This entry is entitled "Leaving the swamp", as this represents in a number of ways our current position. Firstly, yes, we'll be leaving Invermay a.k.a The Swamp (a very real title with the extreme weather and flood threat this week), but so far 2016 is proving a ripper-year in terms of the growth of our customer base and subsequently the movement of stock and increase of cashflow is seeing us in a more certain financial position as we're no longer swamped by debts!
So, having only been brewing on our own brewhouse in the current premises for the past 10 months we've now found ourselves being required to relocate. When we were first delivered the news a few months back it came as a major blow. I'm generally a pretty careful fella. So when it was time to sign the lease I made sure there was a 3 year option to give some security for the dosh we'd spent setting the place up. However, it had escaped my attention that somewhere in the fine-print it reads that should we wish to pursue the option we needed to provide written notice 1 month in advance... and as there'd been a change of landlord with a new vision for the building, our space was required. Here's to a lesson learned the hard way!
As you will read, this was a week of events we never want to experience again. It started on a Tuesday: what was to be a regular brew day kicked off to a brilliant start, achieving excellent efficiency in the mash to fill the kettle to capacity with some of the maltiest, tastiest wort imaginable. 10 mins into the boil (50 mins to go) and we have a visit from our neighbour, announcing that they were evacuating as per advice from the authorities, as the waters were rising and the steam boiler was to be shut down.
30 mins later and I get a call from Bill from Not For Horses (our malthouse partner - sharing the building) asking if he can get a ride in: his car is being serviced and there's some stuff he needs to shift at the malthouse.
As we arrived at the plant, a couple of cops pull up and query why we're returning to the area. A few mins later and we're inside, back at work lifting stuff. About an hour went by before the next cop turned up; pretty stoked at finding himself standing in a brewery! However, the excitement was short-lived as he delivered the certain news that "this place is going to go under. They're expecting the level to rise half a metre over the wall". Our hearts immediately sank.
Thursday finally came and we were out of the woods. Believe it or not, the wort was still steaming-hot in the kettle! It returned to the boil and the process completed in good time with brilliant results - no harm done! And still time in the day to return the many hoisted items back to ground!