Hello again folks, and finally we have the bottles, though I was staring to think they may have been a figment of our imagination, though when they finally arrived Thursday afternoon in time for us to take with us to Manchester, he assured me as he'd carried them in, that they were there, and breathe.
Those of you that have read our blog, will know I work for Chris and Sue, and we have now had one problem solved, great news for the brewery, but in my other life I hit another crisis, well isn't that a surprise?
I volunteer with a group in North Yorkshire, doing events for heritage railway, our first beer and band festival is 2 weeks away, when the plug was pulled on a brewery leaving us without several beers, one or two would have been fine, however 15 not so great, fortunately working for a brewery and several breweries rallying round, the beer festival will go ahead, so any of you in the Redmire area Spring bank holiday, get yourselves up to The WensleyAle Festival, beers, bands, fod and trains, what more could you want? On top of that we'll have 70 Fathom and of course Brigadista.
Brigadista was launched in Manchester and what a great night, drinking beer listening to Joe Solo, people were appreciative and welcoming and we can't thank everyone enough for being so welcoming, let alone the support we have received when we've got a bit bogged down.
Lobby those pubs and shops for bottles and casks and we'll see what we can do, I'm signing off now for an evening of Eurovision, enjoy yours folks!
Yesterday was a huge day for us, the launch of Brigadista. I had written this yesterday, however inadvertantly deleted it and at 11pm last night, just couldn't face doing it again, just the way everything has gone this week.
When we were approached to make Brigadista, we thought it would be a small one off brew, but were delighted to help, we had no idea what it was about to become and people would be so interested, we're a tiny micobrewery in County Durham, it is a special commemoration and justly deserved, a huge up.
But to say the last couple of weeks have had a few downs, our hours have been ridiculous, so much so Chris was seriously considering sleeping at the brewery, the work has been bad enough, but chasing bottles you thought would be done and then malt arriving over a week late, are certainly downs, not sure Chris will be relishing the idea of a back to back brew, the Cardiff pre launch went well and feed back was good, another up.
When we started I knew little about the Spanich Civil War, but have learnt a lot and find it totally fascinating, and when I finally get a few days will read more.
The brewery and us are working to full capacity and wouldn't be possible without amazing support from families and the person that asked us to brew it, so much so I'll probably miss his daily barrage of texts, yet another up.
The challenges we are dealing with are nothing compared to the brave men and women we are commemorating, and the pride we feel is yet another up.
So thank you to those that gave us the opportunity, and when you find it, raise a glass and think of those that gave their lives for freedom.
Well it's been 10 days since my last blog, and so much as happened, when I started this I said I wanted you to not just know about the brewery, but to know us as well. So last week I took some time off to pay a much needed visit to my family, 300 miles to visit 2 children, 6 granchildren, 1 dad with dementia, 1 brother, 1 niece and various spouses.
Thought we'd leave Sunday and start our break by staying in a hotel half way, I duly booked us into a hotel in Cambridge, on arrival, there was no hotel, I was in the wrong town,I'd overshot by an hour, good start. Next day we drove the next 150 miles, not bad only took 6 and 1/2 hours. Tuesday comes, quick swim an hours drive, a meeting with Oakleaf brewery concerning Brigadista, answer several texts, approx 20, visit dad, visit kids, hours drive, back for 10pm. Wednesday, quick swim, an hours drive, visit dad, answer another 20 texts and deal with the 6 phone calls regarding beer, get internet and answer 3 emails, visit children and granchildren, hours drive, back for 10pm. Thursday yep you've got it, but this time brother into the mix, Friday, here we go again, hours drive, visit dad, answer texts, say goodbye to children and 300 mile drive home.
Meanwhile the boss back in the brewery, did telesales, cleaned the brewery, wrote the emails, did the deliveries, cleaned the casks, had an interview, and I think he even managed to see his wife at one point.
So yes I had a lovely break, but we never just stop work, because the brewery doesn't run itself, and Brigadista won't launch itself. To be honest since we were asked to make Brigadista our heads haven't stopped throbbing, our phones haven't stopped ringing or pinging, our feet haven't stopped running, we are knackered, but heck, we're proud!
The blog will be quiet this week as the boss is in charge and to be honest, needs a few more hours in the day and another day in the week and then all will be well, I'm having a few days in my primary job as mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt so expecting a busy week, just for a change, haha. Managed to schedule a meeting with Oakleaf brewery about some swaps in that area which would be highly exciting.
As I do the sales it's particularly busy at the moment, and now we have Brigadista Ale along with other ales going to various outlets, for Brigadista, find it on the various Brigadista pages.
It's occurred to me this week, whilst working that some landlords in pubs do not appreciate a micro brewery like ours,on calling in a pub at 9.30 last night to see if he would be interested in some beer,the landlord wasn't present, I said I would call him and discuss it, as they pointed out if I didn't go and meet him face to face he wouldn't buy, but he's not alone in this, one pub has this, IF YOU WANT TO DO BUSINESS WITH US, PLEASE COME TO THE PUB AND HAVE A CHAT, IF THAT'S TOO MUCH TROUBLE, YOU'RE PROBABLY NOT THE TYPE OF BUSINESS WE WANT TO DEAL WITH! COLD CALLS WON'T GET ANY BUSINESS, YOU WILL SIMPLY BE PUT ON OUR BLACKLIST. They open from 12-2 and 4-8, hmm it's a 40 mile drive I work in my other job till 3.30 and have a daughter, the lovely boss is brewing and doing the other 10 jobs in the brewery, if we haven't called in, it's not that we're rude it's the fact that the clue is in the name MICROBREWERY and there is only 2 of us, micro in every way.
Anyway enough of my moaning I have had some good news this week, Cheers magazine want to do an interview with Chris, so great news and will be nice to see it all in print, especially as I won't have written it. In my spare time I'm part of an events company DWS Events, we consist of an accountant, brewer,restaurant manager and me,that in iitself could have it's own blog and fly on the wall documentaries would probably be after the watershed, I however digress, D of DWS is opening his own brewery Three Brothers Brewery, so I hope to have some of his ale in sometimes with ours.
It's never dull! Catch you next week.
To say it's been possibly the longest two weeks of my life, would be an understatement, with so much excitement surrounding the Brigadista ale, I'm sure by now some of you will know that we were asked to brew a commemorative beer, for the Spanish Cilvil War, and very proud we are too.
However the joy of being a microbrewery in a small town in the North is no one knows you, and as there are only two of you, it's hard to make contact with a huge amount of people on top of what you already do.
The first task is to brew the beer,second, find a distributor, line up the distributors, do a brew plan, but no one has tasted the beer, so talk to the distributors, brew the beer, do a brew plan, ah, but now there is publicity, so now the distributors are showing an interest,redo the brew plan. You get where I'm going with this, ship all the beer to wholesalers, ah, no beer to sell to our own customers,redo the brew plan, swaps is the way forward, redo the brew plan.
To be honest, every day in a Micro brewery is a challenge, and there are days when everyone wants to bury their heads, and when your brew goes wrong and you have to tip it all away, or when you spend all day making calls, and no one wants to speak to you, or even when you have to ask people if they realised they actually have to pay you for the beer, but there are many great customers and sometimes just once, you get asked to do something like Brigadista, meet great people and have fun,no we wouldn't change it for the world.