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2020 and damn it 2021 too!

Here’s a well overdue blog post, I might try and post a few things but I’ll start with 2020.

I’ll start with a bit of a copy & paste from twitter posts aka ‘live blogging’ 😉

Sales Stats:
Sales in Jan 2021 were almost 2/3 less than Jan 2020.
Sales in Jan 2021 were the worst we’ve seen since May 2020.
Post Lockdown July & August were best Months of 2020.
Seen a steady decline in sales since November 2020.
it can only get better……………. can’t it?
We were approx £80’000 down on sales during 2020.

2020 Positives:
We spent time together at home + cats.
We were forced to head into Caning beers sooner than we might have.
We spent time and effort building a Web Shop.
We got the £50k Bounceback Loan and bought a building for @WishboneTap so in the future we can bring a new drinking destination to Keighley.
These things wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for 2020.

2021 Positives:
We got the £1k Wet-led Pubs Grant for the bar in the brewery.
We got a £5k Additional Restrictions Grant.
We are literally just sending the second canning batch of Tiller Pin for canning as this was our fastest selling caned beer.
Thanks to the aforementioned grants we can afford to invest in our future and experiment with Barrel Ageing more, 8x Barrels have been ordered from France, Red & White wines, and we have a load of barrel racking on order so we can stack them up in the brewery. We have a Vienna Lager inspired beer that will go into White wine barrels and a Barleywine that will be aged in Red wine barrels, these will more than likely form part of a Canning and kegging run in about a year’s time.
We are still retaining our valued staff, fingers crossed for a productive summer where we can all get back to working properly.

Onward into 2021:
Now we have canned beers on site, currently 7 different, each taking up a pallets-worth of space each it raises questions as to how we are going to store all our beers at the in the coldstore if and when we get back to full Cask & Keykeg production as the warmer weather approaches. We will almost definitely have to extend our coldstore, so here is the bit that you’re not going to like….
The only logical place to extend the coldstore is into our Bar area but knocking down and dismantling the current bar, building a wall across the front of that area and cutting a doorway through into the original coldstore. This would mean no more Bar and if we are still to do our bar days, which we want to, we’d have a lot less space for drinkers. Time will tell and we are going to play this by ear and see how things develop, the plan even when we have our own pub in Keighley is to still do our brewery bar days once each month cos we know how people love the rustic appeal of sitting on a cask in a cold brewery drinking beers at source.
We had a vague month in mind for having our Pub up and running by but we think that date would be best shuffled along a bit until we all have a bit more stable grasp on all the Pandem(ic)onium. We were thinking December, sensibly though March 2022 might be a more realistic target.
The Pub will; front onto a pedestrian area, have a beer-yard at the back, have 2 floors – though we may start with 1, the premises will need a full rip-out – rewire – re-plumb – half re-roof, if it makes viable sense and there’s any grant funding I’d like to have Solar (PV) on the roof and an Air-source heat pump for heating, there’s no chimney so doubt we could have a wood-burner.

You gotta have ideas, dreams, plans…… plan it, cost it, see if its feasible. *Realise how much time and hard work its going to take* We might be asking handy folk to help out when it comes to sorting the Pub!

I’m an Influencer don’t ya know…

I’ll start by saying, the only reason I am writing this is because of the polite email I received from a ‘beer blogger’, this followed another communication from a Instagram ‘beer reviewer’, and their two completely different manners of opening a conversation.

I don’t really want this piece of writing to be all about bashing beer reviewers but its a little hard for this not to look like that!

I’ll start with how it should be done, think of it as a How-To-Guide.

“Hi my name is Barry B Reviewer, and run a beer blog over at you can also find me on all the socials (inserts links). Here I’ll tell you a little about what I do and how I do it and what I’d like to do with your beers. And how great it would be to come and check the brewery out sometime.

Thanks for reading, Kind Regards
Barry B”

I’m going to copy paste the recent conversation from Instagram so you can make up your own mind as to whether this was the right way to make an introduction.

Them: Would love to review some of your beers if you have any samples

Me: We have loads of samples, just pop in and buy some 😉 Cheekiness aside…. We tend to want to know people we send beer to, have a bit of history with etc. Cheers Adrian

Them: I understand, you are a bit far from me otherwise I would love to pop in!! Wanted to spread about your beers to my followers and maybe we could start some history!!

Me (Actually trying to be helpful): #TopTips Lets take assumption you are worthy to review beer, I wouldn’t know because I don’t know you. When you contact a brewery for the first time start with “Hi my name is” introduce what you do and tell the brewery why you should have free stuff (which would cost us £21 at least). Then politely sign off thanking them for their time. The Cheeky “Give me beer for Reviews” lark can really wind up some breweries and they will proceed to slag said ‘Reviewer’ off on social media. Hope that helps your next interaction with a brewer that is new to you. Cheers Adrian

Them (And the point where the “Influencer” word gets busted out): My experience of being an Instagram influencer is that that those Breweries who understand the strengths of social media marketing readily share their beer for feedback. In return they are reviewed and if any good will improve sales. For example Pinter has been nominated as a contender for Time Magazine invention of the year. They sent me a Pinter and brew kit worth over £70 in return for my review. So at £21 you would getting my influence cheap. Best of luck with your business.

Me (Shouldn’t had said they were an Influencer): Now I can laugh. Hahahaha, thanks for the giggle. We are a very small business and £21 may be ‘Cheap’ to you but after this year and only me keeping the business going instead of our usual compliment of staff, £21 is something we don’t take lightly. Referring to yourself as an Instagram Influencer is like quantifying your own self importance. So best of luck to you too with your freeloading and Merry Christmas.

If only the conversation had been started differently with an introduction rather than what was pretty much “Give me beer for Reviews”, it would have been nice to have the name of the person, it would have been nice for them to say ‘Hi’ at the start. But then the claiming of self-importance by saying they are an Influencer was like them shooting themselves in the foot. Surely if you are an influencer then you have built up and certain standing in your area of interest and it should be your followers that bestow on you the title of Influencer?

Back to the good bit… and how someone else started a relationship.

Good Evening,
Sorry to write to you out of the blue, but given the amount of time that a lot of us have at the moment with the lockdown, furlough, and everything else that’s going on my family and I have decided to start an “all things beer” blog called ‘Blog named here’. We are currently trying to put together a series of interviews with Brewers around my local area. The first interview wit Blabla Brewery is due to go live tomorrow via Twitter (Twitter link) please feel free to have a look at this to get a feel for the type of questions we will be asking, to see if you are interested in participating.
The aim of the game is to ensure that adequate coverage is given to those breweries in my local area, and what they are/have been doing in this trying time. I plan to review some of your beers on the blog. However, I thought it would be even better to have a short 10-ish question interview with you to go alongside the reviews to round off your entry.
Would you be interested in participating? my plan would be to do it over email so that you can answer the questions at your leisure and it would also negate any social distancing issues we may have if I visited you at the brewery.
Kind Regards
Their Name here

I know which approach I prefer, can you guess whether or not I gave a polite and full response to this email?

Do you think I was too blunt or I shouldn’t have said what I did?

I’m told one brewery give out discount codes to the folks that say “Give me your beer for Review”, should this be the way we deal with future interactions? Would this let us quantify a persons “Influence”?

Answers on a Postcard (post on the Socials)

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
West Yorkshire
BD21 4LG

Landline: 01535600412
Mobile: 07867419445

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 –
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
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

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.