Thursday, 10 April 2014

Brewery News Update !

      It's been a while, but we thought it time to update the blog at last.

    Our brew team will try to update it regularly to keep everyone abreast of new Cross Bay beers and events, not to mention their opinions on the beer and brewing world.

So here goes!

    Our first full year brewing in 2012 saw some remarkable changes to not only the Cross Bay beer portfolio but to the team also with the departure of Laura our then marketing manager and the addition of her replacement, the brilliant Rebecca Sewell.
       Becky became responsible for the design of the beer calendar, website and all promotional material for the brewery. Just a sample of her work is the Omega pump clip, for which the feedback from publicans and drinkers alike was extremely positive. The feedback we received was confirmed when the whole range of pump clips won the Label of The Year Competition, Point of Sale Category 2013.
Becky and the bottle range
     The second project was our first venture into bottle, again designed in house by Becky. Our beers in bottle were an enormous success, quite frankly we were unprepared for the swift departure of all our stock (over 7000 bottles) in just a couple of months.      

    As this was occurring the brewers were also having success in the beer world, with rising sales and more demand for our beer, we were focused solely on completing orders and rotations.
   Then in March 2012 our second seasonal, a 5% India Pale Ale named Zenith won our first award at the Lancashire Cup.
   To say we were chuffed would be a huge understatement, demand for Zenith wiped our stock in 48hrs and we had reports from customers telling us it lasted only 3 hours on the bar.
   Debate began, arguments ensued, decision made................. Zenith was now part of our core range.

   Shockingly, trade goes on and the year turned toward the GBBF, after a very intoxicated, not too mention slightly hazy trip to London to sample Britain's finest beers, we returned to find that a week later Zenith had struck again... this time winning Beer of the Festival at our local Morecambe Beer Festival 2012.
   Happy brewers are always a joy to work with and two awards in the first 12 months of a fledgling brewery's life was an enormous boost for us. Then just a month later Zenith struck again, winning Beer of the festival at Burnley Beer Festival 2012.
From Left: Liam, Bill, Nick, Arthur

   The departure of Liam and then Bill (to York Tap) was a shock in November, but the addition of trainee brewer Dan Hall has been a positive, his experience as a chef is an interesting mix and create's interesting flavour debates.

   As we passed into 2013 we were hit with the news that our parent company had gone bust... Luckily for us we were bought by another and continued to trade.
   So after a rocky start, a new owner, a new director and the release of our new seasonal calendar we recovered well and received our first award of the year in March at the Lancashire Cup with Halo, our 3.6% English Pale Ale winning Gold.

  Sales continued steadily throughout the year with various specials being released including a Porter, a Mild, another I.P.A,  a collaboration beer, a Green Hopped beer and then in October the release of our ever popular Wheat beer duo Witching Hour 4.4% and Wolfing Hour 4.6% had the brewing team working all out to complete the orders.
   On the rare day we set aside that month, we left the brewery to attend the SIBA North West Beer Competition 2013.
   This was to see the team scooping three awards for the following beers:

Zenith I.P.A. was awarded Silver in Bottled Bitters over 5%
Sunset Blonde was awarded Silver in Best Bitters
Nightfall Bitter was awarded Silver in Standard Bitters

Head brewer Nick Taylor receiving one of three awards.

   In the last three months of 2013 we saw the busiest period Cross Bay has experienced so far.

So far 2014 has been an enormous success for the team with sales up 20% on 2013 and the addition in March of four new awards won at the Lancashire Cup 2014, Silver awards for Zenith and Dusk and Bronze awards for White Jack IPA and Sandpilot.

Well that's the condensed version, we'll keep you up to speed on any other news as it happens...