Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beyond The Blue Sky

       What a time, what a time.  Erin and I have been busy with our new jobs. I am so happy to announce my new job as a brewer at Natty Greene's Brewing Company in Greensboro, NC.  I truly feel the flow of the full circle.  I have dedicated the last two years of my life to beer, brewing, and well, drinking well brewed beer!  I had a two week training period and as of two weeks ago I was sent out on my own to brew on our 20 hectoliter system.  That's roughly 18 brewers barrels, or for everyone else, a little over 500 gallons a batch.  I typically handle three or four brews when I come in for my shift, five are usually made in one day.  To see the process from start to finish is astounding, for there is so much in the way of timing that makes this science a true art.  I am not quite to the art stage yet, though I am slowly learning how to become efficient and be a better troubleshooter.  I must say this is no job, but like dog sledding, a rugged lifestyle.  I am wet and hot most of the time, juggling Plato readings and ph levels in my short term memory, all while keeping the flow of several batches consistent.  As far as North Carolina goes, there are no breweries like ours that produce as much beer with such few employees.  A great resume builder, and a great opportunity to learn everything along the brew to bottle cycle.  I have learned too that unlike home-brewing, many hands are involved in the making of Natty's beer.  The brewers extract the wort and send it to fermenters, the cellarmen pitch the yeast, take readings, filter, and carbonate, and the warehouse employees bottle and keg.  It is then distributed all across NC for you to enjoy.  It is a very big operation, and I'm lucky to be working with so many talented individuals who truly care for the well being of our product.
       Erin had started at TS Designs, a screen printing company that focuses on two things;  making NC organic cotton apparel, grown sewn, and dyed within the state's borders, and modeling a sustainable business plan.  They have lots of green ideas implemented, including recycling water, energy efficiency through solar and wind power, as well as a garden out back full of delicious food.  The chickens that eat compost from the co-op I worked at provide eggs, and the bees in the two hives made honey for the Mead that erin and I have fermenting at our house.  I love the idea of this business, you should check out their interactive website here.
       So as far as the book, I am peppered with free time to get the final drafts done.  I am trying a new angle on the book.  I decided that now I have the ability to look back on the journey and see where it has taken me, that I am re-writing the book in just that way.  I was originally hesitant to do that because if I wrote it as I went along, it would lack that sense of plans coming full circle.  I am excited to be writing the book this way, and am still planning in the release to be around Christmas this year.  Though I have hardly any money, I'm hoping I can either get it published, or self publish and order a few hundred copies to get the ball rolling.
       My best friend and his fiance are getting married next week in Aspen, CO.  Brad has been my good friend for 13 years, and he is that friend that everyone should have.  He is hard working, loyal, funny, and able to take the conversation to the bottom floor real quick.  He is grounding and uplifting all in one, and I am so happy to be able to fly out and celebrate his big day.  It will be awesome seeing old college and high school friends, I'm sure we will all try to act like adults as long as we can, that is until we've had a few drinks:-)
       I thank you all for following me on my journey from mushing dogs in Alaska to brewing beer in North Carolina, it has been and continues to be such a positive force in our lives.  I am proof that hard work pays off, and that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith to see the world clearly.  I want to motivate those around me and help them meet their potential.  Dreams do come true, and theirs nothing you can't do as long you don't have no in your heart!

Happy Fall everyone!!!!