It's been something of an interesting time these last couple of months. We had a couple of staff leave, which meant a significant skills gap was staring us very firmly in the face. So firmly indeed that I wondered if we were going to survive. Our bar project was already due to take a significant amount of my time, so losing a brewer was very much a problem.
But, undaunted, we pressed ahead and advertised. We advertised on this blog, in the local press and on the SIBA website. Several great people applied. Many thanks for those that did direct from reading my blog. Another time perhaps it'll be you.
We interviewed several people. One guy seemed to me to be perhaps just too good on paper to be as good in real life. He originated from New York State, has home-brew experience, and had also worked in retail. Equally he likes the outdoors and plays guitar. You might think this is irrelevant to joining a brewing team. Possibly, but when looking to build a small team it is useful to have some common interests. Like minded people always rub along a little better I feel.
So, we hired Scott Larrabee, an American who has married a UK citizen and has been living in Cumbria for several years. After an amazingly short length of time he has gotten used to our crazy brew-kit and can just about brew by himself. I've left him in charge of the brewery whilst we swan off to Montreal and I'm almost not in the slightest bit worried.
I mentioned guitars. Well, of course some people claim to be able to play. Sometimes I have been known to show off a little, with little sucess. Scott, it turns out, plays proper ol' fasioned acobottle neck blues on RESONATORS. And he doesn't just have one resonator, but two. And, just to put the cherry on top, he can play them with a level of confidence that, if I don't keep my emotions in check, makes me want to break his fingers<1>.1>
So, as we have suddenly seemed to have almost reached mid-summer, things are getting slightly more OnTrack.
<1>I'm kidding of course. I don't ever actually get the urge to break the fingers of people who are better at playing musical instruments than I am. However, it's the closest I can explain to the actual bizarre feeling of hearing, and seeing ones contemporaries performing and providing a complex combination of pleasure and jealousy that actually urges a determination to just bloody well get on and improve yourself.1>
I think a brewer tasting a really good beer, that he didn't brew himself, has a similar feeling.