Last year was a really exciting year for our little brewery. It felt like we took a big step forward, with two highlights being a tap takeover at The Vic in Colchester, and later in the year getting to brew a beer with two of my favourite brewers (and people).
We brewed 25 different batches of beer, and sold 2,660 litres of beer to 11 different customers.
For a weekend side project, that’s quite a lot of beer. It meant brewing, racking or cleaning almost every weekend – as well as all the paperwork - which all got a bit much alongside a full time job and a young family.
So this year, we are taking a different approach:
- Single batches. Our brewhouse produces about 200L every time we brew. Last year we often brewed twice on the same day to double our volume. We’re planning on stopping this and focusing on a single batch, once a month.
- Wet yeast. To date, all our beers have been made with dried yeast. It’s worked extremely well, but this year we want to experiment with lots of different types of yeast to see if it helps take things to the next level.
- Fewer customers. We’ll be selling the bulk of our beers exclusively to three amazing pubs who have each been fantastic champions of ours: The Victoria Inn in Colchester, Stanford Arms in Lowestoft and Kings Head in Norwich.
Our 2018 brew plan is 95% sorted. There’s a good mix of old favourites and some new brews, too. We’re also hoping to fit in a couple of extra brews with some special friends.
I guess it’s pretty unusual for any brewer (or business) to say they’re reducing their output and their customers, but one of the luxuries a side project is being able to focus on fun, quality and experimentation first and making some money second.
It’s such a massive joy when someone gives our beer a try and says they like it.
So a massive thank you to everyone who gave our beers a try over the last year. Here’s to a fantastic 2018.