As of this week, my main post with North Island Beer has shifted to the brewery in Ebetsu, with one or two shifts at the Sapporo bar per week. The change means, for now, a one hour each way car commute — soon to be on snow-covered roads. But it also means, except for especially busy periods, two days off a week. More than that, it means a chance to work in a completely new environment filled with things to learn how to do (there are a lot of things).
In my previous shifts at the brewery (usually just in the morning before heading to the bar) I did various things like kegging, keg-cleaning, tank cleaning, throwing out farm-bound spent grains (moo), and other cleaning-related tasks. This week, on the morning of a brew day, I found myself crushing malts in the mill and prepping hops.
As the days and weeks pass, I expect to see more and more tasks added to my workload. Eventually, I hope to get more involved in the overall brewing process, an area with which I have no experience (besides the bits of prep and cleaning noted above).
There's a lot going on at North Island, including two new full time staff members (one at the bar, one at the brewery). Some other exciting developments are underway, besides the always exciting limited and seasonal beer releases. Stand by for those items!
Meanwhile, I'll have my "first" bar shift since my position change tomorrow (Saturday). Today I'm off, but I find my free time is pretty much consumed by reading about — or consuming — beer. Tonight — although one day late for International Stout Day — I'm going to make beer batter chicken and chips and enjoy some other stouts and one porter who slipped in some how. Cheers!