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An early Monday morning

Woke up this morning at 5:20 to the sound of Sydney rolling around in her bed. As her room shares a common wall with Mommy and Daddy’s room, I’m often awakened by the sound of her rolling into the wall. Apparently, she was on the high seas in her dreams because she kept slamming into the wall (or she wanted to keep daddy up)?

San Diego Monday Sunrise

Monday Sunrise in San Diego

Either way, I left the house at 5:30 and headed for the pool this morning. Due to all the events of last week (and the one staring at me in the face this week), I really needed to swim. It had been a week since I had made some turns and while it felt good, I also couldn’t get in a rhythm since no swimming last week meant bad diet and all.

That being said, I am now sitting in my office and it’s very quiet. I wanted to take a minute to thank all of the well wishers out there. The outpouring of support has been overwhelming. I can’t reply to each and everyone of the comments so for now, let’s just get this group reply taken care of.

For what it’s worth, I don’t believe this is a conspiracy of sorts planted by the big brewers or another bar owner. What it truly appears to be is a one time incident. Namely, I believe that someone (who may never have visited a working brewery before) went on a pub crawl with some friends and then filed a complaint. Maybe it was a birthday party? I don’t know. What I do know is that we’re seeing tons of people each weekend jump off party buses and limos who roll into our establishment. Many of these people have never heard or experience Lost Abbey and Port Brewing before. So it makes sense that they have a set of expectations.

If it looks like a bar and you can get a pint, then it must be a bar right? I guess that depends on who you ask.

The ABC (California Alcohol Beverage Control) people were here on Friday and did an inspection noting that we are 100% in compliance with the license we were issued four years ago. This license grants us the rights to offer and sell samples of our beers and pints if we are so inclined. When we applied for this license, there was no restrictions placed on us. At that time, we were not required to gain permission from the Health Department to serve samples or pints of our beer made on the premises as this is a manufacturing facility. Clearly, this is the same basis that every other Microbrewery in town has been operating under. The Health Department and ABC rarely have cross over jurisdiction but what’s shaping up with these cease and desist sampling visits is clearly an example of this.

I spoke to the guys from Mother Earth Brew Co. in Vista this weekend as well as Mark over at Oceanside Aleworks. Seems they are both concerned about the potential costs associated with a shut down and lack of tasting room revenues. Since this went down last week, I have maintained this is exactly the sort of thing that hurts the smaller brewers the most.

Of course, we don’t necessarily want to make a bunch of changes around here either but if they lay down the law, there’s very little we can do. Lots of people try to stand up to Health Departments, and more often than not, they fail. You see, Public Health is a scary thing. Fear of the unknown is a powerful tool in the fight against preventable illnesses.

So today, I am starting my week on the right foot. I got my swim on this morning. This is good. Because I am certain that all of the stress of last week and most assuredly this one is going to suck.

We’re now shaping the plans for our 4th Anniversary Party this coming Saturday. These plans have been in motion for several weeks now. Only today, they now include working with our landlord to hold the festivities in the (non bonded) warehouse next to us rather than the brewhouse and tasting room.

Ivan at Churchill’s has offered up his catering license and will be purchasing all of the beer for the event. A huge thank you to him for this! This will allow us to offer samples of our great beers and the party to go on. Yes, it won’t be taking place inside our brewery, but the its right next door and will still be open for tours, pictures, bottle purchases and merchandise. I plan on blogging about party updates as frequently as I can this week.

It’s a busy week for sure. Today, we are installing some new flooring in the offices and entry way to the brewery. We also have a 10 AM visit from Lorenzo Dabove (Kuaska) and his Italian contingent of beer drinkers.

Tomorrow we are going to package Inferno on our revamped packaging line. It will be the first time we fire up the new hood and wire unit as well. Hopefully, we can get some video of it up online for you to see. I’m excited. I’m nervous. But most of all, I’m thankful it’s Monday and we can start trying to sort all this crap out.

When I get off work today, I will be enjoying a pint of our Kick Ass Lost Abbey Beer. And for that, I am thankful that as an owner of this company, they can’t stop me from drinking my own beer.

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