.

I did unload the beer that I've been collecting on my trip. I separated out one bottle of everything to share with Jon once we move to Portland. That makes up about 2/3 of this stash.

Somehow I managed to fit all 14 of these cases shown at right either under one bench seat or under the trailer's table. I collected them from whichever among the 71 breweries I visited that was able or willing to share with me.

I couldn't put any beer in the van because the van got too hot. The trailer stayed a lot cooler because of the vent on top and the high ceiling (compared to a Chevy Astro Van).

About 1/3 of this beer is made up of mix-and-matched six-packs for my continuing brewery visits. I've been dropping off a mixed-six pack at each of my stops. The craft breweries gifted me bottled beer to go so I could spread the wealth, and the brewpubs bought me meals. It's been a very special trip!

I also unloaded the Stranahan Whiskey barrel. We put it in a corner of BrewCraft's warehouse. No sense bringing it home to Eugene just to move it back. Jon plans to enlist Wyeast to brew a Porter into it, in exchange for getting some of the whiskey-aged Porter back. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Tomorrow I will finally be home from my trip: 139 days!


Unknown said...

Hi Teri-
I agree that your trip has been fascinating. I haven't read each entry- but the ones I have read have been great- you deserve all the respect/admiration that your followers have bestowed on you.

Anonymous said...

Hey teri:
like that weizen case. Bet you didn't know we got a silver medal this year. Love that beer