Great British Beer Festival 2017
We all hopped on the train up to London on Tuesday for the trade day of the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia. This year is the 40th anniversary, and we were lucky enough to have Black Hearted up there on cask amongst 400 other real ales. It was a great day, fantastic to catch up with friends in the industry and to sample the competition from all over the country. As well as having beer for the public there, we also donated a cask of Dandelion Moon to the Volunteer Arms - this is the bar that the 1000 strong CAMRA volunteer team quench their thirst at after a hard days work ensuring the beers are kept at the perfect temperature and served quickly and properly. This year we sponsored the cooling teams shirts and were lucky enough to be shown behind the scenes of the huge bars and the enormous cooling operation that is undertaken. Very impressive, especially considering that the kit is all CAMRA's that is used up and down the countries beer festivals. We also sponsored the shirts of the B2 bar team, where Black Hearted is available. The festival carries on to the public until the 12th of August.
In July, our local CAMRA branch, Portsmouth and South-East Hampshire held their branch meeting at the brewery. Due to the great support CAMRA provide to the industry, beer was provided on the house - however donations to our charity Walking with the Wounded were gratefully received, over £70 was raised. Thanks to all those who attended! We also received our awards for Winterfest 2017 during the meeting; Black Hearted received gold in Premium Bitter category, Pot Kettle gold in Specialty category and Pot Kettle silver overall. Well done to Broken Bridge brewery for Gold with Broken Biscuit!
The Victory Morris Men invaded Gosport recently, along with some other Morris troops. We were lucky enough to have them dance outside the brewery, many good ales were a-quaffed.
We've had some fantastic pilot brews of recent that we can't wait to scale up in the coming months. The tap room has seen a double beer launch night for Crimson Heart (4.7%) and The Grain Event (5.5%), then at the end of July, Dankashire Hop Pot (3.8%). Crimson Heart follows on from our success with Black Hearted, its another spin-off of Hole Hearted - this time a beautiful American Red Ale. Dankashire Hop Pot will be scaled up first though, its a session IPA with dank hoppy flavours. The 50 litres on in the tap room went in 48 hours, and the other keg will be on any day soon in the Wave Maiden, Southsea.
We've finally got our snazzy new bottle labels and are frequently bottling Hole Hearted, Expedition IPA and Twisted Oak. Double Tide, our Craft Pilsner, will also become part of our core range and be bottled in 330ml's regularly.
New customers of recent have included the Stag's Head in Emsworth, the Three Joes Pizza Restaurant in Fareham and Hardy's at Haslar Marina, Gosport. We've also had a few beers in micro pubs eastwards; The Watchmaker's Arms and Brookstead Alehouse.
Event wise; We're going to be the only Real Ale and Craft Beer provider at Cheesefest in Brighton and Portsmouth, potentially several more venues around the UK. We're also looking forward to Hapi Festival in Gosport, where a lot of our beer will be available alongside a one-off brew called Hapi Hour brewed exclusively for the event. On the first weekend of September we will supplying beer for Harvest Weekend at Burseldon Windmill, we're looking forward to some music there from our friends the Oak Set.
The brewery is now accessible virtually at anytime via Google Streetview! So if you have a pint of Hole Hearted at home you can still enjoy the tap room ambiance, without the compressor going off every 30 minutes.
Dandelion Moon has all gone on cask now, we're going to be brewing Dankashire Hop Pot next week which will follow DM as another low ABV summer seasonal.