Short’s Spotlight: A Day in the Life of Our Brewery
So far on this blog, we’ve shone the Short’s spotlight on several of our top notch employees. Each and every member of the Short’s family plays a very important role in the day-to-day operations of our company, however, it is not as easy to showcase just how many moving parts are clicking along at any given moment at Short’s. To give you a looksie at just how these moving parts and busy people work together to create delicious and fearlessly creative beer in Northern Michigan we present to you (drum roll please), “A Day in the Life of Our Brewery.”
Once upon a time (specifically, Friday July 25th, 2014) our day started as the sun rose over downtown Bellaire. There was barely time for a cup ‘a joe as we quickly realized that this Friday would not only be busy for the Brewpub staff (they would go on to have a near record-breaking day, all told serving 452 sandwiches, 655 pizzas, and 1,159 pints of beer!), but for the Bellaire brewers and for our construction team. The morning began with the brewing of Bloody Beer by the Bellaire Brew Staff, an early Short’s brew that appeared in the 2007 Imperial Beer Series. At the same time, many bodies were busy removing three old brite tanks (necessary to the conditioning and carbonation of beer post-fermentation). These tanks were then replaced with 5 brand-spankin’ new Uni-Tanks, a more versatile style of tank that is made in Michigan by Craftwerk Brewing Systems of Lake Orion, MI.
If you’ve visited Bellaire at all this summer, you may have noticed the construction occurring across the street from the brewpub. On this lovely July Friday, Short’s employees and Joe Short himself were helping the Bellaire Pharmacy move to their new home, across the street from the brewpub and into the historic Tiffany building. Every single item in the pharmacy was moved, re-organized, and set in place. Even the Short’s IT Department was in on the action, installing new phone and internet lines to the pharmacy. Checked those things off the list! Finally, the old pharmacy building could begin its transformation to expanded brewpub space, not only offering additional seating and restrooms, but replacing our tiny kitchen with one that is bigger, shinier, and newer; and adding a dedicated space for Short’s swag!
Meanwhile, across Torch Lake in a land called Elk Rapids, construction was also well under way at our production facility where a new Hot Liquor tank or “HLT” (also made by our friends at Craftwerk – high five for Michigan!) was installed alongside a new process kettle, water pumps, and a new heating and cooling system. Installing the new HLT even required removing a section of the roof to install via crane–talk about “raising the roof”! And this was in addition to the construction of a new wastewater pretreatment system well, underway at the the back of the Production Facility (check back here for more information on this addition to the brewery later this season). Despite all of this construction, beer was still brewed and bottled. All told, six batches of beer were brewed, and 1,767 cases and 108 kegs of Pandemonium Pale Ale were packaged.
July 25th was also the first day of the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Festival. While many of us were working at full speed at home in Northern Michigan, the remainder of the Short’s family was downstate setting up for and staffing the largest beer festival in the state of Michigan. Over the course of the two day festival in Ypsilanti, Michigan brewers, pub staff, beer liberators, and members of other Short’s departments poured 40 kegs of beer for thirsty festival attendees.
At the end of our days at Short’s, we can all sit back by our respective lakes and say with pride that what we accomplish together is pretty epic. The only thing that stays the same at Short’s (other than the continued production of delicious beer) is change. We are constantly evolving to deliver the most fearlessly creative beer to all corners of the mitten state. But what also rings true is our commitment to teamwork. Without every member of the Short’s family, days like July 25, 2014 simply wouldn’t work. “A Day in the Life of Our Brewery” is pretty hectic, but as you can imagine, intensely gratifying. We like what we do, where we live, and who we work with, what could be better?