What an awesome couple of days. Today my family, mrr, Elena, and I went on a tour of the Widmer brewery, which was a lot of fun. I kept track of what was going on during the first part of the process, but once we got past mashing, separation and boiling I kind of got confused about the difference between fermentation and conditioning; maybe the four beer samples they gave us were starting to affect me. Our tour guide was apologetic that the bottling and packaging line wasn't actually running when we walked through, but I thought it was kind of awesome just to look at it. It's funny how even though it's all computerized, there are still a whole bunch of big old buttons and mechanical levers and switches next to everything, like, "When the computer breaks, you better know how to use this." All of the equipment on the line was of German manufacture, and Mike pointed out that the same was true in the automotive industry. They're good at automation, those Germans. At least, when it comes to beer and cars.
We've been doing lots of other cool stuff -- Saturday Market, the Bagdad...you know, the whole Portland Experience -- but, ack, it's almost midnight!