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Friday, May 27, 2011

Stranahan's Assembly Line





5,800 bottles of Stranahans whiskey were the way out the door. Shelves would soon be restocked with a fine Colorado whiskey. Something this big was done without the use of any automated machines, us workers were the machines for the day! 20 volunteers work the a.m. shift and 20 more come in to finish up the afternoon. It’s one day of bottling that happens once a month to make a complete human powered assembly line.
Empty bottles were filled, corked, labeled, sealed off and boxed! The assembly line was pumping out energy and filling case after case to fill up those pallets! I tried my hands at corking, then moved down the line to see if I had skills to sticker the bottles. Wellp, fumbled… bottles were getting backed up! These volunteers had it down smooth! The sticker was placed with pressure on the perfect point and slid on down the line. I had a few crooked ones that entered the reject pile...so I moved myself to a new department!
So why volunteer to work an assembly line? Well, for anyone who is a fan of Stranahans they are in for the bottle of free whiskey, and maybe the free pizza and VIP tour held afterwards! But I am sure for all of us; it was an experience and story to tell of Colorado’s first whiskey.
And owner and master distiller, Jake Norris is there working for the whole duration. And someone has to hand write on all those labels…thanks Jake!
*Uncommon knowledge: Stranahans can’t keep up with the demand. (Not surprising, I know!) The whiskey was once represented in 40 states, but now only in Colorado to make sure demand is met here. However, plans are in the making for this small time company to expand to branch back out. Which means the bottling crew won’t always be in existence the way it is now. Has to be a trade-off though, now the rest of the nation can re-discover the way Colorado does whiskey!

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