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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 šŸ™‚

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 šŸ™‚

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.