Well it’s been a while since my last blog, things have been so busy with the brewery, I’ve been neglecting the 1001 other things I should be doing as well.

So…. Where were we? I was hoping to get Cow Tower into the Norwich Beer Festival, which we did, by the skin of our teeth. The beer was well received, and it all got drunk more to the point. This was a really big deal for us, we’ve always loved going along and trying all the different beers, enjoying the atmosphere. This year though, we were showcasing our beer. The beer had only really been tasted by friends before, and a few others, so it was really nerve wracking to hear what people thought. Most people seemed to really enjoy it, and be really positive about it. Whether that’s because they were saying it to my face is another matter…

Since the beer festival, we’ve been slowly spreading the word, getting into more pubs, and gathering the feedback. This week saw our busiest ever delivery day, something which I’m really proud of. It’s not easy when you’re a new brewery in a competitive market (we’re up against some wonderful breweries such as Humpty Dumpty, Grain and Green Jack) trying to make a go of our fledgling business in a difficult economic environment. So like I say, I’m really pleased with how things have gone so far. I’m not a natural sales person, and sometimes I make mistakes, but I guess it’s all part of the learning curve.

We’ve started selling our new beer – Golden Spire. It’s a light, hoppy golden ale, a bit stronger at 4.5%, I like it, and I hope the pubs that we sell to will and their customers. I’ve been so pleased with the initial reaction to this beer, it really makes me feel as though we’re on the right lines with the choices we have made so far.

Who knows were to next though. On the one hand so many people want a huge rip snorter of a IPA, stuffed full of American hops and a good strong one at that. Other people seem to feel a good old fashioned mild or a porter would be good. Let us know what styles you like to see us brew. Personally I just want to make good beers, which people enjoy and taste good. I can’t see us being able to fill every niche in the market, but I’d like to have some really tasty ones that become firm favourites with the beer lovers out there.

Our lovely shiny new casks

It’s been a busy time since my last update. We have been over to New York for the cask beer festival there, which I will blog about separately – probably not the most sensible thing to do when you are setting up a new business, but it was a well needed holiday and a good experience of beer culture in the US.

Things finally seemed to be coming together this week, when we got home our certificate of registration had arrived from HMRC.  I received my certificate for an exam I passed which now means I can apply for a personal license to sell alcohol. We had received confirmation that our new casks and cask washer were ready and about to be delivered. All going a bit too smoothly it seemed.

Well reality bit yesterday. We were getting some 3-phase electrical work done, getting the vessels wired up with the heating elements. Firstly, we didn’t have instructions, then there was no way to tell how to wire up the probes, then we found we needed extra bits of equipment which we probably wouldn’t be able to get hold of before the weekend.  I guess that’s what happens when you don’t really know enough about the equipment you are buying. You know you need heating elements, so that’s what you buy. You don’t realise you need all sorts of other gumph to go with them.

It’s a learning curve. A steep one. We’re getting there though. Sometimes it seems scarily fast, others just far too slow. We were hoping to have our first commercial brew this weekend, we really need to get going if we want to get our beer into the Norwich Beer Festival at the end of the month. And we really want to be there, it would be a great opportunity to showcase our new brew, and get really valuable feedback from seasoned drinkers.

As it turns out, we hope that the elements can still be installed today, testing will be completed over the weekend, and brewing next week. It’s all so exciting at the moment, any little set back seems to be a massive blow, and gets taken all out of proportion. I seem to be letting my inner drama queen out.

So… keep it all crossed, we could be making beer Tuesday.

Our first brewing vessels

Well, as most of you know, Adam and I have been dreaming about a brewery for some time now.
It started as a conversation, you know one of those pipe dreams that snow-balled. It turned from a ‘wouldn’t it be fab to do something like that one day’ to a ‘why shouldn’t we?’. And well, today it is fast becoming reality.
In a few weeks time, we will be brewing commercially. It’s all rather scary, there are a lot of hoops to jump through, a lot of forms to fill in, and just so many things to do and buy.
I want to be able to blog whilst we are getting set up, to give you a taste of what it’s like to become a brewer, why we did this, and what we hope to achieve and how we get along doing it. I’m new to this whole blogging malarky, so it should get a bit fancier as I go along and learn more about it all.

I hope you will enjoy reading this, and drinking our beer – once we finally make some that is.

Jenni