January 19, 2018
Mike Reiling and his business partner loved drinking and brewing craft beer and figured the only way their wives would let them drink beer in the afternoon would be if they opened their own brewery—and so Mt. Lowe Brewery was created. There probably is a lot more to that story, but Mike jokingly shared this with us as our featured speaker at our January 19th meeting.
When the two friends set out to open their brewery, they wanted to have a name that was from local history. They considered several names such as Arroyo Seco, but decided on Mt. Lowe which has quite a colorful history. Back in the late 1800’s the Mt. Lowe Railway went from Lake Avenue in Pasadena to the crest of the San Gabriel Mountains. At Mt. Lowe there were two structures called Alpine Tavern and Echo Mountain House. There also was a zoo! Fires and natural disasters such as a flood destroyed the buildings and railway but pictures from it’s hey day depicts quite a remarkable location.
Mt. Lowe Brewery is Arcadia’s first Microbrewery which offers 20 beers on tap after just one year in business. Many of their beers are named after Mt. Lowe’s historical features such as “Alpine Lager”, “Inspiration Point” and “Red Line Barley Line.” They are served in over 15 restaurants including BJ’s and Wood Ranch in Arcadia. They just obtained a canning line machinery and will be distributing their beers at the local Grocery Outlet and other stores. While they do not serve food at their family and pet friendly location, they have different food trucks come to the brewery offering customers a wide variety of food choices.
Mike also explained how beer is made from taking the malt grain thru filtering, boiling, fermentation and everything in between until you have the finished product. We learned that an IPA takes about two weeks to make, while a lager takes about 3 week and that yeast is the magic ingredient to all beers. Craft beers make up about $22 billion of the $106 billion overall beer market. We are quite lucky to have our very own microbrewery in Arcadia.
The January 12 program was presented by past president Bob Novell and Bob Hoffman.
Bob Novell began by challenging Rotarians to think of the changes that will occur in our nation and economy in the next 20 years. Some mega trends including: a low birth rate in the US, immigration challenges, income disparity between the rich (income growing) and the less rich (income declining) and how employment is being impacted by the efficiency of robots and increasing computer technology.
The overall economy is also influenced by aging Baby Boomers going into retirement, challenges with health care, not only with the elderly but with uninsured. The economy is full speed ahead now, however, worries of another recession and for inflation persist. The Federal Open Market Committee has been raising short term rates and promises to continue to raise rates in 2018.
Will we have another recession like 2007? Bob thinks not, however, he thinks there will be some pull backs in the market perhaps 10 to 20%. Other concerns are promises state and local governments have made to retirees that increase pressure on future workers to pay for the retirements, the $20 Trillion National deficit and Student Loan debt. With regard to Student Loan debt, concern is both for the borrowers and the lenders (will some of that debt be forgiven).
Bob Hoffman talked about the importance of diversification in our investing, while we can’t predict exactly what area of our investments will perform best, having diversification in our portfolio assures us that when one area is negatively impacted other areas pick up the difference.
Bob also reviewed Bitcoin a newer digital currency or Cryptocurrency. Bitcoin balances are kept on a public ledger in the cloud. Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any banks or governments, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity.
Bob concluded by answering questions about alternative investments, the impact of the legalization of Marijuana and other non traditional investments. Overall it was a very informative program by our two Rotarians. Many thanks to you both.
In celebration of the first meeting of the New Year, Finemaster Brad Miller conducted a quiz on New Year celebrations. With rare occasions available to fine Gerard Tamparong, Brad started the questions with him: When is New Year’s celebrated in the Philippines? Gerard correctly identified it as January 1 and his fine was only $25.
Next, Matt Weaver, who has done many projects in Thailand, was asked when the New Year is celebrated there. He guessed February, but was overruled by Finemaster Brad who identified Thai New Year as celebrated in April. Over his objections, Matt was fined $50.
Ken Chan not only answered the question correctly about Chinese New Year, he elaborated. In 2018, Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 16 and it will be the Year of the Dog under the Chinese zodiac. Ken was rewarded with a reduced fine of $25.
The last recognition was for George Fasching. Finemaster Brad noted when the historic windmill on Denny’s was first restored at a cost of $100,000, George was fined for a light bulb that was burned out. The light bulb was subsequently fixed, but in light of the news that the windmill sails have recently toppled, George was called to question. George maintains that he was associated with the restoration of the windmill but didn’t actually work on its repair. His argument didn’t save him; he was recognized for $25.
Before kicking off the holiday quiz, Finemaster Brad Miller recognized Ernie Aragon for celebrating his immediate family who number 51! Included in this grand total are 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, making Ernie the patriarch of an impressive tribe.
Roger Grant’s family increased by a new granddaughter that very morning, born at 5 lbs. 2 oz., 18 in. This brings his family total to 26, including 15 grandchildren and earning him a recognition of $100.
Dick Martinez awarded Mike Real a fine credit of $100 for correctly answering his weekly ABCs of Rotary question. Finemaster Brad couldn’t let that stand long, so he fined Mike $100 to use up that credit quickly.
The holiday quiz focused on Hanukkah whose eight-night celebration began Tuesday evening. The first question was directed to Tom Miles: Name a traditional Israeli meal at Hanukkah. Tom didn’t guess correctly, nor did Brent Forsee, but Aaron Rose correctly answered “Doughnuts,” naming the jelly-filled sweets that are traditionally served.
Rosie Mares was given a multiple choice question: Hanukkah is a big deal because a) Jews are a majority in the US, b) public schools are closed, c) it’s close to Christmas, d) there are lots of Hanukkah specials. Rosie correctly answered “C” and no fine resulted.
Dave Freeman correctly answered the number of candles on the Hanukkah menorah (nine) for no fine, but all was not lost. Bob Harbicht earned a fine of $100 for heckling Dave and for refusing to take a photo with Teri Muse and Dirk Hudson at a recent event.