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Review of the year 2017

First off, mega thanks to our brewery staff Oliver, Dawn & Paul, thanks also to Beth and Andrew who run our brewery tap bar. Cheers.

This year is ending with a feeling of stability, evening out the peaks and troughs we have shown a steady growth, we are playing a balancing act between the amount of empty casks we have + the amount of coldstore space we have + the amount of beer we are producing. We don’t currently have about £4k to reinvest in more Casks and the cold store is the size that it is so we need to work up to having enough spare cash to be able to do some Small Pack (Bottles or Cans) and send any expansion of production towards Bottle Shops / Bar Fridges and getting our beers into people’s fridges at home.
I would expect growth to level off in 2018 because of the above restrictions, we need to get more people trying our Keykeg beers *hint* Black IPA’s are great btw!!! *ahem!*

Production in 2017 has seen us brew 114 times and 34 totally new beers, so much for a ‘core range’ though we do realise we have some customers that like the regulars and easy drinkers.

We just had our Christmas Brewery Tap and have been frankly amazed by all the people coming to us for beers over these last 3 or 4 months, so thanks to all who have been you have made it very enjoyable. If we can keep this rate of Tap-attendance up it will go a long way to helping us make the move into getting our beer bottled or canned, we would rather not have to get a business loan and if I am honest I struggle with the concept of crowdfunding if the funder doesn’t get something reasonable in return.
With Small Pack in mind we will be adding approx 50p per pint onto our brewery tap prices from January 2018.

2018…

  • We should work harder at selling a bit more to Wholesalers and need to find a bigger market for our KeyKeg beers.
  • There is a list of stuff about as long as my arm of things I want to buy to enable us to react quickly to any mechanical or electrical breakdowns, I bet I could spend £4k in the blink of an eye.
  • We need a chunk of money to send Oliver (Brewery assistant / Brewer / Top dude) on a Brewlab course and get him to do his GCB, hopefully we can claim back half of the amount from funding after the training is done.
  • I could use some more Liquor treatment knowledge so I am less reliant on the skills of others in this area.
  • Small-Pack, bottled or Canned beer, I’m currently thinking of using an on-site bottler or canner, we may well try a bit of hand bottling for sample purposes.
  • Dare I say T-shirts? I know a lot of you have been asking for them. Beermats are back in stock since Thursday. Hopefully we will be able to afford some more Branded Glassware.
  • We need to put our Mobile Keg bar to work, its first trip out is going to be to Pendle Beer Festival, there should be a couple of Keighley Worth Valley Railway appearances too.
  • I need to take a mains water feed upstairs to start with then look at getting a cold liquor tank so our summertime wort cooling is easier.
  • Kit modifications; In-line wort aeration or oxygenation, an addition to the copper so we can use Pellet hops in the boil, a better more accurate Temp Probe and Readout for the HLT.
  • Water & used cleaning chemical recovery so we can get a second use out of some of the water we tip down the drain to be used as a pre-rinse for dirty vessels etc.
  • Hop usage from contracted hops should mean there will be a number of new punchy hop-forward beers available.
  • A kitchen area in the office would be nice, a new fridge and some proper office chairs!
  • Moving forward I would like us to develop some Lab skills with some education in Microbiology so that when we do put beer in bottle or can we can assure ourselves that they cleaning and brewing we have done is up to scratch and can confirm that any contamination has been introduced by a third party packager.

Thats it 2017… thanks to all our great customers, see you in 2018 🙂