So here we go again, yet more changes to Spreadsheet Ninja. This poor ninja is obviously not very good at his job as he has taken quite a kicking over the last year or two.
So, what is the issue now? Fermenter space is the simple answer. The brewery is full so we can't put in any more fermenters. There is pressure on the production side of the brewery from increasing sales, so something has to give.
Why does this impact Ninja? Well a properly brewed pilsner will take a long time in the fermenter. While an ale will take 2-3 weeks all told, a pilsner with a cool 12 degree ferment and proper cold conditioning will take 5-6 weeks. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure out that it is possible to brew 2 ales in the time it takes to brew one pilsner. We will not compromise the pilsner brewing process for a quick turnaround.
But don't you factor in this extra time in the fermenter into the pricing of Ninja? Well, no we don't. We probably should but a 4.8% pilsner selling for £120+vat for a 30L keykeg is not going to sell well in the current market. There is a reason that there are not large numbers of good craft-brewed lagers in London.
So what does all this tell me? Sadly, Ninja drops out of our core range. It will be brewed once a year as a seasonal to be launched in May (we could not kill it completely!) and it means I have to stockpile enough kegs next May to do my kegerator at home for a year!
Anything else we need to know about the Weird Beard core range? Yes, a few. We have dropped Decadence to an occasional beer, great though it is and as much as it is loved on Ratebeer, a 5.5% stout is not a great seller, especially in the summer months. We also intend to bring an English hopped pale ale into the range in the New Year. See this blog for information on that one. This leaves us with only four core beers at the current time.
Will this be the final Ninja-ing of the Ninja? Who knows but if anything changes, we will be sure to let you know.