Steam Whistle employs brewmasters and brewers, filterers and fillers, as well as retail staff that greet you at the bar, but there’s a good deal of physical work required in beer production, much of which is done by the packagers.
Because of our commitment to environmental sustainability, we at Steam Whistle use thicker-than-average bottles, 85% of which find their way back to the brewery. The packagers load those bottles into a bottle washer, package full bottles into six, 12, and 24 packs, and then send them off again in new cases. It’s physically demanding work so it’s nice that we sometimes receive tokens of appreciation from customers (to supplement all the free beer we get as employees).
On behalf of the production line, I would like to thank those of you who take the time to leave something nice when you return your cases of empties. The cash is always appreciated, as are the gift cards. Jewellery adds a sparkle to the day and is easy to pawn. The birthday cards are a nice touch even though they rarely come on our birthdays are often accidentally addressed to people who don’t work at the brewery. Similarly, the Blue Jays tickets have an unfortunate habit of showing up after the game has already been played (but such is life). And the family photos, while a bit odd to find, do add a nice personal touch. Tell Aunt Gladys that her kegs are en route!
Special thanks go out to our really big donors. A fairly impressive gift actually showed up in the past month. One kind patron, so impressed with our pilsner, decided to drop an iPhone 5S into the case of empties before returning it to the Beer Store. This was such an arresting act of generosity that we literally stopped the line once the phone was found to see if it worked, which it did… kind of. Once plugged in and booted up, the iPhone’s home screen message revealed that the phone would be locked for the next 27 million minutes. If my math serves, that’s a little over 51 years, so until then we can’t find the phone’s original owner. Not the most effective of gifts, but a fun diversion nonetheless. And even though Max, who found the iPhone, isn’t much of a fan of mobile devices, maybe in half a century he’ll have changed his mind.
So the next time you enjoy a case of Steam Whistle and want to send your regards to some of the production staff, you know what to do: before returning your case, throw in some cash, a personal token, or a family heirloom. If you’re feeling particularly generous, your old phone is a much appreciated gift, as are old gaming consoles or the keys to your used car. Even something as simple as an endorsed blank cheque could go a long way.
Of course, these suggestions are all tongue-in-cheek. Better yet, enjoy our beer and be mindful not to leave anything too valuable with the empties.Guest post by Christian Mittelstaedt
Posted on August 31 2016,