Firstly, I know its a bit late, as we are already into February, but Happy New Year! This last year has been a bit mad, we've been on quite a ride. Starting the year locked down and barely brewing once a week, to a chaotic summer constantly brewing at capacity, and finally a largely uncertain winter. We made it though, and we would love to thank all of our superstar customers who have supported us through this, not only surviving but thriving.
The last year also saw a few changes. We managed to remain open partly due to the marquee (aka Beer Cave), which we had up through most of the spring and summer (once we were allowed to reopen the bar. We can't lie, it gave us all nightmares when the wind blew and didn't make the general brewing operations easier. However, it allowed us to welcome you all back in as safely as possible and create a community space. Whilst it is now down and packed away, keep an eye out as it should be making a reappearance later in the year.
Having the marquee up made us realise that we needed to expand our indoor bar seating and thus we began work on reconfiguring the brewery (in line with some other changes that I will get onto). In order to do this, we needed to take a lot of our storage off site. Again, this change makes things a little bit more difficult for everyday brewing operations, but gave us the opportunity to expand our bar, which has become a major part of the business. Whilst we were at it we added some insulation and clad the walls in timber to bring some much needed warmth in the winter months.
The other major change, some of you will already be aware of, will soon be upon us. We are upgrading all of our brewing kit, from the brewhouse, to the fermenters, to the cleaning system and floor. We have been working on this for well over a year in conjunction with TCE Projects, who are project managing for us. We have designed the new kit in order to optimise the space we have. Going from a 5.5BBL kit (brewing up to 900L) to an 7BBL (up to 1150L), whilst this doesn't seem like a massive step up we will have more fermenters and a couple of bright beer tanks. This ultimately means we can brew more when we need to and will have the ability to condition beer in the brewery (allowing for canning very soon). As a brewer the bit I'm most excited about is the greater control we will have over the process, allowing us to produce beers with a greater degree of quality and consistency.
I'm going to end this here as I need to write another blog (whilst I have 5 minutes) about our collaboration brew with Blue Monkey Brewery.
Until next time!