Bottling Day at LomPoc

Posted on December 14, 2010 by

A couple weeks ago I was calling around to local breweries trying to see if I could find some type of part time work. It would be great to get into a brewery somewhere just doing crap labor. During the course of my phone calls I was invited to a Winter Ale release party for a local brewery, NewOldLompoc Brewery to meet one of the brewers and give some of their beer a try.

I arrived later in the evening, was drinking $2 21st Amendment Fireside Chat’s over at East Burn before I showed up. I met with Sam, we chatted a little bit and he asked me if I’d like to volunteer for an upcoming bottling day. Of course I said sure!

Bright and early I showed up at Lompoc to get a taste of what it is like to be a part of the craft beer production process. Lompoc is a smaller brewery in town that when it comes to bottling, they use a 3rd party contractor called “Green Bottling.” Green Bottling comes in, sets up a little assembly line, feeds bottles, labels and fills the beer into the bottles. It is actually a pretty cool little deal they have to fill bottles. Anyway, my job for the day is to pack boxes, stamp them and stack them on pallets. Sound fun? Actually, it was a blast. I had a chance to talk with Sam about the brewery, Portland and just life in general all while listening to some good tunes and some rap music that I grew to like.

Sam told me about the differences in their brewery versus some of the bigger ones. Generally speaking, the smaller breweries are a little more organic and dynamic in the way they do things. Everyone does everything and using sophisticated gear isn’t as important as just making good beer. It’s kind of interesting to hear that because I’d like to go all grain, but I really want to wait until I have the money to buy a fine setup. This mentality makes me feel like I’m worrying about something that I shouldn’t care about. I know I can get by with less, but I guess I just don’t want to spend money twice. Anyway, it was a hard days work that paid off with some tasty lunch, a fine brew and a new friend.

If your interested in learning more about Lompoc, head over to their website or better yet, if your from Portland, OR, head over the the 5th Quadrant and pick up a couple of their beers. They are sure to please!

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  • http://twitter.com/Lost_in_beer Lost

    Cool experience! It’s that kind of foot in the door that could turn into something more formal. Good luck in the job search.

    -Lost

  • http://twitter.com/fledglingbrewer The Fledgling Brewer

    Cool experience! I really like Lompoc, especially their Sidebar. Stumbled upon it when I was up in Portland about a year ago and got the last draw of a nice barrel-aged red ale. C-Note, which it looks like you helped bottle, was my first 100 IBU beer, an experience I’ll never forget. I’ll definitely pay a visit to one or more of the Lompoc locations next time I’m back in the city.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks!

    I hope to go back soon and help with a couple more batches. If nothing else, I’d like to have the opportunity to do a more formal write up about the establishment, its history, employees and beers. I enjoy drinking beer and talking to you guys about it, but I REALLY enjoy learning more about the way they are made and little weird stories about the breweries themselves.

    So, we’ll see.

    Thanks again Lost!

    Mike

  • Anonymous

    Right on. Next time you come back, look me up. I’ll go with you. That sidebar is pretty cool. I like how you can look into the brewery but also, I like the fact that I’m sitting on a leather couch, in front of a fireplace surrounded by oak barrels aging different beers. Simply fantastic.

    Mike

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