As I sure most people experienced 2021 was another tough year, as we a quick look back some of the challenges we faced in 2021, but we shall not dwell on them, we shall focus on the positives we've taken from the year instead.
Shortages: from low availability of the cans to limitations on how many cans we can ordered printed. CO2 was once again an issue as some of the plants that produce it shut down. Inevitable staff shortages due to sickness & isolation periods every week has been a challenge too.
Rising Prices: As the cost of living has increased so have our supplies from cardboard/packing materials, malt, fuel, CO2, bottles, cans, distribution, energy, water & logistics we have been faced with increased costs from pretty much every supplier.
Building: working in a an old building is not without its challenges, not to mention when the bad weather hits. From clearing gutters in the pissing rain whilst trying to avoid gangs of seagulls in the process, to some of the roof even blowing off in the wind... but we are still here.
On-Trade: The repeated closure/opening of the on trade has been difficult for brewer & operators alike.
New Beers: we released a few new packaged beers in 2021: El Perro Negro, Ten Cents, Six States, Chocca Lola, Hercule Belge to Paolo. While most of have been very well received we can't win them all, Cherry Baby is set to retire at the end of its current stint.
Recycling / Environmental : along with getting our cooling tower online (to cut down and reuse a lot of our water) we have been working to increase the range of items we recycle, from scrap metal, cardboard/paper, cans, bottle, wood to plastic straps, to Arlington bags and pallet wrap. As ever the grain is taken away and fed to live stock and any botanics or compostable material is composted. Very little goes to landfill. The CO2 shortage also made us extra aware of our overall usage and we have made lots of adjustments to our processes to cut down our consumption considerably.
Click & Collect: we trialled allowing customers being allowed to collect their online orders in Dec, we are going to continue to offer this & we hope eventually to have a space a bit better suited. For just now though details on how to use our Click & Collect service can be found here.
Awards: we picked up a few in 2021, there is a full list on our awards page, but the most notable (golds & silvers) are listed below. These are testament as always to our hardworking team:
- Ginger - Scottish Beer Awards: Gold 2021 (Best Speciality)
- Talking Head - Scottish Beer Awards: Silver 2021 (Best Pale Ale)
- Paolo - Scottish Beer Awards: Silver 2021 (Best Fruit Forward)
- Roisin - Scottish Beer Awards: Silver 2021 (Best Fruit Forward)
- El Perro Negro - SIBA: Gold 2021 (Pilsner/Lager: Scotland)
- Perfect Storm - World Beer Awards: Silver 2021 (Can Design)
- Caesar Augustus - World Beer Awards; Silver 2021 (Lager)
- Joker IPA - World Beer Awards; Silver 2021 (IPA, English Style)
Looking ahead to 2022:
- Plant: We have our new packing line to put fully into commission, meaning we can fill, label and multipack cans all in line, we hope to be up and running with this by early summer. We are getting the inline labeller into a temporary position which will help in the meantime.
- Power: We are looking into hopefully installing a solar array on a section of our roof to produce a large chunk of our own electricity.
- New product development: we have our first three new products under way, Twelve Cents is already packed and shall be appearing in Beer 52 this month as well as Indies & Online. The other two are in test batch stages already, the first one is just about ready for the first full sized brew. The 2nd we have tasked our brewers making their own versions of for a taste off. 3 versions are fermenting away and 4th should be brewed later this week.
- Events: We love a festival and can't wait to be setting up bars & catching up with our festival people, hopefully 2022 will see the return on large scale events.
There is plenty of other things in store for the year ahead too. But we shall keep some things as a bit of a surprise.