Author Archive for WishboneAde

Bar Days – not just yet

Hi Guys,

Yep, we would like to be serving you all pints in the brewery but for a number of reasons we don’t think now is the right time for us.

Some of us have elderly parents and you’ll understand that we don’t want to inadvertently kill them by passing on Coronavirus.
We don’t want either our bar staff or brewery staff to feel uncomfortable in their workplace during or following a bar day.

When we only open 1-2 days each month then the costs of adding safety measures might outweigh the benefits of opening the bar.

We’ll keep you updated and let you know when we feel its the right time to put measures in place and open up the brewery bar again.

Cheers

šŸ™‚

I should have wrote this post back at the start of Lockdown

We never stopped trading but we’ve only brewed twice since Lockdown started, the brews that were planned and beers that needed putting into Cask or keg around the time of lockdown were indeed put into Cask and Keg.

Different breweries work in different ways with regards to Best Before Dates:
For a Brewery a Best Before Date (BBD) is a date that breweries are required to add to their products unless they are above 10% ABV. It’s up to the individual Brewery to decide how long they should put on their BBD.

  • Some breweries start their BBD from the time the beer goes into Cask, Keg etc
  • Some breweries start their BBD from the time the beer goes into Cask, Keg etc, but if it doesn’t leave the building in time before the date expires then the brewery re-labels the beer and sends it out with an extended date.
  • Some breweries start their BBD from the time the beerĀ leaves the building and goes out to trade.
  • Some breweries start their BBD from the time the beer goes into Cask, Keg etc and I would guess a very few breweries would ditch the beer and not sell it.
  • Some breweries start their BBD from the time the beer goes into Cask, Keg etc and tell you the date that the beer was filled and the BBD date reflects the amount of time that the brewer thinks the beer will be at peak-condition and exactly how they prefer it.

So all of the above can range from a couple of weeks to a couple of years, or more depending on the style and what container the beer is in.

Prerequisites:Ā 

*The containers the beer is put in must be spotlessly clean and sanitised.
The beer must have been produced in a way that it is free from any contaminants and beer spoilage organisms.
The beer must be cold stored at an appropriate temperature.

Confidence:

So if we brewers cover all bases and have confidence in our process and procedure I don’t see any reason why the beer we put in package (Casks, Kegs, Bottles, Cans) can’t endure an extended period of maturation and still come out of that package in a lovely drinkable condition.

I guess we are lucky in some ways, lockdown has allowed us here at Wishbone to regularly taste our packaged beers over the last 3 months because we have been turning Casks into Boxes and Minikegs, this does bring a level of confidence that all our process and procedure have paid off and our beers are tasting really rather good. Yet you could, if you wished to, consider them to be out-of-date šŸ˜‰

Sensibilities:

BBD can be meaningless.
BBD can be used by brewers to make a Pub use their beer sooner.
BBD could be extended at any time should a brewer see fit and have confidence that the beer will not suffer for that extension.
BBD can be ignored by Landlords and served passed their BBD at the Landlord’s discretion.

 

*There must beĀ nearly 100% of small independent brewers use Chlorinated Caustic or Caustic cleaning chemicals to do Hot-clean their Casks and Kegs. Though some bigger breweries use hot water and steam only, I would speculate that this large-scale practice must reduce the shelf-life of the beer inside and I have seen the difference between Package-Dates and Best Before Date on a Cask well within the month (Those beers would be in and out of that cask within 2 weeks) and I’ve been told by a Brewery Consultant that small brewers need to be better at cleaning because the beer stays in cask longer.
I suppose you can extrapolate from that, the bigger the brewer (and I do mean really big) the less confident they will beĀ of the longevity of their beer in Cask and if they are used to a 2 week turn-around then a 4 /6 /8 week turnaround may see the beer within being tainted. (Beer Stone, Staining, Contamination, beer spoilage organisms)

 

The 2nd Sales email in 12 weeks

I’m putting today’s email on here for all to see, lets face it not everyone is checking email so here’s theĀ it is in all its honesty…

Hello all,
I’ll kick this off by saying, ONLY emailĀ INFO@WISHBONEBREWERY.CO.UKĀ we can pick this up from anywhere and it make answering any questions a load easier and you’ll actually get a prompt response.

Little by little we seem to be seeing an increase in Trade orders, some of you are changing the way you do business and plodding on in a relatively positive manner, which is great to see. This ties in with some of our Home Delivery sales slowing down. The Furlough-Honeymoon period may be coming to an end and people feel less like they are on holiday!!
We are still just me (Adrian) working and so far its covering our bills and also I’m managing to take my minimal wage from it.
While we are ignoring paying our Business Rates we are managing to tick over, though at present we are no where near covering the 3 other staff wages. This is something we are working on with booking Canning slots for getting our beers into small pack.

We appreciate any support you can give us and you’ll find our stock list PDF attached (First come first served basis)

A new brew of Unfunk Citra Amarillo 2-hop Combo IPA 5.5% went into Cask last week and I brewed a fresh batch of Tiller Pin 4.2% yesterday which will be back in cask stock in a couple of weeks.

Our Firkin stock can be turned into Bag-in-Box stock and also certain beers into Minikegs –Ā http://www.wishbonebrewery.co.uk/beer/beer-for-social-distancing/

We have a total of about Ā£6k in Unpaid invoices mostly from before lockdown, if this email reaches you then please do talk to us.

Cheers

*Just to clarify the “Ā£6k in Unpaid invoices” thats Money owed to us which it would be great to get in.

Phasers to Stun

Phasers to Stun

As a company and personally we want to be in a society where there is tolerance towards the whole human race.

We’ve been thinking about writing a statement and talked it over andĀ you can think of this like Voting in a General Election, if you don’t vote you don’t have a chance changing the way our little island is run and the values that we should all try to live up to, no one is perfect but we should all try. If we don’t put out a statement about intolerance we are simply not voting, not helping change, and not benefiting our communities or our future generations.

We must act on intolerance and imbalance where we find it in Race, Religion and Sexuality.

We respect and embrace all Races, Religions and Sexualities. We are all of the same Human Race and we’ll only make it a better world if we work together.

The ‘Phasers to Stun’ title, Star TrekĀ has quite a Utopian ethos, there may be battles and not everyone gets on, but the overriding theme stays the same ‘weĀ must try hard to be better than thoseĀ which have gone before for the benefit of all’.

We’re still here!

We’re still here!
HereĀ is a picture of the new normal!

Its been a while since the last blog post, we’ll also be emailing a version of this out to our trade customers too. Soz, this may be a bit of a long read!

A few things really…

How are you all, we hopeĀ all our customers (and their drinkers) are coping with the situation we find ourselves in? There is nothing normal about any of this Coronavirus / Covid19.

If we haven’t told you already, if you have FULL, Untapped casks of our beer and don’t want the stress of having them in your cellar then we’ll have them back and give you a credit to spend on new beer when Pubs can officially open and we can get back to doing what we all do.

We have (When I say ‘we’ I mean Me!) been busy 2-3 days each week filling 10L boxes to order from our Cask stock and then out doing Home and Trade deliveries. Its a weird life right now, part ticking over, part enjoying the holiday, part planning for the future, and part wondering what-the-heck!

We still have lots of good Cask and Keykeg in stock so if you are in a position to sell Cask or Keg beer then do drop us an email to info@wishbonebrewery.co.uk and we will shoot you over a basic stock and price list. We can split full 9’s into Pins or boxes if you need us to, or grab some 10L boxes to punt onto your drinkers, email us for Trade prices.

You might be thinking about clearing your cellar out, and need empties uplifting, we’d like our empties back too and if we can tie-in the uplift of empty casks with another trade delivery we would love to. I’ve been trying to figure out how we can do this without simply spending a load of money on fuel for the van driving around a load of places that have our empties but sadly the doors are shut and everyone is furloughed. I’m definitely open to having a conversation about how we can clear those empties out, so yeah, do get in touch via email and maybe we can meet for a socially distanced exchange.

We look to have had a relatively stable 6-7 weeks, staff furloughed, minimal fixed outgoing costs and none of the usual monthly ingredient costs or all that expensive electric we boil the copper with, we are still going to need your support over the coming months so please keep buying those boxes of beer. All our invoices are paid /will be paid if not yet due, we hope our remaining customers can pay their outstanding invoices soon, please talk to us about this via email it would be great to hear from you and understand your situations.

I personally think theĀ remainder of this year is going to be a write-off for Pubs so we all have to make the best of it to come out of this with strong businesses, its probably not going to be easy to be honest.
But its good to look to the future and we have to plan for the better times or a new normal maybe….

Cans, Canning, Tinnies (but this time 440ml)!

This week I have ordered the ingredients to brew Dassler Helles Lager4.2% and our Gluten Free pale Greenflute 5%, as some of you will be aware Greenflute & Pixie Juice are the same recipe, though it turns out that you like the branding and name of Pixie Juice better and it sells better as Pixie Juice too!
So with that in mind we will be booking a canning slot atĀ the contract canning place and sending 1000L of Dassler and 1000L of Pixie Juice away to be carbed up and put into 440ml cans. We’ll have to give our website a proper online shop page nearer the time too. Don’t get too excited yet though, the ingredients arrive next Tuesday and I won’t have time to brew until the week after so I’ll be brewing Dassler around 26th May, then the lager will be in tank for approx 5 weeks before heading out to the Canners. I’ll be brewing Pixie Juice in time so it can be sent away for Canning at the same time as Dassler, ensuring we pass the Lab analysis for the Gluten Free test so we can properly brand the cans as Gluten Free.

Thats about it, best of luck to everyone we sell beer to and those that we don’t. See you on the other side, erm keep doing that great Social Distancing, Stay at home, *&%$ Boris, check up on your friends, if someone is struggling help them, be excellent to each other, if it smells like poo it probably is… Wash your hands for 20 seconds šŸ˜‰

Thanks for your continued support xxx

 

 

Update – 24th March 2020

BoJo has spoken.

We are closed.

If you ring our doorbell we will not answer.

We are closing down the last few things in the brewery.

We have minimal staff in the building with the others being told to stay at home.

Any remaining orders on our system will go out as planned observing social distancing guidelines.

If you phone us after Thursday we will not answer, please direct all communications to info@wishbonebrewery.co.uk

We are waiting for guidance and confirmation from SIBA & Government as to whether we can provide an online order and delivery service.

If we can provide an online service for beer drinkers the info is already here.

Thanks

 

SIBA Update to Online Shop with Deliveries.

Pubs Shut = Our Brewery Bar Shut

There it is, the news that should have happened last week, Pubs have been told to shut after this evening.

 

What this means to us:

Cask beer sales to pubs has slowly been dropping off, we have been trying to move our supply method towards Bag in Boxes of beer, you can read more about our Measures for Social Distancing but still enjoying good beer.

Our aim at this time is to try our best to support the Pubs and Bars that have supported us by supplying Take-out sizes of Boxes of beer to themĀ so they canĀ pass on to youĀ  for drinking at home. This allows the Pubs to operate like Bottle-shops and we all manage to take a little slice of the pie and *Fingers Crossed* all ride out this Virus-Storm!

This also means we cannot open the brewery bar and allow people to drink beer in our premises.

Further Plans for keeping drinking the beer you / we love so much:

We can operate just like a Bottle shop! And we hinted how this might work in a blog post earlier this week.

  • We can open the brewery for beer collections.
  • We will reduce the amount of time we open to ensure we respect customer’s social distancing.
  • There won’t be anywhere to sit, we can’t let you stay.
  • There will not be any food traders.
  • Our Staff will be Rude to you to encourage you to leave…. Hang on, we do that anyway and you are used to it! šŸ˜‰
  • You can bring your Growlers, Pop Bottles etc to be filled, please ensure they are sparkling clean.
  • We can give your containers a quick Sanitise before filling.
  • You may wish to buy our Boxed beers via your local pub, so if you can support your local Independent Bar please do that, they can buy the exact same beer from us and you don’t have to travel as far to get it.
  • That said, we appreciate your custom, you can come and collect a Bag-in-Box of beer or order some to collect the following week.
  • We can take payment in a number of ways, if you email us we can send you a Paypal link and there’s literally no contact with anyone, you can pay with Cash or Card on Contactless (up-to Ā£30).

We will post on all socials as soon as we have figured out the details, we may just run 8x Keg Taps.

We will do everything we can to keep bringing you beer, supporting the pubs that have supported us for the last 5 years, and to stay in business.

We’re not sure how things will turn out but we are planning for the best, there will be an end and normal times will be here again, thanks & hugs – The Team @ Wishbone

If you have the spare cash, please support all those local indie businesses.

Greenflute is Gluten Free – Batch 468

Here are the Lab test results for Greenflute, you can now drink it with confidence šŸ™‚ This can be ordered in 10L Boxes too, just click the pumpclip for the full range available.

Events Notice

Our Homebrew Competition in May is Postponed, we hope to rearrange a date once all this hoohar is done.

Our Brewery Bar Dates – Please check with us, we will let you know here if we have to shut but up to press our plan is to go ahead with the Friday and Saturday bar dates unless we are told not to.

  • Please do not come if you are unsure of your health.
  • We will have cleaned all the things we should have and sanitised the heck out of things during our cleaning and setup procedures.
  • Please wash your hands when you arrive and at other appropriate times when in the brewery.
  • You don’t have to sit too close to anyone we have plenty of space.
  • If you wish to just bring your Growlers / pop bottles etc then we can fill them and charge you accordingly. We can give your containers a quick sanitise with Peracetic Acid to protect us, the next person to have a container filled pr a pint poured, and you.
  • We will have our 10Litre Boxes of beer for sale, unless randomly we have sold out… if they do sell out this is a good thing as we need to sell beer to survive!

We appreciated your continued support and please support as many small indie businesses as you can during these testing times. It sounds as though we are in for 4-7+ months of this to be honest, we would really like to have a business left when we get to the right side of it. Then its seriously Party Time!!!

M-m-m-my Sh(Ca)arona, Small Breweries, Bars, Shops… eek!

There is quite obviously a lot of talk bout Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and we are all waiting for the Government to tell us all to stay indoors for a period of time.

A point about brewery / bar Hygiene.

We make beer,Ā and to make good beer you have to keep everything very clean, this is common practice in breweries. We have masses of written cleaning procedure in place for all brewery processes. We did extra cleaning (disinfection) the brewery bar setup yesterday too and I’m going to go kill everything again this morning before we open to the public. We have always had a Clean Glass policy on our bar, each pour is into a fresh clean glass so there is no person to person contamination. We have loo roll (obviously) and of course hand soap, so please do wash your hands when you arrive and ensure they are washed at other appropriate times while you are drinking with us.
We are backing-up our own bar and serving procedure andĀ advising staff of the importance of sticking to it. Thanks

The Corona Panic plus the Toilet Roll and Hand Soap panic!

Has already set in and we have noticed a marked change in beer sales this week, this means that a lot of people are already practicing ‘Social Distancing’…. for us in the brewery and many other small businesses this means that sales and footfall are already dropping off and you start to wonder how long you can sustain a business before the Government shout LOCK-DOWN! Assuming sales continue to tail off up until that Government shout out its not going to be good for small business and especially the self-employed who don’t get any sick-benefits.
So then when the Shut-down does happen, 1-2 weeks maybe… yeah it will be like the Christmas holidays in December but without the over-eating or presents to unwrap, So we know we can shut down for 2 weeks once a year, its basically like stopping brewing for 1 month with the wind-down then wind-back up into production again.
But what happens in the wind-back-up after a UK Corona Isolation? I dare say that the landscape of how we do things in the UK will have changed and it will be a change that sticks with us for a long time, its going to be something we will all remember as its a world-event. You can predict that people will be affected and we will start on a slow upturn and the country starts to return to a slightly new normality.

So what can we do?

Please try and support your small independent local businesses, they are all going to need support. And indeed, true Local Support within towns with businesses buying local might just be a really sensible way forward. True Local Support will have multiple benefits, instead of many hands and many people delivering the goods you need its just one or two people which also means that if we think of 20-25miles as being local that we actually all contain ourselves and any bugs we may be unwittingly spreading. Greta Thunberg will also be happy because Supporting Local is also very good for food miles so less fuel wasted and not as much pollution screwing up our planet and our health, this is something we all need to be aware of and I’m glad people like Greta are taking a stand, the world and Govt policy need a kick up the arse!

We hope we and all the other small indie businesses out there come out of the other side of all this with our businesses intact!