Week 28

Does this count as gorilla marketing? Taking a picture of one of our beers in someone else's brewery, where they happen to have a very fitting neon sign? Don't worry, we're not going to start playing that game, we haven't got time for that right now. This is just a picture I quite liked that someone posted on twitter. It's also a good way to show that Holy Hoppin' Hell has now left the brewery, along with Five o'Clock Shadow and Fade to black, and are all available to buy in bottles, along with some casks and key kegs.

Not sure how it happened, but things timed themselves to produce a very busy week, with 2 beers bottled and 2 beers brewed. The plan was to just bottle once a week and then brew straight away to get fresh beer into the FV. But this week we found ourselves with 2 beers ready. I blame that over-active saison yeast.

First off was finishing off the packaging of Hit The Lights. This was casked and kegged over the weekend, leaving us with around 1800 500ml bottles worth. We are pretty happy with it this time round, it has a great aroma, great colour and tastes fantastic. So this beer will be leaving the brewery as Hit The Light this time, in around 2 weeks hopefully.

This left FV3 empty, so we decided to fill it with one of our most popular beers to date. This week we brewed our first re-brew, not counting Miss/Hit the lights. We have re-brewed our 'Transpacific Pal Ale' Mariana Trench. This will be a real test for us, as consistency in a new brewery is very difficult, but key for our future. The day went very well, with no real issues, so we look forward to seeing how this one turns out.

As previously mentioned, we have some very excitable saison yeast in the brewery right now. And this yeast has managed to finish off our Saison 14 in record time. I'm not really a saison man myself, but Gregg assures me it is tasting great. So we filled 18 key kegs, no casks, and 2400 500ml bottles, which again should be available in a few weeks.

The saison yeasts work was not finished yet though. Saturday we brewed the second of our Single Hop series, which just happened to also be the second collaboration in the brewery. Saturday we invited Andy Parker of new gypsy brewery Elusive Brewing to the brewery to brew our take of their Nelson Saison. I left Andy in Gregg's safe hands, and the reports of a fantastic nelson aroma filling the brewery made me regret not pulling a sickie from my day job. I love Nelson Sauvin, so really looking forward to see how this one turns out. Also curious how quickly the yeast can get through this one too.

And as if that wasn't enough, in other news: We shipped off our first international pallet on Friday. Look out for bottles of Single Hop Chinook, Mariana Trench, Five O'clock Shadow & Holy Hoppin' Hell hitting the shelves and the same again in keg form, minus the Chinook, hitting the bars of Italy very soon. We also had a visit from a nice couple of Swedish importers who made the most of the brewery bar and put in a rather sizeable order, that will be leaving the brewery by the end of the month. Not enough international action for you? Well, we are also in the final stage of talks with a Finish importer too, so hopefully we can get that deal closed very soon also.

It hasn't all been plain sailing though. We are very lucky to be sharing the actual brewery location with another brewery, Ellenburg's Brewery. They have had a few more label issues than we have had, and have yet to receive theirs. This means they have a few bottles of beer waiting around. We are also brewing as often as we possibly can, and sometime more. This means there is a lot of beer around on site at the moment, so space is becoming a real premium. Unfortunately just selling beer is not always the answer to this problem. Once a beer has been brewed it takes 2 weeks to condition, at the very least. Some beers can benefit from standing for over a month before being sold. We had not really planned for this fully, so had been just sticking pallets of beer where ever we could. But we had got to the point where we just couldn't fit any more beer in. So on Friday I, Bryan, armed with a forklift spent several hours playing a rather large game of tetris. I removed some of the pallet racking, as it was causing more problems than it was solving, and just piled the beer in an orderly fashion. Now it is much easier to function in the brewery. I feel there should be a time lapse video with the tetris theme here, I may have to the at the CCTV footage.

We also sent the last of the bottles of Holy Hoppin' Hell through the labeller. Although we managed to come out around 50 labels short. So those bottles may make it into the luck dip, or the fridge.

As always, these are the rantings of WeirdBeardBryan, and not the weird beard collective.