Leading up to our expansion, Sam embarked on a pretty hefty quadrathlon. Here’s his quadrathlon expansion story.
Our philosophy at Gipsy Hill is work hard and play quite hard, as hard you want to at least, then when you’re done with that just hang with friends, talk to people, etc…
While I was doing that with a mate we came up with seriously play hard idea – tackle a quadrathlon in Scotland. Get our bones moving, nourishment for the soul, keep us focused, that kind of thing. We both signed up without thinking terribly hard about it…fast forward to June 9th and I was sitting on a bike, sobbing, 20 miles to go and 14 hours into such a strenuous day of exercise that I never really thought I was bodily capable of doing.
Loch Tay is a beautiful place set in the heart of Scotland. Once a year Wild Fox Events takes it over and makes poor, guilt ridden, paying volunteers tear round its rivers, peaks, lochs and roads. 1 mile of swimming, 17 miles of munroes, 7 miles of kayaking and 34 miles of cycling = the Kindroicht quad.
I had done some prep (I ran to the brewery a few times, cycled in every other time for a few weeks and had kayaked twice with my friend), which I thought would see me through. When the day arrived I was apprehensive but confident. Then I got my ass kicked.
Preparation is everything it seems, and I wasn’t prepared for this. I did it, and survived, but 9 hours into climbing my 7th mountain I was on the cusp of total desperation, staring into a void of never-ending hopelessness.
This takes me back to my original point. With any expansion you walk a thin line, without a high level of preparation, you may as well be climbing that 7th mountain again. We couldn’t brew for 6 weeks, completely relying on our hefty brew schedule leading up to the expansion. We made it… just. The new kit is installed and up and running. Coming out of the other side, brewing like crazy, I think it’s all paid off. Being out of production for that long, made me feel naked, but what I do know, and what gives me an incredible amount of excitement, is that we’re preparing ourselves to be as good as we can possibly be at producing wort*.
I’m never going to be an extreme endurance athlete (never seen the Brownlee brothers crying on their bikes), but there were some nice lessons to take away from the whole thing. Life is beautiful, you can get through anything and prepare well. I can’t wait to do it all again… maybe just not the quadrathlon bit.
*As the old saying goes, a brewer makes wort, yeast makes beer.
Photography Credit : Ed Smith Photography