It’s been a long day down on the canning line. What began as a remarkably, delightfully smooth morning turned viciously on us right after lunch. Without any provocation one of our new pieces of equipment began merrily massacring cans, tearing into their sides four at a time before launching them off the end of the conveyor belt spraying lovely amber-brown Siamese Twin foam all over half the crew. Seconds later, as if it was feeling left out, the can seamer munched two cans in a row to cover everyone else. And then the printer quit. There we were with shredded cans at either end of the line, beer on the floor, beer on the equipment, and on the walls, but mostly on us.
Two technical service calls later everything was back up and mostly running, and dragging on. The brite tank seemed bottomless. We kept going, on and on. In all of the rushing about fixing equipment none of us paid much attention to the unlikelihood of being able to fill a barrel of beer into cans every twelve minutes, but only seeing a quarter of a barrel drawn down on the brite tank gauge. It was like getting free beer. Sure we were running slower than we should have been, but it was beer from nowhere.
We finished up the planned pallet of cans, enough for the 25 barrels that we started with, but somehow still had 8 barrels registering in the seemingly bottomless brite tank. There was a few minutes pause to get another pallet got dragged downstairs and the rest of the canning line reset to keep going for another few hours. Everyone got to their places, the line started up, and shot nothing but air into the cans.
The sight gauge was only cracked open. The tank was emptied with five cans left from the first pallet. It hadn’t been registering accurately since sometime after lunch. Apparently there really is no such thing as free beer.
In other news, uncommon beer drinkers out in New Jersey should start keeping an eye out on shelves, because Regal Wine and Beer Imports has started carrying us in the Garden State. The early buzz is that we’re a hit in Jersey.
Halfway back across the country, we’ll be entering the Chicago area market on February 6th when River North Sales and Service launches with cans and kegs of Siamese Twin Ale, Golden State Ale, and a little bit of Baltic Porter. Also keep an eye out for a few kegs of Bacon Brown Ale.
Oh yes, the Bacon Brown Ale. It’s finally going to be entering our regular lineup. The Bacon Brown cans arrived last week, along with a new label for the Siamese Twin Ale. We’ll start shipping the first 200 cases of Bacon Brown within the next 2-3 weeks.
If you’re up in the Boston area in early February, our Brewmaster will be bringing some fun new projects to share at the Extreme Beer Fest. Then it’s on to Chicago to help launch the Uncommon takeover of Chicago.
Still covered in beer…