Our first full year.
So we started 2016 sitting on £150,000 of our second Community Share Offer. (We totaled £160,000!). That brought us to over 1100 members and over £250,000 raised through Community Shares in little over a year. Lol. More on that in a bit. Remember, you can still own a brewery!
January also saw me break my ankle. Which was shit. But that didn’t stop Mal from being awesome or stop us from making some very very special beer. Some of that went to Mikkeller’s Koelschip in Copenhagen.
Then one early morning in January we woke up to find that we’d been voted the best beer, best new Brewery and best Brewer in NI by Ratebeer. That was cool. Turns out there are some awards that atually mean something. Who knew!?
March saw our first Anniversary. We’d been brewing a year. Crazy. We partied with a lot of people in Brewbot, inviting our friends from Galway Bay, Yellowbelly and White Hag to come take over some taps with us. We also did a few anniversary collabs with those bozos too. Matt Curtis from Good Beer Hunting was kind enough to come share the weekend with us. He even wrote a bombass article on it.
We continued monthly Taprooms. They were well received. So at the end of the summer, we started doing our Taprooms every weekend. That was nice. First in the whole of Ireland. But hopefully not the only ones for too long!
That money we raised at the start of the year. Remember!? We bought an automated bottling machine. This was much needed. 2015 was a great first year. We made some beer. People loved it. Other countries started to ask for it. But we couldnt package enough of it. A literal bottleneck. From the beginning, packaging our own beer was a non negoitiable. We have no interest in passing on our beer to someone else to package. Long story. Another Blog post. Enter Johnny 5. Since March we’ve been happily bottling away; about 28 man hours in around 1 hour 45 minutes. Blam. Also, the beer is in much better nick too. Especially our hoppy beers.
Speaking of hops. 2016 saw us start to get our paws on the hops we really wanted. This has resulted in lots of fun with Session IPAs, IPAs and DIPAs. Our DIPAS were pretty good. We quite liked them. But they were bottled conditioned. Which meant that after packaging they went into a warm room for a while. Not ideal. That coupled with the fact we still dont have space for walk in refrigeration means that we’re unlikely to brew many DIPAs this year until we get more space for refrigeration...and barrels.
We also dumped our first batches of beer. They weren’t good enough. Wish more breweries would do the same.
We had the ridiculous pleasure of getting invited to pour our beers at IndyManBeerCon, ABV Fest and The Great Irish Beer Festival. We expanded our export markets, hosted a bunch of events in different markets, iterated on our labels, hosted all kinds of crazy events, added to our core range, re-started the Blog, launched a new website, ate a lot of cheese, collabed with Mad Hatter, Galway Bay, White Hag, YellowBelly, Bubbacue, Established, Town Square, Rascals, Alvinne, Alechemy and brewed over 30 new beers.
What are we excited about in 2017?
Starting to hire, entering new European markets, adding our first Market beyond Europe, pouring our beer at more awesome Fests, more collabs, expanding the Barrel Programme, expanding the core range, brewing more great beer,
Starting to plan to drop another Large Surprise into the middle of the Belfast Beer Scene.