Author Archive for WishboneAde

Christmas Collections

After a very strange year we’d like to add a tiny bit of normality back so between 11am and 3pm we will be open for collections on Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th December.

You can pre-order things from our Webshop if you like or just turn up and see whats available, please get any pre-orders to us and Paid by the 16th December so we have time to get your order together and be sure to select “Click & Collect from Brewery” and add any order notes you might want to tell us which date you will be collecting on.

We can take Card payments and Cash on the day from those of you that haven’t pre-ordered.

Please wear your Mask and observe Social Distancing if you have to Queue.

Full Cases of Cans, Mixed Cases, 10L Boxes, Minikegs, T-Shirts, Gift Packs and Pint Glasses will all be available.

It would be great to see some of our familiar drinkers faces (with Masks on) and we hope you all have a good Christmas.

Wishbone Brewery Limited
2A Worth Bridge Industrial Estate
Chesham Street
Keighley
West Yorkshire
BD21 4LG

Landline: 01535600412
Mobile: 07867419445
info@wishbonebrewery.co.uk

Beer Samples Feedback

I’m going to transfer a bunch of tweets into this blog for a bit of further sharing.

Thread: So guys, we have spent hundreds of pounds sending beer samples to pubs, bars & Bottleshops (lots more still to send out), could some of you be kind enough to give us some honest feedback please. We would appreciate a quick ‘Thanks for the beers’. RT’s appreciated.

We’re not a pushy brewery and don’t want to stress anyone out as we realise that timing of all this has turned out a bit odd! We’d value your feedback, good, bad or indifferent. *This tweet does not include the Beer folk / Bloggers / nice people we know that we sent samples to*

Let us know how would best to communicate with you regarding these beer samples, drop us a line in an email, get back to us on social media, even Untappd and say which venue you are from. It all helps.

We are basically trying very hard to put our Beer Cans under the noses of beer businesses. We need some form of acknowledgement that is more than just the UPS Package Tracking, so we get to know you got the beers ok and will be trying them.

Without feedback we may as well just be throwing Tenners into the river that we could have spent on something better to support our business through these weird times. So this is me trying to be very polite and asking for feedback, we sent you beer! Drink it! Let us know.

And the last little bit is… Thanks to the folks that have got back to us with feedback, social media posts, even orders. Its very much appreciated.

We have lots more samples to send out and we need to know its worth the effort, stress and money of it all. Cheers

Hat tip to #CraftBeerHour Tom for Listing us on his site – http://craftbeerhour.com
And mega-thanks to all who have bought our Cans and are getting them out into the wider drinking world.

Gluten Free Testing

Its a minefield!
Gyle #484 is Pixie Juice in Cans.

I’m struggling with the results we have been getting for the Canned Gyle #484 of Pixie Juice, please have a look down the table below I am at a loss to understand and #484 seems to be an anomaly, especially so when you compare it to Gyle #399 that had No Brewers Clarex (BC).
Gyle #486 gave us confidence that we had the correct amount of BC so the brew was scaled for Canning volume for #484, all subsequent brews have BC.
Results have got worse for this recent re-test yet they were 16ppm about 3 weeks prior, meaning a worst case scenario with the test inaccuracy it would be 22ppm which is mega close to the legal limit of 20ppm. (Current test inaccuracy is +/- 38.11%)

So it feels like I’m just dishing out £100-notes for the fun of it with the latest result being worse than the initial tank sample, it seems an impossibility when as our previous conversation with the lab told me that the BC keeps working and continues to remove gluten.

In all honesty even with Gyle # 497 passing the test with flying colours it makes me wonder if we sent a further sample would it still pass the test?!

Gluten Free Tests – using Synlab, we have previous results which aren’t listed from Surebrew that always passed the 20ppm test.

Date Sample ReceivedGyleppmClarex Y/NNotes
02/07/201939914N
27/11/201944032NRecipe Tweak
16/03/2020468<10YBC 1.5g/hL
19/08/202048423YTank Sample
11/09/202048416YCan 1st Retest
06/10/202048429YCan 2nd Retest
06/10/2020497<10YRecipe tweak + BC 3g/hL

So moving forward with a slight recipe tweak and 3g/hL we assume this belt and braces approach will see us get results in the <10 ppm area consistently.

What we may have to do is relabel all 2064 Cans before we can release them!

The Fun of Business

With a little bit of time on my hands I thought I’d share our experience of an Intellectual Property (IP) encounter we had, this means things that may be in conflict with a Trade Mark. Companies Trade Mark (TM) their goods to stop other people copying them, which is pretty fair.

You will no doubt know a few cases that have been prominent in the media and the most recent would be Boss Brewing and their spat with Hugo Boss where comedian Joe Lycett actually changed his name to Hugo Boss in support of the Microbrewery to highlight the stupidity of it all.

Large companies and global brands, with their associated wealth, trademark many product names in many categories and use a blanket cover approach so they tie up their product name so even if a company never make a Beer called ‘Red Bull’ they want to stop any other companies from being able to call a beer anything like Red Dull, Bed Bull, Red Well, Ded Bull etc etc.

Most brewers just think of a beer name and slap it on the Pumpclip, though these days each name we put on a Pumpclip is run through the Trade Mark Office search to check for any pre-existing conflicts, we can also Google to check for beer products already on the market and see if other brewers are using the name in places like Untappd.

Come to think of it our very first instance of this effecting our company is when I used the name of a well known portable toilet provider to describe a portable loo on our Blog, we were asked by the company to change the name as it wasn’t their brand of Dr. Who-style toilet!
Another was when we were going to name a beer Flat Cap for the Cap & Collar’s Birthday beer once too, if you’ve done some drinking in the Cap & Collar you’ll know the Flat Cap connection, though there is another brewer over in Lancashire that phoned and didn’t like us using that name even though they didn’t have a TM on it we picked another name.

I’ve had an instance where we thought of a beer name, spotted it looked *but wasn’t* the same as another brewer’s beer, I thought I’d be polite and ask because brewers are all nice folk and there wouldn’t be any conflict. Sadly that brewer did not turn out to be the polite conversation I had assumed it would be, quite odd. Literally 1 letter difference in a name can be felt as a conflict of interests if the rest of the name looks like someone’s TM even if the letters are all in a different order and the meaning is totally different.

All this brings me on to the main event.

We had brewed a beer a couple of times, named after an Austrian physicist (First name) Christian, who described a change in frequency of a wave in relation to an observer who is moving relative to the wave source in 1842. Now I wouldn’t normally think that something from science which I very much think of as Public Domain would indeed have a TM attached to it. If you want to, you can recreate this effect at home or in your garden with a length of hose pipe with a mouth piece attached to it, make a Trumpet sound by blowing down the hose pipe and swing the other end of the hose around in circles and you can hear for yourselves. Much fun as a kid making a massively loud Elephant trumpet noise in the back garden 😉 A Cyclic-Elephant.

I digress, anyway…..
So this beer name we chose had been picked up by an IP Law company, I assume these companies are the sort that are continually searching Google for names that may be in conflict with their client’s interests (That’s ‘Interests’ meaning TM’s that the client has paid for)
You could say ‘Money for Old Rope’ at this point and for the most part that’s about right.
The first we knew was a letter arriving with some very strong wording about IP law regarding our choice of beer name. Next a Phone call from the IP Law firm which added a little nuance to what has been in the written letter, we also had email of the same, more email an phone calls went on and the phone calls always included extra things that weren’t in writing and looking back I would consider these to be bullying tactics from the IP law firm that they knew they couldn’t put in writing. *Refer back to the top of the page and We always do our TM searches now*

We did our internet searching to try and find this IP Law firm’s client’s business and here’s what we found about that client’s brewery name and beer names:

  • Non-trading entity
  • No products in the market
  • A minimal and very recently created social media presence
  • No brewery premises
  • Multiple companies house name changes stretching back a few years
  • Directors with multiple interests that stretch back to other people and an eventual brewery that traded a lot of years back
  • A bunch of Trademarks for products that aren’t being made

With all that in mind you would think there wouldn’t be any conflict, and if a brewer hadn’t done an initial TM search but had Google Searched for any product in the market place they wouldn’t have found a conflict. The IP law firm wanted us to sign a document, we took advice and amended the document before signing it as it was far from being fair to the situation. This was accepted by the law firm and no action was taken.

To be very honest after we did our research it all felt like a massive scam to try and get money out of us. So I hope this serves as a cautionary tale and useful information for brewers when they name their beers. As this was not a fun experience and strayed about as far away as I could imagine from our feeling that brewers were all helpful, nice folks and “beer people are good people”. Some businesses are arse holes with horrible IP law firms.

Never speak on the Phone to IP law firms, refer then to email. Everything in writing.

Our Web-shop is Live!

We have added back 10 litre bag-in-box and 5 litre Minikegs along with our new Can stock, Glassware and T-shirts. Use ‘shoplaunch5’ for 5% off all orders during October. We can post out beer UK-wide via UPS, there is a local delivery option for delivery within 10 miles of Keighley, also you can Click & Collect from us Monday to Thursday.

Click here for the Shop!

Long time no see…

Hello there,

Sorry we haven’t been around for a while, there’s this thing called Coronavirus going around causing all sorts of upset in the world!

I thought we should have a bit of a catch up, a socially distant chat over a cup of coffee or tea, let you know what’s going on and plans for the future.

Since pubs opening on July 4th we have seen broadly positive cask beer sales and randomly a few new customers, we aren’t out of the woods yet though which is why we have been spending loads of money getting some of our beers canned in 440mls. We are literally itching to get the cans out to you to try them but for one thing or another we are having to hold back a little until everything is right and we have everything in place.
Trade can contact us for Trade-Prices on cases of 12x440ml and (I think) our Web Store is just about complete for beer drinkers to order direct from us and get cases of beer delivered anywhere in the UK.

We will let you know when the Web Shop goes live, we just need a few things to fall into place before this can happen, so thanks for your patience. And btw, it’s pretty much just me doing the web store with a little help from Paul.

Our current working week:
Oliver is currently partial-furlough but in work 3-4 days a week.
Paul is also partial-furlough but doing the sales stuff on Mondays and bit by bit getting back to relieving me of Delivery duties. Myself and Paul have been sanitising the van in between us using it.
Me ‘Adrian’ I’ve never been furloughed and I’m catching up on what have been a few mad weeks, I might actually send a proper Wholesale email this next week!
Emma is still furloughed, just doing her Directorial functions to keep us on the right side of all the financial stuff.
We are not in work when we don’t need to be.

Brewery Bar days:
Yeah, we know you all want to come and drink in the brewery and it seems more and more of you are asking us when we’ll be open. In all honesty we don’t think the time is right yet and it’s not like we can split the brewery in half to ensure brewing operations aren’t affected by anything that happens on a bar day so we hope you understand why we are choosing to stay closed.
And now that we have beer in Can on pallets we have a new problem because we want to keep it at the right temperature in our cold store… SPACE! And the lack of it in the cold store. “She cannae take any more captain, she’ll explode!” Which means we may have to sacrifice the bar as we know it, build a big wall, bash a doorway through (in a very specific and limited way) into the present coldstore and extend it.

Yours Sincerely

Team Wishbone 🙂

PS… We’ll have T-Shirts next week, we only made you wait 5 years!!

PPS… if you like the variety that small brewers bring to your beer culture please take a moment to sign THIS PETITION and if you feel like it write to your MP about the proposed changes to Beer Duty which will be bad for all small local brewers.

Current Working Hours

I thought I should update you all on our working times…. We can’t always be on site, if you require beer then your best bet is to email info@wishbonebrewery.co.uk

Me ‘Adrian’ works 2-3 days each week, normally in all day Tuesday, other days I am out delivering. I would normally work a full 5 days + weekend checks.

Emma is Furloughed and only doing Director stuff, VAT, Beer Duty etc

Paul is in all day Monday doing sales stuff only, no deliveries, is Furloughed for the other 3 days (worked around our brewing schedule) he would normally work. Though on holiday for 2 weeks as of now so I’ll be in the next two Mondays.

Oliver is in the building 2-3 days each week right now for Brewing and Racking, and furloughed for the remaining time of his regular 5 day week.

You’ll appreciate that if we have no work to do then there is no point coming into work, turning the lights on, starting the computers up and just sitting scrolling through social media for 8 hours! So please do check we are around before heading to the brewery and be aware we are doing our best to keep to Social Distancing guidelines.

Cheers 🙂

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

🙂

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 beer 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: 

*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 😉

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 be 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 be 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 the it is in all its honesty…

Hello all,
I’ll kick this off by saying, ONLY email INFO@WISHBONEBREWERY.CO.UK 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 – http://www.wishbonebrewery.co.uk/beer/beer-for-social-distancing/

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

Cheers

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