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Christmas is coming…I asked Santa for a Hood and Wire Unit.

It’s Monday of Christmas week. It’s finally here! I’m sitting at my desk staring at the box with Sydney’s new Princess Scooter in it. I need to put it together. It’s pretty much the only thing she asked Santa for this year. As I stare at the box, I am reminded that there are a bunch of kids out there who have asked Santa for presents this year and may not get anything. It’s enough to make a grown man cry.

Somedays, I am reminded of how blessed we are at Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey. Last night, we held our Chirstmas Party for our employees and their families. It was a chance to reflect on where we have been and to give them hope for the places and direction we wish for in 2010. All told it was a great evening. Vince cooked. We drank and there was even festive music in the background. It was a great way to start this Christmas week.

This Christmas week is very exciting for me. First, I am happy as a pig in you know what since it looks like the new cold box I asked Santa to bring me for Christmas will finally be completed. At over 1200 square feet, it will triple the size of our old unit and make things so much easier on the distribution side. I’m thankful(and so is David) that our warehouse will also stop looking like a bomb exploded in there. For the past two months, we have been storing all manner of kegs, barrels, bottles and cold box parts waiting for the new unit to be completed. Now that it’s done, we can all breath a sigh of relief.

As part of the cold box expansion, we’re also going to finish our new Hot Box for Bottle Conditioning. This will give us much better consistency. In terms of our process, this is one area we have been negligent as the weather in San Diego is pretty stable year round. However, we are entering that time of the year when the warehouse stays a bit cooler than ideal and as such, we need this warm room.

I’m also thankful that our new custom 375 ml bottles have arrived from China. This new bottle mold(that we’re sharing with Russian River and North Coast Brewing Company) is a proprietary shape and will give us better flexibility to ship our small batch beers all over this great country. Look for 2009 Angel’s Share Brandy Barrel to hit the shelves as our first release. Last week, we packaged 800 cases of the beer and it’s conditioning as we speak. These bottles were run on our New Bottling Line and the process went incredibly well. We also have run cork finished Judgment Day and Gift of the Magi bottles on the line with no issues. It’s nice to know that the only piece missing is a wire hood unit that can keep up. Santa can I get one of these for Christmas too?

Lastly, many of you were with us for Christmas in July. I know because we have all these amazing pictures of our patrons sitting with St. Nick. They’re some of my favorite pictures around the brewery. They also remind me that we’re about to make a difference in some young lives this weekend. As many of you recall we donated a ton of presents to the Toys for Tots Foundation back in August. This Christmas (because of your generosity) smiles all over San Diego will break out. And that my friends is the spirit of Christmas. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have some princesses who require my attention.

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