A whole year has passed since we launched and what an amazing year it’s been!
Not long after the launch night, we made an appearance in a national newspaper. The article highlighted our ethos on working with people with learning disabilities to help them into working life, whilst raising awareness and brewing great beer. We also got new conditioning tanks at the beginning of the year. This means that we have been able to provide clearer beer without the use of isinglass (unless specified) which also makes most of our beer vegan-friendly.
In Spring we brewed up a special cask of ‘Megson’s magic’ that we donated to a very special prostate cancer event held at our local bar. This is a charity and event that is very close to our hearts so we were happy to donate the beer, and money from the beer was given to the charity. We were honoured to make an appearance at Brew Yorks 2nd birthday celebrations in April. Our beers went down very well and were showcased alongside some of the best craft breweries in the UK. We also took delivery of our shiny new kettle, the final piece of the jigsaw to get the brewery up and running at full capacity.
Over the summer, we took part in many beer festivals around the UK. We had the pleasure of meeting some awesome people and had lots of beer talk! We celebrated Yorkshire day by brewing with York Camra for the York beer festival. We brewed a vanilla and blueberry session porter and called it ‘Dark moment’ raising awareness for depression. This came second out of all the other collaboration beers brewed for york beer festival.
August was a busy month. Firstly, we met with the Prader-Willi syndrome association UK to talk about brewing a beer to raise awareness of PWS, this will be released this year. We also spent some time with BBC Look North filming a piece that was broadcast on the local news channel. This was a very proud moment for us at the brewery as we received lots of support, words of encouragement and enthusiasm from loyal customers and new ones. We had lots of brewing to do in August as we were waiting in anticipation for a new little brewer to be born in September.
Autumn started off with our little boy Archie making an appearance and Ric spent lots of time reading brewing books to him, preparing him for when he starts digging out our mash tun and helping to weigh ingredients. October and November were spent preparing for Christmas. During this time we developed our bottling line. We knew that bottles of our beer were in high demand, and so far we had been focusing more on cask and keg sales, but in the coming months we will be ensuring more of our beer goes into small pack, and our beers will be available in independent retailers.
We had a fantastic December, we attended lots of Christmas markets where our beers were a big hit. We bottled new batches for each market and we sold out each time! Our ‘Christmas crate’ went down a storm. It was so lovely seeing so many people buying our beers, not only for themselves to enjoy, but to give as presents for others. We were overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback we received, from people drinking our beers in their local pubs, to people enjoying a bottle bought for them.
Apart from all the good, we did have a few setbacks at the brewery this year. One of which was our first kettle started leaking, which obviously made it unusable. However, our experience in the brewing business is that brewers stick together and we were still able to do a cuckoo brew with our good friends at the Airheads brewery. We also made the hard decision to pour two full brews down the drain. We are firm believers that drain pours should be something only brewers do.
We have thought hard about how we can become more waste friendly. This year we have donated our spent grain to local farms, and our yeast and hop matter is turned into fertiliser. We are also trying to reuse packaging as much as possible in and around the brewery. This is something that we are hoping to progress more over the next few years! Along with all of these things happening at the brewery, we have still managed to have some fantastic brew days, creating lots of beer for people to enjoy. We are all looking forward to further experimenting, expanding and more happy customers.
In our first year, we produced 15,000 pints of beer from 14 different Gyles, 7 of which were different beers.
but next year we promise to do much much more!