This week marks a year since lockdown began in the UK where businesses were ordered to close their doors and we were told to stay at home. As we look back on the past year, we remember initially thinking that the first lockdown would last 3 months and we would be back to brewing full time and supplying the on-trade in the summer of 2020! Things didn’t quite pan out that way, but we like to think we’re coming out of this third lockdown a more adaptable and stronger business.
We’ve often commented on the fact that we started out trading as a cask-only brewery, with intentions of brewing for smallpack, but not always knowing the best way to do this. The pandemic has definitely forced us as a company to adapt and move quickly to take advantage of opportunities as they arose. So here’s a small timeline of what we’ve been up to over the past year. Take a look below to see how our branding and brewery has evolved over the last year.
March 2020 – Pubs told to close, businesses not to open unless essential. Stay at Home. Left with more than 17,000 pints of beer unsold in our cellar, and no customers to sell to.
April 2020 – We manage to get our hands on El Dorado, Citra and Nelson Sauvin hops, and brew our limited-edition version of Speed Wobble, which has now become one of our core beers available in Can, Cask, Keg and Mini-Keg.
May 2020 – We launch our flagship range of 7 craft beers. We raise £1000 for the charity Joseph’s Goal by selling and delivering our left-over cask beer around Wigan.
June 2020 – Expansion of brewery at Standish – doubling our capacity by bringing in 2 new fermenters.
July 2020 – Start to brew for the reopening of hospitality. Our beers become available in cask and keg again. Unfortunately we find out our landlord has sold our premises and we would be required to move the brewery within 6 months.
August 2020 – Lots of brewing for cask and keg, new accounts, building our reputation throughout the country. Looking for new premises.
September 2020 – We start our move from Standish to Warrington. Initially moving sales and distribution to Warrington.
October 2020 – Tier system introduced. A huge impact on trade sales, as confidence is lost. We start to turn our attention back to canning and producing new beers monthly.
November 2020 – Second national lockdown announced. We re-brand, launching a new range of experimental beers. Supersonic Rocketship, Cosmic Haze, Sgt Peppermint and Sunday Sessions prove to be hugely successful.
December 2020 – Clouds Across The Moon, Space Hopper and Friday On My Mind released. Many many markets. We de-commission the brewery in Standish and complete the move to Warrington.
January 2021 – Voted RateBeer’s Best New Brewer in Greater Manchester. We brew our first beers at the brewery in Warrington.
February 2021 – Re-launch our core beers, Speed Wobble, Sunday Sessions and Hoodoo Voodoo. Along with our first sour, a new experimental DIPA and a collaboration brew with Love Lane.
March 2021 – Our first lager, along with a re-branded Soul City and new Session Pale Technicolour Beat are all released. We have also started brewing for cask in anticipation of outdoor hospitality opening in April. Today we are racking our first brew of Technicolour Beat, and it definitely feels good to see a growing stock of great cask beer ready to be enjoyed beer gardens soon!
It’s been a challenging year for all, there is no doubt. As a team we are working harder than ever to create a brewery with beers that everyone can enjoy. We’ve adapted again and again to the new challenges as they arise. It’s been tough, but it’s been exciting, and we can’t wait to see where we’ll be in another years time.