• eigthsailbrewery

This is just a quick post to give an update on how things are post May 17. This is, of course Step 3, of the government roadmap to reopening the country. Rules on gathering indoors have been relaxed, so that six people or two households may now meet up inside. The question you may have is: "How does this apply when I'm visiting 8 Sail Brewery?"

We have reinstalled the sides of the marquee, so that it provides more protection from the elements (thanks British weather!) However, we are not currently encouraging people to sit inside the bar during shop hours. We have some lovely infrared heaters in the marquee ensuring it will be toasty enough for anyone who want to sit 'inside'.

Back with the beer cave

Table service is still in place, as part of the guidance is that customers must be served, eat and drink whilst seated. So for the time being, you'll have to continue to enjoy watching us run around like headless chickens on a Friday night!

Whilst you do still need to be seated, we cannot reserve tables, please stop asking, or keep asking... it's fine... we aren't going barmy... at all... maybe... don't ask. The tables are owned by the Windmill, and prioritised for the cafe, so we cannot reserve them for the bar.

However, the good news is that you can meet in groups of up-to 30 outside, but since we still need to serve you away from the bar (which is inside) we will continue with table service for the time being.

If you are coming inside to use the shop, please continue to wear a facemark and practise all that good stuff, like using hand sanitiser. Continue to sign in, or scan the QR code. Continue to be considerate of people around you. We're all adults (hopefully), so I'm sure between us we've got this.

Happy Drinking!

Eight Sail Brewery

  • Lucy Irons

Updated: May 12

2020 was a mad year! I joined the brewery on a volunteer basis (just to see if it was the right career move) and the next thing I know we are in the middle of a pandemic and Tony has agreed to take me on as his assistant brewer. Despite the unknowns of what was going to happen as things began to go into lockdown, we started to hatch some plans to take over the (brewing) world. You've got to dream big, right? I won't go into all of that now, because that is 'fun' for another time.

Rebranding seemed like a obvious first step. Relying more and more on bottle sales and an online presence (thanks to Beers of Europe and Real Ale Store) branding was obviously going to be key in attracting new customers. As much as we have fun designing new bottle labels and pump clips, we needed to have a cohesive look, so that when the bottles are lined up on a shop shelf, they obviously belong to the same brewery.

The decision to revamp the logo was a tough one, as Tony had painstakingly designed the original himself and we love it! However, we think the new one looks pretty good too, simple and stylish. My thoughts were 'that would look great on a bottle cap'.

The call went out to Harper Creative, who had previously designed our range of windmill pump clips (think Rolling Stone, John Barleycorn, Victorian Porter etc). We sat down and discussed what we liked, and perhaps what we disliked even more, in terms of what other breweries were doing with their designs. We wanted to future proof, so that if (when) we decided to start canning and kegging some of our beers, the design template would work just as well there. Long term thinking!

We think the designs are pretty smart, let us know what you think.

  • Lucy Irons

And just like that, the bar is back! Or as the CAMRA campaign goes, "Cask is BACK, so back CASK".

CAMRA Cask is BACK campaign

Monday 12th April, saw the reopening of pubs across the country, although many are still unable to, and some may never. Despite the still fairly low temperatures, we were met with golden sunshine for pub-goers to bask in. This was a blessing, since outside, seated-service is currently the only option.

What a joy it was to see all our regulars, and some newcomers, back in the mill garden. The pints poured (plus the odd glass of wine), and conversation flowed. It was certainly fantastic for us to see our beer fresh from the hand pump straight into the customers' hands. Hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves and felt safe, or at least safe enough to come back again. We are still learning, and adapting to the new normal, but at least there is beer, to soften the edges.

Monday played out somewhat like a Bank Holiday, with many taking the day off work to celebrate the re-opening of the local. Thankfully, for them, and us, we persuaded our friends at Corner Farm to come down and cook up a storm. Their rare breed burgers and sausages went down a storm. I think it goes without saying, we can't wait to have them join us again.

Keeping you (and us) safe

The new rules mean that everyone over the age of 16 must sign in, either by scanning the QR code, or by signing away their soul on our state-of-the-art sign-in sheet. Don't worry we won't be selling your phone number to telemarketers in India, we keep the data securely, before destroying it (probably with fire, dancing, and chanting) after 21 days.

High-tech sign-in centre

Another fun rule we have to adhere to (because we don't want to get told off) says that you must remain seated while ordering, being served, and consuming alcohol on the premises. As annoying as it is, we do ask you to comply, however you do not need to ask our permission to get up and use the toilets (this isn't school, even if the boss man was a headteacher in a former life).

Plenty of outside seating

Whilst we are talking about sitting down (outside...I like to point this out just to ruin the mood) you also need to remember that government guidelines state that you should be in groups no larger than six (which is fine, as the tables aren't big enough for much more), or two households. We have ABSOLUTE faith that everyone will stick to this, and that we won't need to punish anyone by throwing them in the composting hop bag.

New opening times

From now on, we will be continuing to open our doors 7 days a week (although you can't come inside yet, unless you are buying to take away.) Our new bar service times will be:

Monday to Saturday: 12:00 to 20:00

Sunday: 12:00 to 18:00

Shop open from 10am Monday to Friday

Of course, come May 17th we 'may' (pun intended) be allowed to welcome you back inside. We are hoping to expand our indoor seating area, by taking some of our storage offsite. This will be good news come next Autumn/Winter, because it has been bloody cold sitting outside. Mind you, it's pretty cold inside the brewery too (my fingers are about to drop off as I type!)

Xtreme tap takeover

Thursday 22nd April sees a tap takeover by Peterborough based brewery Xtreme Ales. We will have 3 of their beers on over the weekend:

  • Pigeon Ale 4.3% ABV late hopped with Simcoe

  • PiXie 3.7% ABV American Pale Ale

  • Red FoX 4.5% ABV Red Ale hopped with Simcoe and Cascade

Latest News