Mike’s Organic – Day 5

12/18/2009
Friday at the brewery was an insightful day.  We were labeling again, but this time working side by side with Ron, Jill’s husband and co-owner of the brewery.  Being a smaller operation, it was cool to see how everyone chips in, be it washing dishes, labeling bottles, or restocking fridges.  They finished up bottling the inaugural batch of their newest beer, Mike’s Organic Strawberry Blonde (which took a while to bottle because of a carbonation issue.  We didn’t get all the details, but we learned that even the smallest glitch can add a whole lot of extra man hours in this hands on situation) and moved over to their hop loaded Pilsner.  This switchover created a special blend that we got to try at lunch called “The Pilsberry” made from the combination of the two beers while they changed the lines over for bottling.  We’d tried both of the beers on their own before and enjoyed them, but the combo was actually the perfect mid-day refresher.

The day went quickly and by lunch we were ready to go out and play.  Tracy and I went on a little ride to nowhere in particular just to get some pedaling in and burn off a few calories before our next meal.  Our buddy Paul had stayed at home to pack up his stuff, as he was moving on the next day.  When we got back, we played some afternoon cards and tried to download a movie (to no avail).  We had just started to feel a little out of things to do when two touring cyclist rolled up looking for beer and a place to camp.  Tracy and I all but ran to greet them, excited to see who they were, what their story was, and generally get more information about cycle touring in NZ.

Shad and Rory, our two new friends, were Americans from Nebraska.  One was a just out of the military, had been working for a bit to save to travel, the other was studying religion in Chicago.  Their backgrounds were very different from ours and it was cool to meet some more crazy Americans in the middle of NZ.  We spent the night having a few beers and chatting about cycling and traveling as they managed to polish off an entire loaf of bread and tub of nutella while we all sat around (impressive!)  It seemed a bit ridiculous at the time but looking back to our own bike touring days, we would have eaten just as much and thought nothing of it.

Bike ride at the brewery

Bike ride at the brewery

Paul and Sara riding to the beach

Paul and Sara riding to the beach

Paul, Shad and Rory about to depart

Paul, Shad and Rory about to depart


 
 
 

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