Community Networking: He was a wise man who invented beer
A little over a month ago, I received a call from APICS (The Association of Operations Management) Maine President, Joe Allen. He said, “Hey Tim, do you want to go our Shipyard Holiday…” “JOE, let me stop you right there. You had me at Shipyard!”
The event was the annual APICS Holiday party and Shipyard Brewery Tour. What could be better? A tour of the brewery, free samples afterwards, the opportunity to see supply chain and operations management in action and learn more about what my friends at APICS do.
Walking up to the brewery that cold Tuesday evening, I was hit with the pungent smell of fermenting yeast. I knew I was in store for a great history lesson of Shipyard’s beginning, as well as a chance to see a top notch operation in action. APICS has been having their annual holiday party at Shipyard for over 15 years. It gives their members a chance for a behind the scenes look at Shipyard Brewery operations.
Shipyard was started in 1992 at Federal Jack’s Restaurant & Brew Pub in Kennebunkport, by entrepreneur Fred Forsley and master brewer Alan Pugsley. Craft beer was just starting to take off in the state when Alan arrived. He learned to brew under the legendary Peter Austin at the world famous Ringwood Brewery in Hampshire, England. After 2 short years, Shipyard had outpaced its brewing capacity and it was time to come to Portland. By 1996, it was the fastest growing craft brewery in the country, and a fixture on Newbury Street just outside the heart of the Old Port.
Our tour was a look at the full process of making award-winning, hand-crafted beer. We started where all the ingredients arrive at the brewery and finished where the final product is bottled and shipped out. The proof of this process was in the sampling afterwards. It was an excellent and delicious demonstration of what a great idea, entrepreneurship, and operations management can accomplish. I can’t wait for my next APICS lesson!
The Shipyard Brewing Company has grown into the 16th largest craft beer company in the U.S. and the 24th largest beer company. APICS is the global leader and premier source of the body of knowledge in supply chain and operations management. APICS recognizes the contributions of supply chain and operations management professionals make to their employers and the global economy.
Next time Joe calls, he’ll have me at “APICS.”
Tim Thornton, Program Manager, USM Professional Development Programs
We’d love to hear from you!
Timothy J. Thornton
Program Manager, Professional Development Programs
USM Professional and Continuing Education