What a year 2017 has been!! Challenging, life changing and harder work than I could've ever imagined. I wanted to write a recap of the year as well as looking ahead to some very exciting developments for 2018 (with some exciting news towards the end).
Back in January, we finally got the keys to our new permanent home in the Green Quarter, Manchester, after gypsy brewing for a couple of years. We've been loving the unit, the city and the people ever since. It took a Herculean effort to turn a railway arch that was previously used for electrical appliance storage into a microbrewery; drainage, flooring, plumbing, electrics, licences and planning, all took a long time to get right and we're thankful we had some superb contractors helping us out. We're also thankful that we bought our brew kit locally as help was always at hand when needed. Moving back to Manchester after a decade away proved to be a great decision. Everyone's been incredibly friendly and supportive of the beer we've made and what we're trying to do.
It took us a little while to get used to the kit and to find our groove. Previous recipes had to be tweaked to fit the new process and after a false start with canning, we're now producing beer we're consistently happy with. As a brewery, we really have to thank our customers for their patience whilst we nailed down the process and recipes. People have been generous with their keg lines and shelf space; as such, we've been able to survive our 1st year in full-time business. Few!
A special shout out goes to our illustrator, Marcus, who has created some spectacular (and utterly instagrammable) artwork this year. His work has been integral to the development of the brewery.
We've also been very lucky to work with some fantastic distributors that have helped get our beers into every corner of the UK. Seeing people based in Edinburgh, Brighton, Belfast, Cardiff, Newcastle, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham and London enjoy our beers on social media has been a great experience. We always wanted our beer to be enjoyed throughout the UK, but we never thought it would happen so quickly. We've even sent beers to Hong Kong with hopefully more finding their way abroad next year.
We also made loads of new friends; from people in the trade, to bar staff at our favourite bars, to people visiting the taproom - it's been a joy getting to know so many new people. A special shout out goes to Runaway, Marble and Cloudwater, who have helped us with their vast expertise and patience. Our beer is better due to their input and it's this shared technical knowledge that makes this industry so much fun to work in. Thanks to our local CAMRA branch, especially Martin and Graham, who have been so vocal in their support for us. I hope to attend many more festivals in 2018 to meet more great people.
In short, 2017 has been a huge year for the brewery. A new home, better quality output and more people drinking our beer than ever before; it's been amazing. All of this has only added to our family's main event of the year - the birth of our little baby boy - and long may next year be as positive.
LOOKING TO 2018
Without doubt, the most exciting news we have for 2018 is that we are opening our own bar in Manchester city centre. It will be an inclusive bar with 14 craft beer lines which will be evenly split between our own beer and guest beers. The idea is to create a welcoming venue that beer lovers can enjoy, but also for those wanting top quality ciders, wines, spirits, soft drinks and coffees. The one aspect we're most excited about is that the new bar will serve street food (sooooo excited!).
Each street food trader will take over the kitchen for a month at a time; this will keep the food offering fresh and interesting whilst giving the trader an opportunity to serve in a permanent location for a month. There's nothing better than pairing your favourite drink with some excellent street food made with passion. We're in discussion with some seriously good people making seriously good food.
We're still ironing out some details so can't give the address just yet, but the 2,000+ sq ft site is situated between Market Street and St Peter's Square. We aim to open by May/June '18 and will keep you up-to-date on developments. Follow the bar twitter/instagram handle @BeatnikzRepMcr for the latest updates.
In order to produce enough beer for the new bar and to meet demand, we'll be doubling our current production capacity by the middle of next year. We have new tanks being installed very soon and additional tanks coming in April/May. We will then be able produce over 2,000 hectolitres per year; this is still very small compared to other craft breweries, let alone the macro brewers, but it's a big increase for us. It's all very exciting, but utterly terrifying!
With increased capacity comes the ability to play around with new beers more than we've been able to. We will still produce our main range of beers, but we'll be able to brew more specials, one-offs and collaborations which we're really looking forward to; we have a few in the pipeline and can't wait to get them set up.
Well that's it from our yearly round-up and what's up next post. Thanks a million for all your support and here's to a prosperous 2018 - cheers!!
Thanks for reading,
Beatnikz Republic Brewing Co.