Monday, 3 March 2014

Work in Progress

I haven’t blogged for a while, please accept my apologies, but it’s with good reason. Our brewing kit arrives this Sunday (9 March) and we have to prepare the brewery ready to receive it.

Nick is keeping building works in order. Our Builders have been beavering away, installing the three-phase electrics, building a sloping concrete floor, plumbing in water supplies and drainage, raising the block work for the Fermentation Rooms, Conditioning Room and Malt store, and drinking copious cups of tea with four sugars. This weekend the team turned up for a mass painting session, some 200 litres of paint was applied.

Other teams have also ramped up their activities. In the marketing team (myself, George, Philip and Nick) we have been working with our consultants to finalise the brand, logo and artwork for pump clips, bottle labels, beer mats, T-shirts and leaflets etc (check out our Facebook page for an insight). The look and feel of the brewery is vital and we all have our opinions, but we have finally reached consensus. Look out for us at Berkhamsted Market over the next few weeks, where we will explain the benefits of our “Friends of the Brewery” package. Our official launch date is set for 24 April, when our Mayor, Ian Reay, will do the honours of officially opening the brewery and all who drink in her, and Father Tom will bless our beer and all who drink it. However, we hope to (unofficially) sell to the public on 12 April.

Philip, another director and our part-time sales guy (the other part-time spent with Salty Dog) is already smoosing the local landlords and lining up pubs to sell our beer. So far we have received very positive responses, and you should see our beer in pubs by Easter. It will be a proud moment for us all when our beer is finally available to sup in pubs in Berkhamsted and beyond.

What we endearingly call the production team have been the busiest. Our brewer, Scott, has been preparing the recipe for our first brew and ordering all the ingredients – the finest English hops and malted barley along with the purest Chiltern water (courtesy of Affinity or is it Veolia?). Simon and Keith have been taking care of logistics and delivery, sourcing barrels, a delivery van, cleaning equipment, a bottling plant (well jig), pallet stacker and so on. And Martin, our HSE expert, has been dealing with all that red tape I blogged about last time – without him we wouldn’t be allowed to sell our beer.

Seems to me that brewing is a true collaboration, a true team effort, where we are all interdependent on each other. And I don’t mean we are dependent on each other like say footballers where a few star players make a difference; no it’s more like volleyball – one weak team member and the ball falls and the game is over. But I think its okay to take a break with a beer occasionally. 

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