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    More of My Favorite Beer Brandings

    If there is one thing that the beer industry has the ability to make me lose sleep over it is the never dying trend of breweries ripping off other industries of their intellectual property and slapping it on a can or bottle label and claiming “inspiration” or “parody.” Okay, I probably don’t lose a lot of sleep over it but I certainly use a lot of my data texting and talking about these infuriating, lazy attempts at trying to be creative. And in the end it’s the same thing right?

    To combat this festering hatred that has built inside my gut I decided to make a post last year commending breweries that go above and beyond to create beautiful, original artwork for their brands that stands out but is absolutely, 100% theirs. These breweries exhibit an integrity that is often overlooked by other aspects of brewing. Don’t get me wrong, integrity in the quality of one’s beer is extremely important to me and, more importantly, to these breweries. But I enjoy pointing out the little things in our industry that tend to be overlooked such as TTB compliant labeling and safety. How safety is overlooked is beyond me but it seemingly is because it’s just not a “cool” topic.

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    How Beer is Affected by the Shutdown

    As of my writing this the United States government has been shutdown for 16 days. What does this have to do with beer? Considering that the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which regulates and taxes alcohol from a federal level, is currently one of the offices closed by this shutdown it means a whole heaping lot.

    The TTB collects taxes from breweries every quarter based on production. This shutdown has come right at the end of the 4th quarter of the year and right when breweries are due to pay these taxes. Well, actually they are due by the 10th of January. Despite this shutdown breweries are still required to submit their quarterly production numbers and that nice check to Uncle Sam. Don’t forget it’s 2019 when filling in the date. These will just not be checked on until things are opened back up. But that’s not really the big deal here, you keep doing what you were doing. The real problem will be in other areas that the TTB oversees, licensing and label approvals.

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    Brewery Safety: It’s Cool

    When a homebrewer has aspirations of turning a hobby into a career one of the last things that probably comes to mind is safety. The closest thing they typically encounter that would be considered a safety issue is exploding bottles from over carbonation. I’m not saying that isn’t a real safety issue, because it is. I’ve had my own experiences with those. I still found broken glass, by stepping on them barefoot, even when I sold that house 6 years later. I’m just saying that homebrewers don’t really have a need for a real safety plan.

    Safety is a very serious and very real concern working in a manufacturing brewery that is surrounded by things that can cause trips, slips, cuts, burns, poisonings and death. It wasn’t until I attended a seminar at the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference that I started to take safety seriously.

    In the talk a number of operations managers—a position I held—from a number of much bigger breweries opened up the floor to questions. In pouring came a number of safety related questions. One after one operations managers from Three Floyds, Victory, Allagash and Cigar City provided basic procedures that any brewery, of any size, could easily implement. Safety glasses, rubber gloves when handling chemicals, proper footwear and much more easy, cheap procedures we’re listed off. I put my pen into overdrive on the conference provided notebook trying to keep up with these nuggets of information. I was convinced that I needed to create some sort of basic safety plan for our brewery and it needed to be done very soon.

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