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The magazine for the professional brewing industry

Brewers J o u r n a l

July~August 2018 | Volume 4, issue 6 ISSN 2059-6669


manchester, london, the world. tHE uk’S HOTTEST BREWERY ON THE ROAD AHEAD

18 | john keeling - his debut piece on sticking together


56 | GRAIN BREWERY: growth in norfolk and beyond

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le ad e r

Let’s appreciate what we have


he beer industry offers up parallels with a wealth of sectors though none more so, in my opinion, than the music scene. Consumers develop an attachment with breweries and brands. Beer is still a commodity in the eyes of the many, but it’s also something reliable, something reassuring. Music can offer that same enjoyment, that same comfort. People become fans of bands and artists, grow with them on their journey and are invested in their output, for better or worse. It can be a challenge then when the group you adore move from playing to 300 people at £15 a ticket to five or ten thousand and you’re charged upwards of £50 for the privilege. That’s where the music analogy falls down slightly, though. When a band gets increased airtime, coupled with commercial pressures from their label, the familiar outfit you could see every couple of months move somewhat out of reach. But when independent breweries are coveted by big beer, followed by acquisitions, investment and partnerships, that company’s beer ends up reaching a far wider audience and is more readily available as a result. Local radio is out the window and you’re now looking at BBC Radio 1 primetime slots. The big time. But instead of rising gig prices, you have that brewery’s beer coming down in price as it hits supermarket shelves. Many independent bottle shops will understandably stop selling that brewery’s beers, as is their prerogative. But there is still that hope, in the long run, that the increased visibility of good beer in big retail will bring more people into the independent space and not exclude them. There’s also the common preconception that as that brewery’s beer is produced at far higher volumes, the quality comes down. That the premium ingredients used previously are shipped out for cheaper alternatives. This happens, of course, but not always. Ask anyone that has enjoyed Camden Town’s Hells or Pale recently and they'll tell you they’ve never tasted better.

It was unsurprising then to see all of these concerns come to a fore when London’s Beavertown confirmed what had been rumoured for months, that Heineken was taking a stake in the business. Time will tell how that relationship develops but for now, wider availability of great beer, for most at least, has to be a good thing. I know what I’d sooner see on tap in a city pub where options were previously slim, to say the least. And the success of such breweries should be celebrated, too. From a consumer’s perspective, the UK beer scene has never been so healthy and vibrant. A couple of week’s ago you could have been enjoying beers from 40 of London’s finest at the excellent London Brewers Alliance festival. Or perhaps you were checking out the superb new setup at By The River Brew Co in Newcastle from the inimitable Dave Stone and the team behind Wylam Brewery. Regardless how much attention you pay ratings and reviews sites, there’s also no denying the quality of breweries such as Cloudwater and the beer they’re putting out. And to be cited as the second best brewery on the planet is an incredible achievement. It was insightful to have spent time with Paul Jones and the team in Manchester recently. So let’s enjoy what we’ve got. Fantastic breweries, access to great beer like never before and an everincreasing and improving number of taprooms to enjoy them in. Tim Sheahan Editor

July~August 2018


co ntac t s

s tu A si M 2 Vi PP G3 at nd a St


contacts Tim Sheahan Editor +44 (0)1442 780 592 Jim Robertson Head of sales +44 (0)1442 780 593 Josh Henderson Sales executive +44 (0)1442 780 594 Jon Young Publisher Reby Media 42 Crouchfield, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP1 1PA, UK

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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without the express prior written consent of the publisher. The Brewers Journal ISSN 2059-6650 is published bimonthly by Reby Media, 42 Crouchfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 1PA. Subscription records are maintained at Reby Media, 42 Crouchfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 1PA. The Brewers Journal accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of statements or opinion given within the Journal that is not the expressly designated opinion of the Journal or its publishers. Those opinions expressed in areas other than editorial comment may not be taken as being the opinion of the Journal or its staff, and the aforementioned accept no responsibility or liability for actions that arise therefrom. 4

July~August 2018

Brewers Journal

co nte nt s

contents 56





Cover story 32 - Paul Jones, co-founder and managing director at Cloudwater, on educating the consumer, meeting their expectations and promoting modern UK beer

COMMENTS 16 - Aesseal on the hidden risk of contamination 19 - Portman Asset Finance talk growth 23 - Kemtile give the lowdown on flooring 26 - Kilfrost place the focus on heat transfer

DEAR JOHN 28 - In the first of a new series, John Keeling, global ambassador at Fuller's, stresses the need to stick together in the brewing industry

insight | the off trade 49 - Law firm TLT on what factors to consider when setting up an off-licence facility

insight | glassware 52 - A look at how premium glassware can elevate your brewery's branding

meet the brewer | grain 56 - How Norfolk's Grain Brewery has taken a slow and steady approach to business

Brewers Lectures 30 - The full lowdown on Brewers Lectures Bristol, taking place on 13 September, 2018

the big issue | event planning 61 - The hurdles, and opportunities, events can offer your brewery

focus | kegs 44 - When is it worth investing in a keg fleet, and when are one-way kegs the way to go? We speak to the businesses behind them


July~August 2018

science 64 - QCL talk dry-hopping and sugars 68 - Parker on microbial stabilisation

Brewers Journal

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Beavertown to sell stake to Heineken


orth London-based Beavertown is selling a stake of its business to Heineken.

Beavertown has accepted a £40m funding injection

“It’s been front and centre of all our discussions and why I’m confident the partnership will give us the ability to make our beers even better.

from Heineken, a move that will enable the business

“The dreams I had in the kitchen have exploded

to push ahead with its plans to open a new 450,000hl

beyond all proportions. I truly believe this is a magical

brewing facility.

time within our industry and I want to give Beavertown

The stake Heineken will take in the business remains undisclosed, but Beavertown founder Logan Plant, and his wife Bridget will remain majority shareholders. The company expects the new site, when fully operational, to employ up to 150 people while its current

and its team the opportunity to take our beers and their experiences as far and wide as possible.” He also stressed that the new partnership would result in job creation, rather than the loss of any positions. “Nothing will change within the business of

Tottenham site will allow for an expansion of its Tempus

Beavertown, other than the building of Beaverworld

brewing project.

which we hope will create up to 150 new jobs in London

Plant said the business spoke to a wealth of parties

and the UK over time. That number doesn’t include the

and groups throughout this last seven months, including

new jobs created throughout the bar division once that

crowdfunding, private equity and brewers.

gets up and running,” he said.

He said: “Crowdfunding for a £40m project wasn’t a realistic option. Private equity would have created too much external pressure to hit the return on investment in a short period of time.

Plant also added that there will be no pressure from Heineken to cut costs at Beavertown. He said: “This was one of the main objectives communicated throughout this whole process when

“I believe this could’ve created too much pressure

talking to all parties. They will have no influence on

for the brewery and thus perhaps lead us to making the

our brewing decisions, what we decide to do will be

wrong decision for our beer, our people and the direction

decided by us, for us. They are investing in Beavertown

of Beavertown.”

for Beavertown to be even more Beavertown. Why would

Plant said ambition was the driving force behind opting for Heineken He added: “Heineken is a proud, independent global brewer but it also remains a family brewer. That family connection means they take a long-term view which

they come in and change what we have achieved to date, that is exactly why they are investing in us. For us to continue to create and improve what we do and how we do it across all areas of the brewery. "This is about taking our brewery, beers and people on

Bridget and I value. From the family through to every

a great journey, to push the boundaries of what we can

person I’ve met in the company, the passion for quality

achieve together and hopefully expand the beer market,

has been paramount.

getting more people drinking great beer.”

Head brewer Jeff Drew to retire

marketing initiatives across both the breweries. Jeff’s


passion and extensive knowledge are transferred into all eff Drew has retired as head brewer at Wychwood

of his work, and this has always been admired by both

and Ringwood Breweries, calling time after 16 years

colleagues and the general public alike.

at the helm. Drew, who has been integral to the success of many of the brewery's flagship beers, like Hobgoblin and Ringwood Razorback, will be suceeded by Jon Tilson. Drew honed his skills at Morland Brewery and took up the position of head brewer at Wychwood and Ringwood in 2002 and since then he has split his time between the two breweries. He is cited as the mastermind behind the creation of; Hobgoblin Gold, Ringwood Circadian, Oxford Gold amongst others, whilst most recently he has been managing the production and involved with numerous

Not to go out without a bang, Drew's involvement in the creation and launch of Hobgoblin’s first IPA has been the perfect ending to Jeff’s career. Throughout this time as part of Marston’s Beer Company, Jeff has been included in numerous projects and launches and created a real legacy. Drew said: “It’s bitter sweet to be leaving, I have had some amazing years at Ringwood and Wychwood where I have made memories that I will truly look back on with joy. "After 16 years I am sad to go, but I am excited to put my feet up and enjoy my retirement!”

July~August 2018


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ndian street food and craft beer restaurant business

allow for collaborative projects with breweries in the local

Bundobust has developed a new range of house beers

area, and beyond.

with Northern Monk. The company, which has sites in Leeds and Manchester, has collaborated with Northern Monk to produce three house beers. Bundobust has worked closely with the Leeds-based

“Beer and food is what we do. We have an amazing beer list, which we’re incredibly proud us and collaborations are something we’ve also enjoyed,” he said. Husak said: “The Bundobust journey started at the same time as Northern Monk’s and we’re good friends

brewery to create a house Pale Ale, a Mango pale and

with them, so it’s really rewarding to see Russell and

a revamped version of the duo’s popular Indian Witbier

the team go from strength to strength. There are lots of

collaboration, Bombay Dazzler.

parallels in what we’re both doing.”

A 4% Pale Ale will be complemented by a 5.5%

He added that the new core beers are only part of

Mango Pale Ale, which takes cues from Northern Monk’s

the company’s ever-increasing focus on growing its beer

7.2% Mango Lassi Heathen IPA. Artwork on each beer will

offering in it's restaurants..

be created by Drew Millward. The beers are expected to be brewed later this month or early in July, with all three becoming core mainstays at Bundobust restaurants. They’ll also be available in smallpack, too.

“The idea of certain future Bundobust restaurants having a small brewery on-site is something that really excites us,” Husak explained. “The UK isn’t quite there yet when it comes to giving beer and food pairings the respect they deserve, but

Bundobust is still developing plans for a Liverpool

we’re getting there. The worst thing a restaurant operator

site, and the company’s co-founder Marko Husak told us

can do is ignore the variety around them. That’s not what

that future restaurants could house an on-site brewery to

we’re about. It never has, and never will be.”

New range of industrial process chillers


drinks production, pharmaceutical, plastics, print and packaging, medical and scientific. The UltraChill range are available in varying formats and come with a wide range

hermal Exchange has unveiled a new range of

of standard options enabling easy adaption to best suit

UltraChill process chillers, which can go from 0.89

individual processes and applications.

to 160 kW. The compact, energy efficient units are suitable for a

All units come with a fully corrosion resistant, nonferrous coolant circuit, including powerful circulating

wide range of process cooling applications and industry

pump and high efficiency, copper brazed, stainless steel

sectors, including automotive, engineering, food and

plate heat exchanger.


July~August 2018

Brewers Journal

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Magic Rock rebrands can range M agic Rock has redesigned its core can range to align the beers with its contemporary limited-

edition releases and confirmed it will discontinue its Rapture beer in canned format.

Richard Burhouse, managing director of Magic Rock, explained: “When we first introduced our 330ml cans onto the market in late 2015 we felt they were some of the boldest designs around and easy to spot on the shelf/in the fridge. We loved the colourful understated but recognisable character based designs which Rich Norgate had come up with. “As with the business (and life) in general our design has moved on since then and we felt it was time to bring the 330ml core can designs in line with the labelled can artwork which we’ve had such great feedback on. “There is so much fantastic artwork in beer now that we felt it was time for a slightly bolder look which would

we’ll still be producing Rapture for cask and keg but as I

stand out a bit more on the shelves/in the fridges.”

mentioned at the beginning, things move on, and the love

Burhouse added that he was excited that Saucery, which is the brewery's 3.9% Session IPA will join the lineup in the coming months. He added: “To make way for Saucery we’ve made the decision to drop Rapture from the core can line up,

Gas burner technology a boon for Long Man Brewery

for amber ales is just not there anymore. At least not in can anyway. “We still have some volume of Rapture cans to package but once they’re gone we won’t be packing anymore.”

the wort to 100°C where it is held in a rolling boil to an accuracy of +/- 1°C,” continues Simm. “Importantly, we can achieve this temperature target in


ast Sussex-based Long Man Brewery has cited

just one hour from cold to create an even distribution of

the benefits of gas burner technology as a positive

heat that eliminates the risk of scorching.”

impact on its business. The company turned to Lanemark Combustion

He points out that the operation of the Lanemark system also contributes to the brewery meeting hazard

Engineering for its TX30 burner system to assist in a key

awareness requirements as defined by HACCP (Hazard

part of its operation.

Analysis and Critical Control Points).

The rural location of Long Man Brewery pointed

“Our design enables Long Man Brewery simply to enter

towards propane for the gas supply which, following

a series of temperature set points via the adjacent control

assessment by the team, indicated significant cost

panel,” added Adrian Langford, Lanemark’s general

efficiencies compared to alternative energy sources.

manager. “The specification of the helical coil as the

The burner is mounted on the outside of a 20 barrel

heat exchanger is also significant as it helps to optimise

copper that is central to all brewing at the site and fires

the capacity of the copper to meet the desired brewing

through the wall into a helical coil heat exchanger.

volumes because it minimises intrusion into the vessel.”

“An external fan is connected to the end of the tube run that pulls the heat through the system and which, via alterations to its speed, enables us to achieve the control

The Long Man Brewery is clear about the factors that underpin the dramatic growth that it has achieved. “This is all in the context of our firm belief in using only

that we need,” continues Jamie Simm, director of brewing

sustainable methods – not least through our farm location

at the company.

and our own bore-hole – alongside a commitment to the

As the brewery has grown, the Long Man Brewery has

best, most reliable equipment,” continues Jamie Simm.

looked to undertake two brews per day, when required,

“The Lanemark burner system which was specified and

so the speed of heat-up has also become a particularly

installed for us via Johnson Brewing Design meets this

important factor. “The system raises the temperature of

latter need perfectly.”


July~August 2018

Brewers Journal

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B e e r

s h owc a s e



ervig has expanded its core range in the UK with House Party, a new Citra-led Pale Ale.

Available via Cave Direct, the beer is designed to

make a great easy-drinking house pale ale, plugging the gap between the accessible core range and more experimental seasonal range that has produced some of the world’s best New England IPAs and Imperial Stouts. House party is brewed to be clean and robustly bitter with a healthy dose of grapefruity Citra and pineappleloaded BRU-1 hops making it a thirst quenching pale ale best drunk by the pint or straight from the can. Lervig head brewer Mike Murphy said: “We have long winters and short summers in Norway, where we often daydream of being on a island paradise. “But more often than not we just end up at a friend’s house party all night long and what we drink is House Party - super-clean malt allows the hops give their juicy/ tropical fruit flavours an unobstructed pathway to your palate. It comes in a can, and it’s completely crushable.” Neil Kitching, sales director at Cave Direct, added:

aroma we expect from hoppy Lervig beers. At this strength and price point it’s going to be a fantastic house

“We’re really impressed with how clean and drinkable

pour for both specialist craft beer bars and less beer-

House Party is, but it’s still got that signature juicy hop

focused pubs and bars.”

Sixpoint bolsters portfolio with new beers


ixpoint Brewery has unveiled two new limited edition beers, and an addition to its year-round range.

Imported through Heathwick, the new beers

represent the start of a new programme to release speciality, limited-edition numbers from Sixpoint every two to three months. The latest additions will be available alongside Sixpoint’s core range of The Crisp, Sweet Action, Bengali and Resin. Jammer is a 4% ABV Gose, described as a refreshing, tart brew balanced with a fruity coriander aroma and a touch of sea salt. Elsewhere, Righteous Ale is a 10.5% ABV Barrel-Aged Rye Ale produced with three types of rye malts and

styles in total giving the consumer a much greater

smoothed out in both Bourbon and Rye whisky barrels for

opportunity to enjoy their range of products.

a layered and complex beer with flavours ranging from spicy rye character to maple to vanilla. The new addition to its core range is Alpenflo, a 4.9% ABV Helles lager that features a clean, noble hop character from Tettnanger hops sourced from family farms in Bavaria. Graham Richardson, general manager at Heathwick,

"Sixpoint’s latest launch in the UK is the first in a series of new limited release beers that we will be introducing every two to three months, as well as continuing with the core range throughout the year.” Max Nevins, vice president of Marketing at Sixpoint, added: “"We’ve been sending over some of our favorite beers to the UK for years, but it’s awesome to be able

commented: “With the launch of the new speciality

to ship our limited beers over and show off the full,

styles, Sixpoint will be available in six high quality beer

dynamic range."


July~August 2018

Brewers Journal

b e e r

s h owc a s e

Fourpure launches Continental Collaboration


ourpure has launched a collaborative six-pack, Continental Collaboration, which it describes as its

most “exciting and challenging” brewing project to date. The initiative involved teaming up with six breweries

with Sunset Brew. Also included is Homage Dry Hopped Farmhouse Saison, a 5.5% ABV beer brewed with Brasserie De La Senne, 4.2% Nugget Session Pale Ale with Two Birds

each from a different major continent, including Africa,

Brewing and the 6.5% ABV Nor Cal IPA with Bear Republic

Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.

Brewing Company.

Fourpure’s partner brewers include Devil’s Peak in

Daniel Lowe, co-founder of Fourpure, explained: “Over

South Africa, Kyoto Brewing in Japan, Two Birds Brewing

the last few decades, brewing has changed significantly

in Australia, Brasserie de la Senne in Belgium, Bear

across the globe. It’s an industry that transcends language

Republic Brewing Co in California, USA, and Sunset Brew

or geography, that brings people together professionally

in Brazil.

and socially and increasingly it’s an industry that loves to

The beers included in the collaboration pack comprise Temple Satsuma & Seaweed Gose, a 4.0% ABV with Kyoto

share, teach and collaborate. “The Continental Collaboration series of beers will

Brewing Co, 6.0% Coastline Gooseberry & Vanilla Dry-

explore the unique stories born from history, heritage

Hopped Sour with Devil’s Peak Brewing Company and

and a sense of adventure that has led to innovation in

Nightfall Coconut & Chocolate Imperial Stout, a 9.0% ABV

brewing, spanning every major continent on Earth.”



dnams, the Suffolk-based brewer and distiller, has launched a new alcohol free version of its best

selling beer Ghost Ship Pale Ale. According to the business, it has been created to meet the rapidly growing demand for low alcohol beer. Ghost Ship Alcohol Free went on general release from 1st June in 30litre keg, 500ml bottle and 330ml can. It is brewed with pale ale, rye crystal and cara malts, using

Adnams head brewer Fergus Fitzgerald explained, “Ghost Ship Alcohol Free is a quality beer that retains all the flavours of the original Ghost Ship but with almost all the alcohol removed. "There are various ways to create alcohol free beers, but most of the methods either involve changing the recipe, brewing methods, or altering the fl­avours. "We are using a very clever piece of kit that allows

Citra and a blend of other American hop varieties to

us to brew our Ghost Ship as normal but then send a

create bold citrus flavours.

batch to our brand new de-alcoholisation equipment.

According to the brewery, the beer has good

This uses reverse osmosis which removes most of the

assertive pithy bitterness with a malty backbone and

alcohol via a permeable membrane under pressure and

a lemon and lime aroma, uplifting any occasion. It also

a low temperature.

perfectly complements the aromatic tastes of Spicy Thai and Indian food. The beer boasts 21kcal per 100ml providing a low alcohol but "great tasting tipple".

"It’s all very high tech magic allowing our Ghost Ship to sail away free from alcohol but remaining full of its original ­flavours and aromas.” unveiled two new limited edition beers, and an addition to its year-round range."

July~August 2018


C o mm e n t

C ontamination

Mechanical seals – the hidden risk of contamination Eliminating the risk of contamination, and compliance with industry regulations, is high on the agenda of every responsible drinks producer. Yet many pumps on brewery equipment could be fitted with mechanical seals made from potentially harmful materials. Paul Green, of Aesseal, explains how non-compliant seals can slip through the net and advises how non-compliance can be avoided.

100% traceable and a statement of compliancy must be clearly marked on its packaging. So how are potentially unsafe seals creeping into production lines which otherwise have highly stringent safety mechanisms in place? The answer lies in the complexity of source materials and supply chains, often compounded by lack of awareness, poor communication and simple force of habit. There are around 15 grades of carbon commonly used in the manufacture of mechanical seals, of which only a handful are compliant with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. Of the remainder some are suited to chemical applications and don’t require FDA compliance, and finally there are antimony carbons, which are used in


the oil and gas industry and, put simply, are poisonous. These obviously should never be used anywhere


near a drinks supply chain and yet we have seen this

echanical seals are a small but

type of carbon on sites where the implications of it being

significant component of brewery

misapplied could be disastrous.

equipment, fitted to pumps at any point along the production line. They play a key role in sealing

rotating equipment to ensure machinery runs reliably and that the beverages being produced remain free of contamination. Yet despite this, there is a real lack of awareness of

These unsafe materials look exactly the same as a seal which is 100% traceable and compliant. They cannot be differentiated unless the seal’s traceability is clearly stated on its packaging. This can have serious implications. A brewery might have several mechanical seals and static sealing joints across its whole production line.

the implications of several pieces of legislation, including

And even a company that carries out stringent checks

the FCM regulation, which covers materials and articles

across production can be unaware that there is a point

intended to come into contact with food, and Regulation

of heightened contamination risk for every seal along

(EC) 2023/2006 on good manufacturing practices for

that line.

materials and articles intended to come into contact with consumables. As a result, mechanical seals manufactured from non-

Managers responsible for compliance with FDA and EU regulations don’t always share that information with operatives at the ‘repair and replace’ end of the

safe materials are routinely specified, risking contamination

production line. The need to keep production running

and creating a health and safety time bomb.

smoothly also means that when repairs are required, the

The regulations relating to mechanical seals in food and drink processes are clear: every component must be


July~August 2018

focus is on being able to pick spare parts off the shelf swiftly rather than its compliance with industry standards.

Brewers Journal

C ontamination

c o mm e n t

ABUK are proud to have gained over 30 years’ experience supplying equipment and expertise to small, mid-sized and large breweries in the UK and abroad.

We focus on turn-key brewery installations to meet the needs of the customer, as well as the supply and installation of new and high quality used tanks and vessels across a range of industries.

While it might be accepted that component seals currently being imported into Europe from Asia have been produced from the lowest cost source, a purchasing department might be unaware that to achieve that low cost the product has often been through so many links in the supply chain that all traceability has been lost by the time it arrives at the end user. And no traceability means zero knowledge of the material the seal is made from. Brands who work with an external supplier to maintain their equipment can also find themselves dangerously far removed from compliance requirements, assuming - sometimes incorrectly – that the supplier has properly interpreted and implemented safety legislation. But Regulation EC1935/2004 is clear - if traceability is not evidenced on the packaging the seal carries no validity and should not be installed on a food and beverage production line.

ABUK has been instrumental in helping many of today’s successful brewers progress and grow their businesses.

Contact us to find out more about how ABUK can provide a solution for your business:

So how can brewers avoid these risks? The answer is blindingly simple - look at the label. And if the mechanical seal comes in packaging that doesn’t clearly state its source, do not install it on your pumps. The brewing industry can be rightly proud of its high levels of quality assurance and self-regulation. But we estimate that very few mechanical seals currently used on pumps across the whole food and drinks industry actually comply with the laws and regulations around traceability. We’re working to bolster awareness to drive change within the industry and close the knowledge gap around


T (44) 01427 890099 E Sole UK Agents for:

compliance. The contamination risk is very real but the legislation is clear and the solution is simple. There really should be no excuse to see non-compliant mechanical seals in brewing processes.

Advanced Brewing UK is a trading style operated by Advanced Bottling UK Ltd. Advanced Bottling UK Ltd is Registered in England and Wales. Company Registration Number: 02933257 

July~August 2018


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F inance

C o mm e n t

Strategy for Growth Many new and established UK breweries struggle to gain access to the finance they need to get off the ground or expand. Rory Dunn, sales director at Portman Asset Finance, explains how asset finance can be a flexible solution – as well as an effective strategy for growth.

from the cost of buying an asset outright and preserves your working capital, freeing you up to invest in other areas of the business such as marketing or staff salaries. In my 11 years at Portman, I’ve seen first-hand that working capital is the lifeblood of a successful business. Assets should always work and pay for themselves. In my experience, people don’t tend to access asset finance until they really need it – I’d stress the value in thinking about it much earlier to cover your back and retain your cash.

by rory dunn

What kind of brewery companies can benefit from asset finance? Many start-ups and small-to-medium


established brewery and distillery businesses find it ideal

sset finance is a financial tool for business

because they can gain quick access to the top-of-the-

owners to secure a variety of key assets

range equipment and resources they need to grow. They

that can grow their company. You make

are also attracted to asset finance due to the flexible

fixed regular payments for the use of an

repayments on offer as well as the low rates, tax benefits

asset over an agreed period between 1-10

and the wide range of assets that can be funded.

years. Asset finance is now one of the most accessible and flexible sources of funding out there. If you need equipment to start up or expand your

What particular assets can be financed? More than what many people may imagine. We can fund any sort of asset, be it a traditional ‘hard’ asset such as machinery

business, then asset finance is ideal because you can

and vehicles to ‘soft’ assets like fermenting tanks, office

secure the funding against the asset itself. Use the right

equipment, furniture, air-con systems and IT software

product for the right purpose – loans are not linked to

packages such as Sage or Microsoft Dynamics.

assets, for example, and are best used for cashflow or

How easy is it to access asset finance, and how long

paying for anything unsecured. Payments on our lease

does the process take? Asset finance is extremely quick

finance agreements are also tax deductible, giving

and easy to access, although this often depends on how

customers further savings.

well positioned the provider is. For instance, a broker like

Why don’t businesses just pay for what they need

Portman is well placed to secure finance and move swiftly

in one lump sum? Companies need to retain cash for

because we have a broad spectrum of lenders at our

unforeseen circumstances that often arise in business, or

disposal, so we can offer varying rates and find the right

even seasonal dips in revenue. Asset finance saves you

deal for companies in a range of circumstances. We aim

July~August 2018


C o mm e n t


to move from initial contact to full activation of transaction

borrow? No one knows a business better than the

in as little as 24 hours.

owner(s). However, our experienced account managers

What specific options are there and how do they vary?

will often use their sector expertise to advise on any

At Portman we offer the following finance products: Lease

associated costs – such as import duty and VAT costs for

finance: Portman buy the asset and you use it over an

overseas purchases – that may arise in certain purchases

agreed contract period in return for monthly payments. At

to ensure customers get the best financial agreement for

the end of the agreement, you can choose to purchase


the asset for a small one-off fee, hand it back or continue

What common misconceptions are there about asset

to lease it. Rates from as little as 2.5% are available and

finance that you would like to set straight? It amazes

costs can be offset against tax.

me that there are still people who believe finance is just

Hire purchase: This is similar to a lease agreement

for people who can’t afford to buy. The reality is quite

in that it frees up working capital, however you are the

the reverse – asset finance is designed for ambitious,

purchaser. After all payments have been made, your

profitable companies who are looking to grow and reduce

business becomes the owner of the equipment, either

tax liabilities. Some people also think that going through

automatically or on payment of a final option to purchase

a broker to arrange asset finance is going to be more


expensive than approaching a lender directly. Because

Refinance: This allows you to release locked in equity

of the amount of business we complete with our panel of

from your assets. These unlocked funds can then be used

lenders, we get preferential rates for our customers so the

as you require.

overall cost is actually lower.

Commercial loan: This gives you the freedom to use

Can you help businesses that need to fund a variety of

the monies as you see fit, whether it’s consolidating

assets? Yes, we can tailor bespoke packages of finance

existing finance, growing your business or buying another.

products for customers. If they are starting a brewery

What advice would you give to brewery owners

business, for instance, we look at all the equipment, the

considering using asset finance for the first time to grow

premises fit-out including the flooring and furnishings,

their company? In the modern marketplace the brewery

the management software etc and break all that down to

sector is competitive, so you need to be the best in breed.

find the best lender for each component. There may be

Asset finance allows you to buy the top-specification

five different lenders making up one overall package for a

brewery equipment, conditioning tank or whatever it is


you need, rather than settling for what your cash reserves allow. Acquiring the best equipment sets you apart from your competitors. Do you advise business owners on how much to


July~August 2018

What about businesses that experience quieter periods of the year? Can you help them? The beauty is the flexibility that allows each agreement to be tailored to the requirements of each business.

Brewers Journal


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c o mm e n t

SPECIFYING A BREWERY FLOOR Before you invest in hygienic flooring and drainage for your brewery, there are a number of key issues you should focus on before making that all-important decision, explains Kemtile’s David Priest

Before you buy hygienic flooring and drainage for your brewery, read our top four tips to getting it right first time. If you’re laying a hygienic floor, make sure all aspects of the job are considered and tackled at the outset and at the same time. This includes civils work, drainage, covering and accessories such as kerbs, bollards and protective panels. The job is often bigger than the floor itself.

by david priest

For most of our brewery customers, flooring and drainage specification is often dictated by their lease


agreement, which usually stipulates that premises must

Kemtile. In the last few years we’ve worked with an ever-

deteriorates speeds up. Every day brewery traffic – such

increasing number of start-up brewers as well as those

as kegs, barrels, trolleys and trucks and equipment –

taking their next steps and expanding their facilities and

would also easily damage a concrete floor.

ecent figures show that the number of breweries in the UK has risen 64% in just

be left exactly as they were upon arrival. Premises typically have a concrete floor, which alone

five years to over 2,000. It’s a statistic

can’t withstand the demands of the rigorous brewing

based on HMRC data on companies that

process and its associated legislation. Its porosity means

have registered for beer duty – the highest

it absorbs spilt beer, which in turn can lead to microbial

number since the 1930s. It’s also a figure that is reflected in our projects at

therefore brewing capabilities. Whatever their size or age, the same first flooring

growth and poor hygiene. Add water and cleaning chemicals to the mix and the rate at which its surface

We install both fully vitrified ceramic tiles using the unique Kagetec vibration system and heavy duty Ucrete

principal applies to every brewery. Flooring really does

polyurethane resin from BASF – all complemented by

provide the foundation on which brewing success is built.

stainless steel Weidemann-Technik drainage systems. As

It’s often so much easier – and more cost effective – to

one of the few companies that installs all three solutions,

install a flooring system when brewing premises are

we’re enviably placed to advise customers on the

empty and equipment.

solution that will best suit their needs. This is sometimes

But we recognise that for many brewers – especially

a combination of all three to meet specific performance

those starting out – additional investment in a quality

and cost requirements, with both offering breweries an

hygienic floor just isn’t possible. Many of them come

excellent service life.

to when production and sales are increasing and they

Minimise the risk

can afford flooring to support their growth. We often help them take their next step, whether that’s into new, extended or refurbished premises. But even then, appointing the wrong installer can be costly. We’re frequently called in to put right jobs that have been specified and undertaken incorrectly or ‘cheaply’ and the end cost tends to be significantly more.


ccording to HSE statistics, slips, trips and falls continue to be a major cause of injuries in the workplace – resulting in a huge rise in personal

injury claims over recent years.

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The correct drainage and floor covering will avoid liquids ponding on the floor and provide appropriate slipresistance to help to reduce such accidents. We always

high temperatures and harsh chemicals used during the everyday cleaning process. Brewery floors must also have excellent drainage.

ensure that for surfaces that are prone to spillages,

We very often recommend long floor gulley drains -

flooring slip-resistance is higher than on dry areas.

installed along the centre with the floor finish laid to ‘falls’. This helps prevent the puddling of waste liquids and its

Highest hygiene standards

subsequent hygiene, health and safety issues including micro bacterial growth. We recommend that hot liquids and chemicals are discharged directly into the drainage


s with all food and drink processing facilities, brewers must adhere to the highest hygiene standards. This means that brewery floors must

be food grade or food safe and able to withstand the


July~August 2018

system rather than run over the floor finish. Each environment has its own specification requirements, so ensure that your flooring system partner has the right experience and expertise for your job.

Brewers Journal

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C o mm e n t

S tarting


B rewery

temperature control: Reducing cost With energy costs spiralling, the brewing industry has long been seeking a costeffective, efficient, and safe alternative to current heat transfer fluids. But it seems that for decades breweries setting up are forced to choose a fluid that is either toxic or one that has poor performance, explains Michael Reynolds, technical manager at Kilfrost.

risk, or removing risk and removing performance. Ethanol is alternative used by some, but it’s not particularly efficient and its low flash point brings a flammability risk. Or salt brines, which perform well but are corrosive to pipework and systems. For any brewery, ensuring the safety of your product should be front and centre of all considerations, given its intended consumption. That’s why we see so many opting for the safer option of a MPG-based fluid. Why would you take the risk?

by Michael reynolds

An alternative


f you’re setting up a brewery, there really is very little choice when it comes to heat transfer. Working with the brewery industry, we found that start-ups were looking to find the most efficient glycol product possible, to bring about effective

cooling of fermentation tanks. But for breweries, keeping electricity costs to an

absolute minimum is absolutely crucial now, and also


he industry feedback we’ve had has highlighted that the choice of fluid available leaves a lot to be desired.

So we worked hard in the background to understand

what was on offer when brewers are choosing heat transfer fluid. We were approached by Pillars Brewery, based in

aligned with increasingly environmentally-friendly values

Walthamstow, which was looking for the most efficient

of many craft brewing companies.

glycol product to ‘crash cool’ their fermentation tanks.

The current status quo offers four choices of heat transfer fluids. Mono-ethylene glycol (MEG)-based heat transfer fluids primarily offer good physical properties and efficiency.

This was with the aim of cutting unnecessary electricity costs and in a bid to provide an environmentally-friendly solution. We then went into the lab and worked tirelessly to

But they are avoided as they are toxic, and so pose a risk

come up with something that would once and for all

to human health if there is incidental contact with items

provide a viable alternative to what’s currently out there.

intended for human consumption. The preferred alternative by many – mono-propylene

We knew we had to make a fluid that was non-toxic and more efficient than current fluids. So we produced

glycol (MPG) – is safer, but is far less efficient at

Kilfrost ALV Plus - highly efficient and formulated it with

transferring heat energy, particularly at low circulation

NSF approved organic acid technology inhibitors and

temperatures. Plant managers are stuck with managing

viscosity modifiers.


July~August 2018

Brewers Journal

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B rewery

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Brewer and Pillars founder, Gavin Litton, commented: “Our pumps are working less hard, using less energy to circulate liquids around the plant, and we’ve been so impressed with the performance of the fluid. Not only does it save us money, but it means we’re as energyefficient and environmentally-friendly as possible. That’s at the heart of what we stand for as a brewery.”

Pumps under pressure


umps are the workhorse of your brewery, and any brewer will tell you that the viscosity and temperature performance of their heat transfer

fluid are a close second to its safety profile. Therefore operating pumping systems efficiently is the key to successful output. But beware - they can be prone to pressure drops, as the efficiency of any cooling fluid takes the strain. We developed our fluid to reduce the incidence of pressure drops across the system, as well as to reduce pumping costs and increase hydraulic efficiency. The knock on effect for new brewery systems of using an efficient fluid is that you don’t need such large, powerful pumps and heat exchangers.


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July~August 2018


d e a r

j o h n

We need to stick together In the first of a new series, we’re proud to have John Keeling, the former head brewer of West London’s Fuller’s and now its global ambassador, write for us. ‘Dear John’ is the industry’s chance to delve into Mr Keeling’s thoughts on the issues, hurdles and opportunities that exist in the brewing sector today. In his debut comment, John argues that the need for leadership is greater than ever. That we need to stop dividing and instead, unite for the greater good.

by John Keeling

even if they are your friends, it still hurts. Also, supply is now much bigger than demand therefore competition is


more intense.

am shortly to become a retired brewer. I have

I was talking to someone last week. They referred to

worked for a very big brewer (Watneys) and a

the British Brewing industry as a “basket case” because

small brewer (Fuller’s). It always amuses me when

nobody is making money. If that is the case, then a

people use those terms. They really don’t have

number of breweries will go out of business. But we have

any meaning. To a brewer who brews 5000 hl

been saying that for a few years now and it still hasn’t

per year Fuller’s is huge (about 330,000 hl, if you must

happened. The bigger issue is that we aren’t working

ask). However, if you are Carlsberg, Fuller’s is almost

together to address this. Instead, big blames small and


vice versa.

I read a book once – I think it was by Somerset-

But, it is not all doom and gloom. The drinker today

Maugham or maybe J B Priestly (well it was a long time

has never had more choices. The brewer is firmly

ago) – in which a number of people got into a railway

established as the most important person in a brewery.

carriage. Many were going to the same convention, one

Flavour is king and brewers know flavour better than

of them worked for a company making self-adhesive tape

anyone. Organisations, like the London Brewers’ Alliance,

another in glue and another in gum (this was written in the

help each other and generate a brotherhood of brewers

‘50s). They did nothing but argue. When they all got off,

though its meetings. It has become fun to be a brewer

the people remaining in the carriage looked at each other.

and collaborations have become de rigueur.

Finally, one of them said: “Funny, I thought they would all have stuck together.”

I think the brewing business is crying out for leadership. Someone who can see both sides of the

Sometimes I feel that about the brewing industry. Craft

argument (they are always two sides to an argument). My

v tradition. Keg v cask. Big brewer v small brewer. If only it

own hope is that SIBA and CAMRA grasp this nettle. Why

was that simple. Instead, we have medium sized brewer

them? Because by and large SIBA represent the brewers

v small brewer, slightly bigger brewer v small brewer

that make the beer I am most interested in. I will lay my

and tiny brewer v small brewer. The consumer (hereafter

cards on the table and just simply say I have never been

referred to as the drinker) wants one thing – beer he or

interested in making or drinking standard lager. The beer

she enjoys.

is just not to my taste; this does not make it a bad beer,

Today the industry appears to be more fractious than the one I joined in 1974. Why is that? First, there are more breweries. Secondly, in ’74 brewers were concerned with

just a beer I do not like. I am, like every other person in this world, quite capable of bias. And why CAMRA? Well it is the only relevant consumer

brewing, the selling side rarely impinged itself on the

organisation. The drinkers’ voice must be heard too. Who

minds of the brewers. In the smaller breweries today,

else can represent the drinker and pub goer? They also

the brewer is often the sales director too. Competition is

represent the traditional beer of Britain, cask ale.

keenly felt. If you lose a bar handle to another brewery,


July~August 2018

Again, my bias comes to the fore.

Brewers Journal

d e a r

Ultimately, I just want someone to try to mend the factions. Take for instance the debate on keg v cask – or evil v good as some people think. It is perfectly possible to get a bad pint of cask and a great pint of keg and vice versa. Generally, keg beer is served colder and fizzier than cask. Temperature will change the way you perceive flavour and guess what, carbon dioxide also changes the way you perceive flavour. Now given that there are so many different flavours in the world of beer, it would be logical to assume that some flavours suit keg and some suit cask. One is not better than the other, just different. Keg is far more popular than cask. There are obvious reasons for this. It has a longer shelf life, it is easier to look after in the pub, but above all it has a bigger margin both for retail and the brewer. Currently it is also far sexier. This is because it is the container of the craft beer revolution – if only Americans could make cask beer then that, too, would be sexy. Cask also has its advantages. It is the least processed of all beers and therefore processes the most natural flavours. A brewer at Bass told me a long time ago that cask beer has better drinkability than keg. He reasoned that this was to do with the yeast – and I agree with him. A beer that has been separated from its yeast for six months has less drinkability than a beer that has been fined just 24 hours ago. Craft beer has further blurred things by effectively

j o h n

Competition is keenly felt. If you lose a bar handle to another brewery, even if they are your friends, it still hurts. John Keeling

putting unfiltered beer in a keg. Is this cask beer in a keg or a new hybrid? Mind you, Watneys put cask beer in kegs in the 1980s. Innovation? Or, is it just rediscovery of the past as brewing historian Ron Pattinson and I call it? So, in conclusion, we must unite behind the issues that

we have in common rather than fight over the problems that divide us. When we are all on the plane to the next CBC convention in America, the other passengers might end up saying how wonderful it is to see all the various brewers sticking together.

Have an issue you want John to discuss? Email

July~August 2018


b r e w e r s

le c tu r e s


Brewers Lectures bristol The Brewers Lectures is returning to Bristol this September. So join some of the industry's leading lights for an afternoon of education and entertainment on September 13th, 2018. speakers Chris Hannaway | Infinite Session Chris Hannaway is the co-founder (with brother Tom) of London’s Infinite Session, which produce excellent alcohol-free beer. “Let’s put agendas to one side and instead, lets’s make it easy for consumers to pick an alcohol-free free, for brewers to experiment with new flavours and styles, and for retailers to display our ranges,” he explains. “Let’s focus our efforts on working together to build this category to have the impact that we know it can, not limit it and stifle our potential.”

The collaboration saw 14 of the finest female brewers team up with Heriot-Watt students and lecturers to brew a kettle sour beer that will showcase the very best in brewing. Tom Palmer | Mondo Brewing Company Tom Palmer is the co-founder of Battersea’s Mondo Brewing Company. A US native hailing from St Louis, Missouri, Tom’s father worked at Budweiser so he knows a thing or do about the qualities of consistency and repeatability in beer. Alongside co-founder Todd Matterson, Tom has helped grow the London brewery though several stages of expansion and produce fantastic beer while he’s at it.

Katie McCain | Pressure Drop Tom Bott | Signature Brew Katie McCain is a brewer at Pressure Drop in Tottenham Hale. With the brewery’s beers never tasting better, Katie also recently hosted and and helped spearhead a recent project alongside Jenn Merrick, formerly head brewer at Beavertown Brewery and founder of community-based brewery Earth Station.


July~August 2018

Tom Bott is the co-founder of London’s Signature Brew, a brewery he started with his cousin Sam McGregor. In addition to brewing great new beers and upcoming expansion at its Leyton site, the business continues its mission to bring great beer to gig venues, collaborating

Brewers Journal


with diverse artists and bringing beer to festivals like Slam Dunk.

b r e w e r s

le c tu r e s


Andy Parker | Elusive Brewing Andy Parker is an award-winning home brewer, author and the owner of Berkshire-based Elusive Brewing. The brewery has made waves across the UK, producing beers that have one eye on tradition and the other on taking things to the next level.

Watershed (Waterside 3) 1 Canon’s Rd, Bristol BS1 5TX 13 September 2018 12.30pm to 5pm

Brian Dickson | Northern Monk Significant expansion, collaborations across the globe and then recognised as one the best breweries in the world. Not to mention eclipsing its £500,000 crowdfunding target by a cool £1 million, it has been a pretty decent few months for Leeds-based Northern Monk and its head brewer Brian Dickson, who continues to put out some of the best beers around.

Tickets are £25 full price and £12.50 concesssion. Go to

proudly sponsored by

Jo Pritchard | TLT Jo Pritchard is a legal director at UK law firm TLT, specialising in intellectual property and advising a range of businesses including drinks companies and leisure and retail operators. She advises on intellectual property risks and disputes, including brand and design infringements, patent and copyright issues and the contentious aspects of trademark portfolio management. She also handles mediation for clients, providing parties with working commercial relationships – which can be more beneficial than statutory remedies.

July~August 2018


b r e w e ry

to u r


Great Expectations Being told you manage the world’s second best brewery is an achievement many would dream of, yet few can attain. And it’s an accolade that has proved to be a fantastic asset for Paul Jones and Cloudwater, the Manchester-based business he both manages and cofounded. But Jones refuses to let such success define the brewery, however. He believes educating the consumer, meeting their expectations and showing the world just how good modern UK beer can be, is far more important.

are. Does it matter if Lionel Messi is the world’s best and Ronaldo is second. Or vice versa? To be able to watch both is a joy and after all, it’s only football... And from speaking to Paul Jones, co-founder and owner of Manchester-based Cloudwater, you get the impression he wishes that all of the unnecessary noise and hype around beer could disappear once in a while, so people could enjoy a great beer for what it is, a great beer. Without all of the background nonsense. The brewery has enjoyed a meteoric rise in less than four years. It has many fans that enjoy the beers it produces but like any successful individual, outfit or business, it has those that for whatever reason, look upon it less favourably. And for that reason, Jones wants to set the record straight.

by Tim Sheahan

“When we started putting together this company in 2014, we had a list of dreams and ambitions. Above all, we


wanted to build a great business and make impressive

he Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia.

beer that people would enjoy,” he tells us. “We asked

It's 10:45pm, 15th June, 2018.

ourselves how we could create a company that makes

It’s the type of humid, sultry night that

enough money to retire older staff with a good pension.

makes watching sport a challenging affair,

I also had goals such as being invited to the Mikkeller

let alone playing close to two hours of it.

Beer Celebration in Copenhagen and collaborate with

The clock hits the 88th minute of a scintillating tie

between Portugal and Spain, and the former trail 3-2

breweries we idolise across the globe. So we’re privileged to have hit a lot of our founding goals early on.”

despite going ahead twice in this Group B, World Cup tie.

Accolades and awards

But it’s not over. Portugal have a free kick. Cristiano Ronaldo steps over the ball. Primed. The position isn’t ideal but this is Ronaldo, after all. Adopting his trademark stance, he paces towards the ball, smashing it and curving it beautifully around the right-hand side of the wall, beating five defenders and one of the world’s best goalkeepers in the process. The stadium goes wild and the World Cup, it seems,


arly success is somewhat of an understatement and Cloudwater’s ascension up the respected RateBeer Awards is a fitting way to map the

brewery’s rise. In 2016, the business was recognised as the ‘Best New Brewer’ in England. Not bad for a brewery

has now officially started. And though it pains them,

that had only started brewing the year prior. 12 months

there’s applause from Spain fans among the tens of

later, things were getting even more serious. Jones would

thousands in attendance, too. It was a brilliant strike and

have needed an additional baggage allowance to haul

such quality needs acknowledging.

back 11 accolades from the States, including the fifth best

Rewind several months and fans of Italian club Juventus felt compelled to do similar when the same player put them to the sword with a sumptuous overhead kick during the illustrious European club competition, the Champions League. But despite his successes and ability, Ronaldo still has

brewery in the world, no less. But despite such unprecedented success, it was the this year’s awards that really blew his mind. “Being awarded the fifth best brewery in the world at RateBeer Best 2017 blew my mind. But we reached the end of 2017, and we were pretty sure we’d drop out of the

his detractors. Sure, you might not support the teams

top 10,” says Jones. “It had been a good ride so I listed a

he plays for, but football is the beautiful game, right? So

number of objectives I wanted to achieve going forward in

once in a while, why not enjoy these players for what they

the near future, and one of those was to hit that number


July~August 2018

Brewers Journal

From left: Head brewer James Campbell, managing director Paul Jones, head of retail Hannah Murphy and brewery manager Mark Cotterrell

Hive of activity: Mike Marcus, founder of nearby Chorlton Brewing Company, paying the team a visit

A busy brew day requires all hands to the pump and Against The Grain are in town for a new collaboration


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London calling


ondon was, and remains, its largest market. Figures that unsurprisingly impacted its decision to open its first taproom and storage facility outside of

Manchester. And if that goes to plan, there could even be

We don’t want to be a band playing to an empty room. We are trying to write music that is so good that we can’t help dancing to it while playing to a crowd that is dancing to it, too Paul Jones, Cloudwater

two spot at RateBeer Best, and two weeks later, we did.” He explains: “There are people that would absolutely

another such outpost on the horizon, for the capital, too. He explains: “Look, Manchester’s city centre population is about 250,000, and the Greater Manchester population is around two and a half million. So out of that, how many come to the centre to drink beer. And of those, how many of those like our type of beer? “Sure, the scene here continues to develop, slowly, but there hasn’t been the growth in craft outlets to match the number of breweries opening. In London, the demand and market are massive and it makes sense to put your beer where the people are. Especially when they’re the type of people that already enjoy your beer.” Jones is hopeful that between 10-12% of everything

ridicule me for saying stuff like that, and they do. But as

the brewery packages in Manchester each week will

I’ve said, what we absolutely are trying to be is a brewery

go through the new facility, which is located on Enid

that is as involved with its internal processes as it is with

Street in Bermondsey, a town in the London Borough

the consumer. We really care about our consumers, and

of Southwark. When it opens, it’ll be in good company a

that they are excited and satisfied by their experiences

couple of doors down from Brew By Numbers and also

they have with, and around, our beer.

Bristol’s Moor Beer, which also opted for the area for its

“We don’t want to be a band playing to an empty room.

capital site. In addition, breweries such as The Kernel,

We are trying to write music that is so good that we can’t

Fourpure, London Beer Factory and Anspach and Hobday

help dancing to it while playing to a crowd that is dancing

call Bermondsey home, as does distributor The Bottle

to it, too. That’s the ambition and I don’t think there is


anything shoddy in that.” In an age where ratings are valued and denounced in

“London gives us an opportunity to close the gap between the consumer and us, and gives us a direct

equal measure, it’s only natural to acknowledge positive

opportunity to convey what we’re about, our vision, and

feedback, especially when it can be such a boon to one’s

ideas,” he says. “But these new premises have to work

business. Look at Ronaldo. Love him or hate him, you are

financially, too. We don't have cash to burn and we’re not

sure as hell going to find his goalscoring prowess more

doing this off the back of any kind of refinancing because

enjoyable when it’s for your team, not against them.

we're trying to make this work out of the company's own

“It’s weird to find it difficult to appreciate and value feedback, which can be especially helpful if it is included

pockets as much as we possibly can.” He adds: “We're trying to progress slow and steady

in your internal conversations about quality, value, and

and to ensure any new taprooms operate as a going

more. From my view, ignoring customer feedback is a

concern. If we chose a quieter neighbourhood and the

flawed approach. Sure, we’re in the manufacturing sector

outlet had a flat six months, that would drive our attention

but we are moving rapidly towards also being a service

and resources away from the brewery, and the focus on

industry, so that means customer satisfaction has to

beer quality, to how we could make that work. They need

register somewhere,” he says. “This is especially valid in

to be as self-sufficient as possible from day one. The

the UK, which I would argue is the most competitive beer

whole company is better off if we focus on getting new

marketplace in the world. Ratings can make a big impact

retail sites off the ground without keeping any of us awake

on whether you can easily shift your beer or not.”

at night.”

And Cloudwater is shifting its beers. A lot of them.

Being kept awake at night is something Jones knows

Several new beers are released each week. Whether its

all too well and he references the design misstep that

a 2.9% Small India Pale Lager brewed with Citra, or an

put a grey cloud over the brewery at the beginning of

8.5% Double IPA that comprises Citra BBC backed up by

this year. Collaborating with Miami’s J. Wakefield Brewing

Mosaic and an aroma hop bill of Citra BBC, Mosaic BBC,

brought the branding of the US brewery’s beers such as

Enigma and Loral. Their beers are flying out.

‘Orange Dreamsicle’ into laser focus in the UK. Labels

July~August 2018


All systems go during a brewing and packaging day at Cloudwater, Manchester. June, 2018.

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that placed scantily-clad women at the fore of design.

to die down after weeks of criticism and it was something

With such feedback taken on board, the collaboration

that he says nearly made him pull back from being the

between the Miami and Manchester breweries attempted

public figure he’s known as in the industry.

to indulge in some self-deprecation. The branding of the beer, ‘Shelf Turds’ featured

“It made me feel as if having a public voice, and raising issues outside of beer production wasn’t worth it. Because

illustrations of Jones and Jonathan Wakefield in their

if what is going to come of me having a voice is being

underwear. However, the market disapproved. Not only

shot down so easily, then it just doesn’t feel worth it. I

was the beer removed, but Jones took it upon himself to

almost decided I won’t have a voice and we as a brewery

liaise with J. Wakefield and encourage them to look again

will speak on things less. I’ve tried to demonstrate that we

at some of their existing branding, which they rebranded

can just be humans, a company of humans with values,

in turn.

but at least at this point in time, it feels there is no margin

Despite being commended for the lengths he went to,

for error,” he explains. “I worry about how many voices are

Jones still feels regret over the situation, but would also

silenced right now. There are people in the industry that

like a wider industry dialogue on the nuances of such

have things they would love to express but I know that

instances, too.

there are many that are terrified about putting their values

“It was very tough, and extremely stressful. Even

out there because as soon as you do you are pinned to a

though I might have done a thousand positive things

mast, and held up to impossible standards. It’s no wonder

for the industry up to that point, nothing else seemed to

the vast majority of breweries just stick to beer, and

matter, one mistake and that was it. I was fucked for a

conduct themselves in a bit of a social or political vacuum

month, if not longer. And irrational fears of another Twitter

– it’s far less traumatic.”

storm still lingers on.” he says. “It felt like people threw

He adds: “I know I now find it ever more difficult to

anything positive we had done out of the window for

make statements based on my experiences, without

that one mistake. We have high standards for ourselves,

second guessing if people will call me out for something

and we don’t want to misrepresent our values, or offend

that’s visible from their point of view but maybe not mine.

anyone, ever. Maybe we’ll move past this being brought

But I’m more concerned with trying to demonstrate that

up in every interview eventually, and I hope we do, but

people can trust us, and that we’re doing our best to offer

the way things manifest themselves online at the moment

them long-lasting value in our beer. That’s what’s crucially

an element of point scoring and powerplay is the norm.”

important. “I’m very hard on our beer quality so I make sure to

Online opinions

exert every little angle of scrutiny over what is flawed in every batch, with a view to protecting the consumers experience. Nothing else pays our bills, keeps our lights


ones goes on: “I say to my guys all the time,

on and makes the other positive things we want to do

because we get a lot of stick from a lot of people,

outside production without customer satisfaction. So it is

that it’s either people trying to slow us down or exert

important to me that when someone is disappointed with

some sort of influence over us. It’s rarely a truly altruistic

their experience we pay attention. Reacting to negative

concern that someone has when they flame you online,

feedback as if it’s just a consumer complaining is too

it’s really that they want to be powerful, and to be this

narrow. Sometimes customers think we’re so good that

week's judge and jury.

they’re deeply upset to discover we don’t always hit our

“What seems to be getting lost behind some of the

mark, however hard we try. It’s important to me to come

most seething outrage is a call in and focus making the

off the back of even angry complaints asking myself what

online spaces around beer a more positive. If I was a

we can do to make things better?”

wine drinker right now and I tuned into beer Twitter at

Jones is acutely aware of the positive impact strong

the wrong time, as this week’s spat or argument aired in

ratings and accolades have had on his business during

public, I might be put off quite quickly and think 'Wow

these first three and a half years. But in the words of

this is awful!’.

Uncle Ben from the Spiderman comic book universe,

“I guess it’s quite normal that overwhelming positivity

‘With great power comes great responsibility’ and

and good gets lost against the negative, and I feel that

that’s something that no doubts resonates with the

there’s, at times, a lesser overview than there could be of

Cloudwater director.

how the industry really influences the world. I think that’s

“If we carry out any critical evaluation of our beer in-

a big problem but, you know, online platforms don’t really

house and we flag something up, and if a customer picks

make long form, nuanced conversation easy, or in some

up on that too, then we escalate that issue to rectify any

cases, possible.”

problems as soon as we can. As long as the feedback

Jones feels that the J.Wakefield incident only started


July~August 2018

is genuine, of course. I have always tried to take any

Brewers Journal


negativity thrown at us from the most positive angle I can, and to use it for good. I have more than enough on my plate looking after the business, team, and customers that want us to succeed than to be slowed down by people hoping we’ll fail,” he explains. “I would like to promote more appreciation of the stuff that will build the industry into the right space rather than what will chip away at it. Because we’re only really good at doing the latter right now.” Jones adds: “As food and drink has become a consumer-facing, direct communicating industry, I see a lot of animosity, of businesses being negatively impacted by shabby reviews and how it drags them down. "Some reviews are genuine and some are not, and it can be difficult to separate to two sometimes. We’re all doing our best and it’s easy for consumers to expect utter flawlessness in every little thing but that’s not always possible, despite every effort. It’s made especially tough when we’re working at the scale of how businesses such as ours operate.

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How do we keep raising expectations, telling folk it’s a better experience than what they can get elsewhere, while also not building a perception that we can be utterly flawless Paul Jones, Cloudwater

quality, but it will have lost some of its freshest edges,

“We make beer in small batches, with ½-3 brews per release. We’re not blending 5, 10, 15 batches into a single tank where we can correct any errors in the early ones with recipe or process changes in the latter ones. Unblended beer is what most smaller brewers make and there is a margin for error there that doesn’t exist in macro

and will no longer be quite the same beer that was passed in the brewery’s sensory panel for packaging. The BBE date conveys when we expect the beer to start a “less graceful decline” towards being a shadow of its former self, by starting to showing age related off flavours. The inclusion of such information is the latest addition

blended beer. So it’s a question of asking how do we keep

to the product breakdown featured on each of its cans.

raising expectations, telling folk it’s a better experience

But since its initiation, the brewery has always featured a

than what they can get elsewhere, while also not building

comprehensive list of product ingredients on its labels.

a perception that we can be utterly flawless.”

Something that has developed further to promote hopping rates and similar details. It’s a positive step for

Quality first

the consumer, and Jones believes it’s an effective way to educate the drinker. Despite the possible detriment it


ne approach Cloudwater has taken to quality

could have on the wider brewery at large. “I took that decision at the start to put every ingredient

is through the adoption of how it conveys

on our beers. Did I make it easier for other breweries

freshness information on its canned output. The

to learn how we are putting those styles together?

business has printed packaged on dates since September

Absolutely, we made competition more intense for

2015. Jones has previously said that the business has

ourselves, but hopefully made life better for our

compromised reasonable shelf lives with short BBE

consumers! I think given that we've not seen a wide

dates, so to encourage every link in the distribution chain

adoption of ingredient publishing, it goes to show that

to move its beer in the quickest possible fashion. Such

many breweries are still reluctant to share their ingredient

an attitude has helped ensure there aren't stockpiles of

intellectual property, and I can understand why,” he

its beer anywhere, except for the days after a packaging

explains. “Go back to 2015 and it might have taken six

run, when a few pallets of cans sit in near suspended

months for an alternative style to see the light of day.

animation conditions in their 4ºC cold store.

Now, you can put out a beer and it’s maybe a month

As the industry and its distribution model develops, the brewery has gone on to adopt a new model and that’s

before a bunch of alternatives hit the market.” He adds: “There is an intense geographical overlap of

the addition of a ‘Freshest Flavour Before’ date. This is

breweries reach here in the UK, and to build a sustainable

the brewery’s method of saying that provided the can

future, you have to ask yourself how you can figure

has been well looked after once it left our warehouse, it

out if there are any protected spaces outside of tied

should present very well to the consumer, and as was

tap handles. I feel as if we have functioned as an R&D

intended, before such date passes.

brewery for the rest of the UK sometimes. We have taken

After the FFB date, the beer should still be of high

a lot of risks, and sure we have benefited in taking those

July~August 2018


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weeks, months and years later. One such goal, so ably achieved by many US breweries, is the ability to drive the self retail model. “We are constantly waiting for hundreds of thousands of pounds that’s on our books, revenue that’s hopefully coming back from our customers. Most of them do their level best in their own way, but there is always an obscene amount overdue on our credit terms, and that’s

Traditional beer has waged a covert propaganda campaign against all keg beer, and lager for decades, and that’s impacted the growth opportunities of microbreweries Paul Jones, Cloudwater

risks as well, but in today's fast paced environment, things change all the time.

“It’s not that long ago that we started canning in 440ml

money I can’t use to build my business, to invest in staff and training to make higher quality beer,” he says, cutting a frustrated figure. “Cash flow issues do not escape a brewery like us at all, and are depressingly prevalent from the top to the bottom of the chain. So if we were able to drive more self retail, it would help us achieve increased financial comfort that we still don’t have, and it would allow us to make better decisions for our consumers.” As of the company's 2016 end of year accounts, the cashflow was being managed by a £1.5 million director's loan. With debtors owing more than £300,000. He adds: “We want to develop our online store, and want to develop what people can buy from us from the brewery and the taprooms. Each time I visit the US, I am

cans, and a little bit further back when we introduced the

astounded by the commercial realities that don’t ever

regular Double IPA releases. Now both are commonplace,

feel like they could be a possibility here in the UK. I can

you can’t move for them. The same is starting to apply

visit a brewery that finds that there is nobody else that

to DDH (Double dry-hopped) beers. For us that means

makes their style of beer for hundreds of miles, or even

literally double the quantity of hops, not that we dry

no other brewery that makes modern beer of such quality

hop the beer twice. I wish there was a term that meant

for hundreds of miles. Some breweries can develop great

the same thing for every single brewery. Instead, it can

direct retail support, gaining amazing loyalty and a host of

often feel like a marketing term rather than something be

benefits that come from being somewhat stylistically or

transparent over.

geographically isolated.

With that in mind, Jones admits that it could become

“That is a massive part that has made the US stand

harder and harder to maintain a commercial will to offer

out and grow, and it’s something we don’t have a cat in

up such transparency going forward.

hell’s chance of doing in the UK. The taps that we hope to

“I truly hope it doesn’t end up being the case, but

pour through here are the same taps that our peers want

when you look at how far things have come, and how

to get on, and for anybody that debuts a new style in the

much thing have changed in the last two years, then you

UK these days, you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll

ask yourself how much could happen in the next two, you

be many similar versions in a month or two, which is

find yourself asking whether being as open as possible

potentially great for the consumer, but it puts us in a very

will negatively impact us as a business. I hope not. And I

different position in the UK than our peers in the US.

want to be as transparent as we are today long into the future,” he laments.

“I’m good friends with folk in the US that have queues of hundreds of people out the door each day. You could never imagine that same situation unfolding over here because we

The cash conundrum

are brought up on pub culture. Buying beer, and enjoying it in a pleasant environment is the norm in the UK. So when we have an online shop platform that gives us reach


ones is proud to be part of the brewing scene in

geographically, or that meets the needs of those customers

the UK. He’s often said he is privileged to be part

that require such convenience, we need to protect our

of the burgeoning modern Manchester beer sector

customer’s experience and do our level best to make online

but equally, that Cloudwater is not a dyed in the wool Manchester brewery. He takes inspiration from London,

sales work as perfectly as a trip to the local pub.” Development to its online platform continues, as does

Leeds, Bristol, the lot. And he’s a big fan of North America.

its upcoming London taproom and a new unit adjacent

Many seeds will have been sown on his visits overseas,

to its Manchester brewery. The Manchester facility will

ideas that would be transplanted to the UK audience

house a cold store allowing for direct can and bottle


July~August 2018

Brewers Journal


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Maturing marketplace

sales, storage, and a taproom with purpose-built bar, seating, amenities and events space. It’s an impressive setup that will no doubt prove a go-to spot upon opening this summer. Jones continues the investment in its current brewery site despite the lingering prospect of the need to move facilities in the future. It’s existing lease doesn’t expire for


pening up good beer to the wide market is why Jones has great admiration for businesses such as BrewDog, which he feels are effective at

converting macro drinkers through its bar portfolio.

a few years, something that is likely to be extended. It’s

“I'm convinced that we are one of the most competitive

something that remains at the back of his mind, but he

marketplaces in the world and there is 100% geographical

knows that the only way to prepare for such an eventuality

overlap for all but the smallest breweries across the UK.

is ensure the business becomes as profitable as possible

A tap in Manchester might be pouring us tomorrow but

before then so to cater for the high costs of a move.

not the next day. So we have to wait our turn to go back

“We are still definitely going to have to find a new

on,” he explains. “We’re limited by the number of speciality

home in the not too distant future and we're going to

outlets that exist to pour great beer. Breweries like

need to be able to afford to move. It’s going to cost

BrewDog help increase our potential customer base by

millions of pounds to do that and to be able to setup a

showing people new to craft beer what exists beyond the

new site and get that ready before we move over is likely

macro beer world they may be used to. And they should

to drain all the profit we’ve made up until then many times

be celebrated for it. Without such efforts, our market

over. It’s not going to be an easy thing to manage and I’d

would grow at a much smaller pace."

like to think we can get someone on board to head up that side of things,” he explains. At this point in time, Cloudwater employ 21 people on

And Jones wants to do his level best to affect that change. He just doesn’t expect an easy ride doing it. “Broadly speaking, people think we've somehow had

site at the brewery, which include three in work production,

a lot of luck and that things have been straightforward for

three in cellaring and thee in packaging. Recent staff

us on the pathway to whatever semblance of success we

hours have been cut to 40 hours per week while the wage

enjoy now. I can't tell you the number of people that I've

bill has increased 23%. Jones is also working on raising

spoken to in the industry and the number of consumers

the minimum wage for each member of the team at the

that approach us with the impression we’ve had it easy,”

brewery to £30,000 per annum. The company has also

Jones stresses. “I’ve invested in travelling and spreading

just employed Doreen Joy Barber, formerly of Five Points

the word of modern British beer, and that doesn’t only

Brewing Company in London, and Jeremy Stull, a founding

benefit Cloudwater. If you spend time elsewhere in the

member of Manchester’s Beermoth.

world talking about the positive achievements of modern

Stull will take ownership of managing the brewery’s barrel-aged output, a part of the business Jones admits

British beer, and developing the perception of British beer, it benefits everyone.

has sat on the back-burner somewhat while its focus on

He adds: “We’re sometimes held up to impossible

fresh beer grows apace. But to be firing on both cylinders

standards and have all sorts of accusations thrown at us.

with both, is one way Jones believes the brewery can

But I can’t stress how tough it has been to come this far,

sustain growth in what is becoming an increasingly

and how tough the future looks. There’s no silver lining

challenging and competitive UK beer market.

on the horizon yet. It’s difficult to appreciate the stresses

He explains: “I genuinely don’t believe the wider

and work that go into any success in the industry, without

industry can keep going at the pace it is without a bunch

being on the ground to see it first hand. I've spent time

of things changing. Traditional beer has waged a covert

with folk that sell literally hundreds more stock items

propaganda campaign against all keg beer, and lager for

from their front door than we ever could, and I might

decades, and that’s impacted the growth opportunities

have initially held a narrow-minded impression of their

of microbreweries wanting to make modern keg beer

lives being somewhat easy. But having seen the effort

in some rural locations, and made another hill to climb

that goes in from dusk till dawn, it gave me a real insight

for any brewery devoting time to independently brewed


lager. It’s tough for them to break into lager because lager

“If everyone is working really hard why does hard work

has been viewed as a commodity by those that have

not equal the same success for everyone? It’s possible to

bought into the CAMRA rhetoric over many years.

think it must be down to luck. But it's not the application

“But lager is the biggest market in the UK and it would

of effort alone that achieves results. It is focus, and having

be nice if we could all get a little piece of that massive

vision, taking risks, being bold, and then trying your

pie, reaching new customers and helping bring them

goddamn best to follow it up with something even more

into a world of new beer experiences, as it presents such

meaningful next time.

huge growth opportunities for everybody."

“And hoping it works.” u

July~August 2018


fo cu s


Assess your options There is no one-size-fits-all approach to owning and running your brewery. What works for one outfit, might not be the right solution for a peer only streets away. The same applies to how you operate you keg output. There has never been as comprehensive array of options as there is now when it comes to the kegs you distribute your beer in, so we spoke with some of the key businesses offering bestin-class keg solutions to your brewery.

Jones points out that each year, loss and misuse of kegs and casks costs the beer industry in excess of £50m, according to figures from the British Beer and Pub Association’s (BBPA) Keg Aware initiative. One major boon, Jones believes, of one-way kegs is that they can open new markets, enabling an instantly increase in your market, opening up exports as well as increase national sales. "You can see companies like Eebria facilitating even the smallest breweries to sell right across the UK,” says Jones. “Steels can limit markets available to you. The large brewers already have the infrastructure to sell steel kegs anywhere in the UK and send carriers out to collect empties, but this is not the case for most breweries in the UK. When selling in steel you tend to only sell within a

by tim sheahan

defined distance from your brewery or through trusted wholesalers, which can be few and far between.”


It’s perhaps unsurprising that Ruud Bais, chief

t’s a well-worn phrase but a beer’s journey is only

operating officer at Lightweight Containers, which is the

truly starting when it leaves your brewery. More

manufacturer of KeyKeg and Unikeg, echoes many of

often that not, a consumer will lay the blame at the

these thoughts.

feet of the brewery if their beer isn’t up to scratch. This is regardless if it’s the fault of the bar or pub

“These give you ultimate flexibility. You get exactly what you pay for, no hidden costs and administration.

failing on their side in terms of storage, hygiene and

There is no return shipping and with better transport

dispense. And as an increasing number of breweries align

efficiency you will save up to 65% on transportation,” he

their output to can and keg, knowing what setup works

explains. “Every keg is new and therefore perfectly clean

for you is key.

and ready to fill. For optimum shelf life and quality and

“What solution is best for them is something we get

taste preservation KeyKeg is the best way to go because

asked frequently by new breweries or ones looking

of the inner bag that ensures that the content never gets

to grow. For us, one way kegs (OWK) are by far the

in any contact with a propellant and light. CO2 loss and

most flexible solution, explains Lewis Jones, business

O2 uptake numbers are absolutely unmatched in the

development manager at EcoKeg Europe. “Cash flow is

industry, so every beer stays as the brewer intended it to

King in every business but especially important when

be until the very last drop.

first starting out and when trying to grow and invest in new and bigger equipment. The obvious disadvantages of capital investment being tied up in steel when you

"The fact that the kegs are double walled, makes them extremely strong and safe to work with.” Bais believes the success of products such as KeyKeg

are trying to start out or grow can suffocate a business

is the result of the landscape of ownership and rental

possibly dragging it under.

changing in recent years.

“Also, there’ the risk of being victim to theft, uplifting or even ‘up cycling’,” he says.


July~August 2018

“We see a transition from steel kegs and casks to one way kegs more and more. There are a lot of quality,

Brewers Journal


fo cu s

financial and environmental advantages when working with our one way kegs,” he says. “Customers do not have to worry about loads of administration, keg repairs, lost kegs, cleaning programmes and scanning kegs throughout the supply chain." EcoKeg Europe’s Jones adds: “The industry as a whole is going through massive changes as consumers become more discerning. The growth of microbreweries with less capital and without national infrastructure has changed the supply chain. “With the craft revolution seeing customers demanding more quality and variety on tap, we are seeing more and more breweries competing for market share. A lot of these new breweries have limited resources therefore can not afford to tie up money in steel kegs or invest in keg washing equipment. “As the new wave of micro-breweries compete for sales, all breweries need to be flexible to adapt and respond to the ever-changing demands of the market. Some areas are becoming saturated with local suppliers whilst other areas there is little choice, so to be able to sell outside of your local area OWK’s can be a useful tool to grow. Nationally and export sales can offer much needed additional revenue. This is much easier to quote and manage with OWK as there is fixed costs." But one-way kegs need not be the exclusive means a brewery sends out its beer. These products can complement your portfolio. Guido Klinkhamme, is the sales director at Schaefer Container Systems, and a firm advocate of investment in your keg fleet. “Many examples are showing that mid to long term this will pay out and for sure will leave the profit with the brewers. If you look into the normal keg distribution of a brewery the number of trips per year will justify an investment in most of the cases even in one to two years,” he says. “However, by approaching independent financial brokers or local banks and asking them to finance the keg business may help to overcome relevant cash issues.” Klinkhamme explains: “The craft beer industry in the

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years or more, during which time it may well have been filled and emptied by your customers, based on a modest six trips per annum some 120 times. Any improvements in logistics which increase this annual churn only makes the case stronger for ownership, as for an initial outlay of £70 for keg and spear it is costing an average of only £0.58 per trip. When you factor in the costs of maintenance and repair during the kegs lifetime, he explains, we should add a further 30% of its initial cost. Alongside an attrition rate of 3% per year the cost per trip should still only reach in the region of £1.10 per fill or £132 as the full cost of the keg ownership over 20 years and 120 fills. Hickman says: “Most brewers will always favour bringing the internal sterilization of their kegs under their own control rather than leaving the task to a third party whose expertise lie in other disciplines, as kegs are far more difficult to internally inspect than a cask. "It will be the saving in reverse logistics, less the initial delivery into the brewery of the rental kegs that will be the major saving for the brewery choosing to rent. “The argument that it saves the brewer the initial capital cost and can be paid for out of revenue, can be countered by the fact that money is still relatively cheap

Thielmann has recently introduced the starting keg

and looks likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, rent to buy schemes acquiring equity in the asset and long-term finance deals are readily available on kegs.” Thielmann kegs continue to enjoy widespread

UK shows significant growth over the last years, with more

adoption across the industry and among the latest

companies offering different services for kegs in terms

developments taking place at the company is its new

of leasing, renting or pay per fill. This trend of financing

starting keg.

everything for everybody is somehow further turning

“The beverage industry offers different standards

down the qualified entrance barrier for craft brewers

for the packaging and dispensing of beer and other

in the UK. As a matter of fact these additional layer of

beverages. However, we understand that small brewers

semi-professional competitors may compromise the

need the maximum flexibility without the need of

quality of craft beer but for sure are going to intensify the

investing in cleaning and filling equipment,” explains Eva

competition for professional craft brewers in the UK.”

Fernández, marketing manager at the company. “For that

For Mike Hickman, there is no one size fits all solution,

reason, the Starting Keg offers the best of two worlds. On

it’s about what suits the brewer’s business model at

one side, its hand hole cover provides ease and safety

a certain time in the breweries evolution and that will

for cleaning and filling (one of the key advantages of

change in time as their business expands.

Corny Kegs), while its Sankey type spear provides the

“To own your keg population can be looked at in two ways as an asset or a liability, though most brewers all over the world in practise own their own branded

ability to make it fit in any conventional beer dispensing equipment.” The product is constructed of strong and durable

cooperage. However one-way steel rentals are another

stainless steel. The company says its kegs represent a

option relieving the brewer of the burdensome task of

great solution for storing and dispensing beer and other

repatriation of its asset, and can be a big help to brewers

beverages. They are easy to clean and are built to last for

to speed up market penetration,” he says. “Returnable

a lifetime.

steel kegs have been the ultimate green packaging

“Top-grade austenitic stainless steel ensures a great

solution for delivering UK beer in bulk for over fifty years,

protection against corrosion and guarantees years of

returned to their owners after use for sterilizing and

services even in heavy duty work. Additionally, the use

refilling kegs have been a great success story copied all

of stainless steel as the base of all our products reduces

over the world.”

the carbon footprint and protects the environment, as

Hickman says the keg’s working life can be twenty


July~August 2018

stainless steel recycles forever,” she says. u

Brewers Journal


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Bottle shops: getting the best licence Bottle shops are increasingly integral to brewers' growth strategies. In order to bring your ideas to market, you need to navigate a number of challenges – principal among which is getting the required licence. Whether it's a couple of shelves at the end of a brewery tour, a larger point of sale within a brew-pub or a standalone unit away from the brewery, there are a number of factors to consider that may impact on your ability to set up an off-licence facility, explains Piers Warne, an associate in the licensing team at UK law firm TLT.

by piers warne


ales for consumption away from the premises are classed as off-sales. This is in contrast with a licence for on-sales for consumption on the premises. Seems simple? Unfortunately there are technical

arguments around the fringes about what is an on- or off-sale.

A simple rule of thumb is that if you're selling alcohol in a sealed container (usually a can or a bottle) to be taken away from the premises and drunk later, that's an off-sale. If you're selling something in an open container for immediate consumption, that will be an on-sale. This article focuses on off-sales, irrespective of whether this

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occurs in the brewery, a pub, a shop or an off-licence and for simplicity, I will refer to them as bottle shops. As we have established, a premises licence for off-

Off-licence applications

sales will be required for a bottle shop. Some bottle shops now sell 'fresh' beer from the tap in bottles that

u The council's licensing policy will

can be stoppered (sealed). This is still an off-sale for the

identify likely issues such as cumulative impact zones, hours policies and preferred conditions. u Pre-application consultation with police, the licensing board and trading standards is essential for the best results. u Don't be put off by cumulative impact zones. They are not usually there to prevent all applications, just more of the same. Offer something new. u Agreeing conditions you cannot actually live with 'for an easy time' at the start and hoping to challenge them later is likely to backfire in the long run. u Conditions limiting high ABV beers are likely to be disproportionate if they prevent you from selling niche 'craft' products at high prices.

reasons described above. Allowing customers a 'taster' of beers prior to choosing their purchase is not a sale, it is a sample of the product and you do not need to have onlicence facilities to provide this. Each licensing authority is bound by law to publish a licensing policy. This explains what the council expects of new applications and may include reference to: A cumulative impact policy, an hours policy, and conditions. The first thing to note is that nothing in a policy is absolute. Every application must be considered on its merits. However, let's look at some of the problems these licensing policies can throw up.

Cumulative impact


here are approximately 220 cumulative impact policies in effect in England & Wales at the moment. Most relate to larger towns and cities

and cover specific geographical areas containing large number of bars and clubs grouped together. The reality

for different types of premises that applicants should

therefore is that many brewers will not be applying within

consider applying for. Later hours will almost certainly

a designated cumulative impact zone (CIZ). However, if

lead to a more difficult application process with objections

you are, this can have a significant impact on whether or

from the council or police. However, this should not

not your application is likely to face opposition.

prevent you from applying for the hours you want to trade

A CIZ allows an authority to designate areas where the

if you think you can justify this.

sheer number of licensed premises has itself become

High ABV restrictions

a problem and the 'cumulative impact' needs to be considered when reviewing a new premises licence application. The council can decide if its policy only affects a certain type of premises – such as pubs and bars or off-licences – or simply lump all licensed premises into the mix.


ome councils have made it part of their policy to impose a condition limiting the strength of alcohol

Within a CIZ, the burden of proof is on the applicant

that can be sold in off-licences, often in the 5.5

to demonstrate that the application will not add to the

ABV+ region. Likewise, some police and trading standards

cumulative impact experienced in the area. Often, CIZs

officers will request something similar in relation to new

are intended to catch late night sellers of 'booze' and

licence applications. Brewers – especially brewers of

are less likely to prevent a small bottle shop, brewery or

double and triple IPAs – need to carefully consider

brew-pub from selling a few bottles for customers to take

whether they can comply with such a condition. If it's


going to be a problem, the condition needs to be resisted

Differentiating your operation from your average 'offie' is key to avoiding a rejection based on a cumulative impact policy. A bottle shop selling only local beers, likely

at the outset rather than being agreed to with a view to seeking to change it later. While challenging the condition might bring pain in

to appeal to a discerning crowd and priced so that street

the short-term, the reality is that this type of condition

drinkers and 'pre-loaders' are not your likely customers,

represents an outdated means of seeking to prevent

stands a much greater chance than an application to sell

street drinkers buying high volumes of alcohol at a low

cheap booze at a discount.

price. To limit the maximum ABV of all products is clearly

Licensing policies will often suggest the latest times


July~August 2018

a disproportionate response to the problem. I do not recall

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Quarterly Beer sales ('000 barrels) Quarter 1 Volume

% change

Quarter 2 Volume

% change


Quarter 3 Volume

% change


Quarter 4 Volume

% change










3,309 3,231
















































































































































































Off trade beer sales from 1997 to the first quarter 2018

Beer sales snapshot ever seeing empty bottles of Trappistes Rochehfort 10 (weighing in at 11.3 ABV) dotted around my local park. Any condition should be targeted to the harm it is intending to address and go no further. For brewers, especially those producing small batch, high ABV specialist beers, such a condition can be devastating. The Portman Group, the responsibility body for drinks producers in the UK, is consulting on beefing up its 'immoderate consumption' rules for drinks. Its proposal would see immoderate consumption being defined as four units of alcohol per non-resealable container. While responsible consumption is a vital issue, the same considerations about proportionality will also need to be borne in mind. Early engagement with the police and licensing authority, alongside providing a good overview of your proposal, will often smooth the way for your application. Conditions can be agreed, or the reasons why they do not work can be explained, meaning problems are ironed out before you even begin your application. Remember, if no one objects to your application, it is granted without a

Sales of beer across Britain dropped 1.7% in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2017. Beer sales were down in the first quarter of 2018, contrasted with a 3.4% rise for the same months the year previous, British Beer & Pub Association data shows. The latest Beer Barometer sales data from the BBPA indicated a drop in ontrade sales of 1.9% while off-trade sales fell by 1.5% compared to Q1 2017. Brigid Simmonds OBE, BBPA Chief Executive, said: “Beer sales experienced another fall at the beginning of the year. “What’s still needed is a continued focus from the Government to reduce the tax burden on beer and pubs to ensure their success in the future.”

hearing, irrespective of any CIZ. u

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The Clear Advantage There are many ways to promote your brewery or drinks brand. Effective, impactful glassware is one such means. Be it Teku or Tulip, Snifter or Stein, it offers your brewery a way to show the drinker that you care about how they’re enjoying your beer and advertise the brand you've worked hard to build while you’re at it.

lens of our own experience and thus build our views on first impressions. Due to this framing effect, previously formed opinions are usually hard to change. This means: Not only a negative first impression will last, a positive first impression is perpetuated too. “This is exactly where the brewers’ great opportunity lies: beer glasses are visual embodiments of brands, and they provide a direct channel to the consumer’s mind. Before a consumer can even judge the quality and taste of a beer, their eyes will inevitably fall on the glass. And only if they feel attracted to its outward appearance will

by Tim sHEAHAN

their thirst for the beer rise. Given the fierce competition in the world’s beer markets, a positive first impression is


more important than ever.”

he idea is as simple as it is sounds: each

Rastal unveiled one of its most famous glass concepts

beer deserves its own special glass. Not

eight years ago, the Teku. Now commonplace in modern

only one that matches its style, but one

beer parlance, the Teku features a long stem that bears

that highlights the signature features of its

greater resemblance to a red-wine glass than to a beer

brand. No two beers are the same, and each

glass. The idea behind the concept was to provide the

brewer knows that their beer is distinctive, a brand with its

glass with an unusual curvature and an upward-widening,

own identity whose unique character is worthy of being

yet straight-lined rim area that would synergise with each

raised into the limelight,” explains Sabine Sahm from

other, thus allowing each beer to fully unfold its unique

Rastal. The company invented the design glass concept

wealth of aromas.

way back in 1964. She says: “In order to properly set the stage for star

The long-stemmed Teku goblet is the result of a collaboration with Teo Musso, the famous Italian craft

performers, a perfectly consistent label design, bottle

brewer and founder of Birra Baladin. The glass’s stylistic

and packaging will not suffice: of equal weight is the

borrowings from a red wine glass are clearly evident.

unmistakable outward appearance of the glass. A brand

When the Teku goblet was first presented in 2010 it

will only attract attention if it is presented to its audience

was received with admiration but also some perplexity.

in an engaging, “eye-catching” way.

But before long, the generic Teku glass, like others before

“Many brewers today continue to attribute their

it, immediately attracted numerous brewers who now

success to the quality of their product as its prime USP.

entrust Rastal to create their Exclusive Glass modelled on

And although it is, of course, true that there is no lasting

the pioneer glass. Interestingly enough, the first clients

success without perfect product quality, it should not be

were the Trappist monks from the Austrian monastery of

overlooked that presentation also matters. Because what

Engelszell, whose brewery had only begun its operation

holds true for an unfamiliar client, also holds true here:

in 2012.

form precedes content, at least from a time sequence perspective. “It is a well-established fact that all human perception is selective – we always tend to filter “reality” through the


July~August 2018

For Lloyd Rees from Inspiration Gifts, glassware reinforces brand awareness and increases visibility to the consumer. “If you have the choice of drinking from a plain

Brewers Journal

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Rastal has become a go-to name in the brewing sector

whole glass. He adds: “The types of glassware we use are primarily Arc and Pasabahce however, over the years we have developed relationships with manufacturers from all around Europe and the Americas giving us a large choice of different glasses. “Our decoration facilities mean that we can print from single to multiple colour work on toughened glass along with full colour transfers and also put a personalised nucleation on the base of the glass. The main point of difference is over the last five years, we've specialised in developing our organic range of inks and print systems which means that the glassware we provide to the breweries remains toughened after printing and our curing techniques.” Rastal’s Sahm reiterates Lees’ point on choice. She says: “Successful wine growers have long known this: without the right glass, a wine’s bouquet of aromas cannot be fully appreciated or get lost “in transit” between the glass and the nose. In addition, drinking from highquality glasses pleases the palate and the eye. “We are without a doubt currently witnessing a major shift in awareness: beer is no longer viewed as a quick thirst quencher; there is a marked consumer trend towards beer styles with a strong character and rich flavour profile. Beer is increasingly perceived as a highquality product. We attribute this shift in beer culture to American craft brewing that has already found passionate followers in Europe, Japan and countless other countries around the world. “In Germany, these craft beers are often referred to as “gourmet beers” or “artisan beers”. But regardless of the name given to these beers, all of its representatives are characterised by a broad and unprecedented diversity of flavours that are unleashed by the use of innovative and unusual brewing methods.” To serve this ever-growing market, the company standard glass or brewery glass Which would you

continues to push its successful Exclusive Glass concept.

choose? It costs the drinker the same but given a choice

Around 100 million of glasses that are distributed each

they'd choose the latter because of brand reinforcement,”

year to ninety countries from Rastal’s location in Höhr-

he says. “It is the perfect product to promote your goods

Grenzhausen, Germany.

to drinkers, it can help drive sales via the pub, bar or

“Working side by side with our clients, we develop

restaurant as it increases the loyalty shown to them and

tailor-made solutions, regardless of whether clients

it makes it more difficult for them to chop and change as

approach us with an already elaborate, clear-cut picture

they'd have to be using different glasses. It also creates a

of their customized glass in mind or with just a vague

sense of goodwill from the brewery to the recipient.”

silhouette of an idea. Our experts provide comprehensive

Rees is seeing strong growth in stemmed glassware,

assistance and valuable advice in all aspects relating to

citing a price point that’s becoming more affordable while

the design, decoration, production method and quality

strong interest remains in its conical glass range thanks

requirements of a glass“, explains Carsten Kehrein,

to it's large print area and their ability to print around the

Exclusive Glass Chief Designer at Rastal since 2001. u


July~August 2018

Brewers Journal

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Suppliers of speciality cleaning & hygiene chemicals for breweries, cider makers & beverage manufacturers

Call 01942 722 000

The Glass for Beer RASTAL – at the forefront of glassware design for almost 100 years offers: · In-house design and graphics studios · State-of-the-art 8-colour decoration with both ceramic and organic inks · A decoration MOQ of just 500 pcs · Dedicated and experienced in-market representation Detergents, Disinfectants, Conveyor Lubrication, Water & Effluent Treatment CCL Pentasol are a division of Zenith Hygiene Group Plc

For all enquiries: Nick Crossley, UK agent for Rastal GmbH & Co. KG Telephone: 07758 648660

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Against the Grain When Geoff Wright and Phil Halls started Grain Brewery in 2005, they did so with the following goals in mind: to become their own bosses, pay their mortgages, and to give drinkers in and around Norfolk more choice. Thirteen years on and they’ve done just that. Editor Tim Sheahan reports

of four establishments Wright owns alongside business partner Phil Halls. Having a direct route to market is obviously a boon for any brewing business, but the irony of why they pursued the pub model in the first place isn’t lost on the duo. “Pubs weren’t always part of the plan,” he says. “Early on we knew we needed a retail outlet for the beer so we started with farmers markets. We did hundreds and hundreds of them. There were some good ones, and there were some really awful ones. They’d take up Sundays and they’d take up Bank Holidays, but it was all

by tim sheahan

valuable cash coming into the business in those early days.”


He adds: “So when the idea of taking on The Plough

orwich City of Ale is a city-wide

came about in 2010 we thought: ‘Great, we can stop

celebration of city pubs, local breweries

giving up our days off to do those markets!’.

and good beer. Founded in 2011, it’s an

“But instead of just giving up a day off, we’ve ended

excellent way to take in meet the brewer

up giving up every day off because if we’re not tied to the

events, tap takeovers, food pairing

brewery, it’s the pub side. Mental, isn’t it?”

evenings, beer festivals and more, all in one city. It also

Wright doesn’t pull punches on his outlook to life and

encourages drinkers to visit many of the Norwich's pubs,

business. His acerbic wit is both forthright and incisive. But

and that’s exactly what people are doing at The Plough

it’s part of the reason why Grain Brewery is an operation

on St Benedicts Street.

that’s still going strong 13-years on.

There’s a couple at the bar, both with well-kept, great-

Business partner Halls, on the other hand, is softer in

tasting pints of Oak, a 3.8% cask bitter from Grain Brewery.

tone but no less driven. The duo had known each other

Lovingly placed next to those pints is what remains of

through friendship circles from their teens. But career

a pork pie and the duo are capturing the vista with their

paths, as they do, diverged. At the time of Grain Brewery

camera phones to no doubt catalogue their visit to both

coming into being, Halls was in a publishing position in

the pub and city.

central Norwich while Wright was marketing manager at

Snapping away, they captured the eye of Geoff Wright,

regional brewing giant Adnams.

co-founder of the brewery’s beer they’re enjoying.

“It was time for a change and Adnams itself has

“Look at those two. They’re taking a photo of

changed a great deal since the early 2000s, too. Back

something so simple as a beer with a pie. But seeing

then they would never brew more than three beers at a

people in the pub, drinking your beer, and deeming it

time. Now you go into the taproom and there’s 12 beers

worthy enough to photograph? That builds me a little

on,” says Wright. “They weren’t overly bothered by the

each and every time I see it,” he explains. “I don’t think

growth of microbreweries 10 or so years ago but that’s

I’ll every be fully proud of what I do, but that gives

the way the brewery operates. They have a powerful

me something to improve upon. It makes everything

confidence in what they do. Some would call it arrogance


but either way, they’ve changed somewhat since then.”

It’s no surprise to see Grain Brewery beers on at The Plough, or other pubs for that matter. The Plough is one


July~August 2018

“But let’s be clear, my plan has always been to start my own brewery and grow it to a size that would allow me to

Brewers Journal


buy Adnams and close it down,” he laughs. Rewind a few years and The Grain Brewery story


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Top: Phil Halls and Geoff Wright. The Plough, Norwich, 2018.

started with the familiar tale of limited initial funds raised from the odd car sale and a re-mortgage. “We scraped together just under £50,000 – a lot of

Farm, in the Waveney Valley, Alburgh, Norfolk.”

money to us, but meagre funds as far as buying breweries

They taught themselves to brew with a few courses

go,” says Halls. “But we were able to buy and refurbish the

and a lot of trial and error with Halls lamenting the scarcity

five barrel starter brewery that had belonged to Castle

of information available back in 2005 compared to the

Rock, along with a hundred plastic casks, and found the

wealth online and elsewhere today.

perfect site to house it, in the old dairy and barns at South

“Was the beer any good very early on? Probably not. It

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took until Gyle 007 to make something that was sellable.

its offering to existing customers that operate in Norfolk

A pleasant, easy-drinking bitter that we could probably

and as far south as Cambridge

call an early iteration of our Oak beer,” he says. Starting out, the duo’s inspirations were quite different.

“We want to have good relationships with existing companies rather than jeopardise them. We are bringing

For Halls it was Thornbridge Jaipur and Dark Star

new people into the family as we go but we’ll never go

Hophead, while Wright was fond of Wherry from Norfolk’s

outside of our comfort zone. It’s important to remain in

Woodforde’s Brewery.

control,” says Wright.

“It was so light and hoppy compared to the beers I was

And while Grain dabbles in bottling and canning its

brought up on such as Greene King IPA and Southwold

beer, they are firm advocates of enjoying beer on tap in

Bitter from Adnams,” he recalls.

the pub environment.

But, while both influences are evident in Grain

“For me, beer is always best drunk in the pub. Of

Brewery’s beers, one thing binds them and that’s tying

course, people can do whatever they like as it's not for me

their output to a sense of place and heritage.

to tell them but beer can come across as you intended it

“Geoff has a talent for coming up with good ideas, and drawing on our location in the heart of Britain’s best barley

to in the pub,” says Wright. “It also needs to be drunk responsibly, and consuming

growing land. With Maris Otter grown almost on our

beer in a pub environment enables that. It gives us the

doorstep, he came up with the name Grain,” says Halls.

control. I'm not saying you're not allowed to drink at

“Simple, apt, and it gave us the chance to play around

home and you have to come to the pub, because that's

with wood themes, hence the tree-based names of many

obviously ridiculous, but I just believe it’s a better place

of our beers such as Lignum Vitae which means ‘Tree of

for it."

Life’, and our wooden pump clips.”

The team take great pride in their pubs.

A lot of work went into developing the farm site in

Complementing The Plough is The Cottage in Norwich,

Alburgh. The team called upon friends, family and local

The Spread Eagle in Ipswich and Grain at The Corn Hall

farmers to help convert the buildings into anything

in Diss, Norfolk. They offer a considered beer range that

slightly resembling a brewery. As time has gone on,

extends to the wines and spirits on offer, too.

Wright and Halls have added more beers to their portfolio

Just don’t tell Diageo that.

and transformed their setup as demand dictated.

“Only yesterday I had a call from Diageo, I assume it

“We replaced the out-grown brew kit in 2012, with

was something GDPR related. They were updating details

a shiny new, efficient, and purpose built brewery from

and the woman on the other end of the line was from the

Malrex Fabrications in Burton upon Trent, tripling our

Guinness team,” says Wright. “She took the opportunity

output, but still based at South Farm,” says Halls. “By

to promote the product but I had to stop her there, as we

expanding into neighbouring barns, we have added

don’t sell any Diageo products at our pubs. She couldn’t

more fermenters and storage, and having dabbled with

believe and informed me that 75% of pubs sell Diageo

keg beer for a couple of years, we went into full keg

products, so I said ‘test me!’. She ran through Smirnoff,

production and built our lagering room in the old farm

Bailey’s, the lot. Each my response each time was ‘No, no,

shoot room."

no’. She wasn’t happy.” He adds: “Let me be clear, it’s not an actively antiDiageo stance, I just know there are better products available. Whether that’s a better beer than Guinness or a better gin than Tanqueray. We can sell better. We can make better.” And it’s that attitude that has carried the team onwards since starting in 2005. Getting their heads down, making a good product and offering a positive environment to enjoy it in. “We’re not particularly money driven,” says Wright. “We wanted to do something better with our lives, be our own bosses and do something we’re proud of. We believe in slow growth and doing things the right way.” Halls laughs: “Don’t get me wrong. I’m constantly frustrated and our meetings are mostly lively. But we wouldn’t have it any other way!” u

The focus on lagering is something the duo take very seriously. Keg beers such as its Pilsener, Pale and Weizen are all given a wealth of tank time to ensure they are packaged in the best condition possible. “Take the Pilsener, for example. Fermentation goes on for a minimum of four to six weeks. We chill to down to zero and carbonate at the same time. As each day passes, the beer becomes crisper, rounder, smoother. It improves all the time,” says Halls. Grain has been kegging beers for a little more than two and a half years, something that is slowly encroaching onto its cask share. When cask accounted for 80% of output in 2017, that figured has dropped to 70% in 2018 to enable increases in keg output. But as with anything the brewery does, everything is done slow and steady. It’s kegging more beers to increase

July~August 2018


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E vent


I n s i g ht

Why events are a boon to your brewery Staging an event can be one of the most powerful tools in building a brand in beer, and can be more effective than any other marketing method. Truth be told, it’s also a great way of falling flat on your face if you don’t plan it right. Velo Mitrovich reports

two-day period, who downed the beer of 77 of some of the world’s best and most highly regarded craft brewers. Along with the beer, there were talks, panel discussions, an 18-truck food village and the beer – did The Brewers Journal mention the beer? There were over 500 different beers throughout the event. This year there will be 90 breweries serving up their beers, which each rotating though up to 16 different brews throughout the course of the two-day festival. A ticket sets you back £60 – along with a £5 booking fee.

by velo mitrovich

This gets you in and an official glass, which is almost magical. You just hold it up to a brewer and it gets filled


to the brim, with your wallet never leaving your pocket.

vents just aren’t for the big guns At times, it seems like why bother. There

Crazy. At March’s Brewers Lectures, Logan Plant of

are already those out that are doing a beer

Beavertown said the brewery spends a year planning the

event so close to perfection, how could you

event – the planning begins the day after the last one

ever come close? Case in point, the annual

closed. Plant said Beavertown sees so much importance

Beavertown Extravaganza which will kick-off in about two

on events and what they stand to gain in brand awareness

months. Last year this event drew 8,000 punters over a

and consumer education, that they have an actual

July~August 2018


i n s i g ht

E vent


brewery that participated in the event or buy their beer in the future. According to Plant, an event allows a face-to-face to happen between the customer and the brewer. “Whether your event is held at your brewery or in a venue, it brings people into our world.” For people to love your beer, they have to love your brand – who you are, what you stand for. Meeting someone face to face is the most effective way to make such a connection, and providing them with a great experience is even better.

Think small


ot every brewery has deep pockets like Beavertown, but that’s no excuse. While today Beavertown might plan for 8,000 people, its first

events were much smaller. They learned what worked, what didn’t, and expanded upwards. But for your brewery marketing to be successful, it’s more important than ever for your event to stand out. In the UK this year there will be around 50 ‘official’ events, and a large number of smaller ones at local breweries. In the USA, this year there will be more than 600 beer festivals and countless additional beer events for

dedicated events team. But, that’s at Beavertown. At your brewery, it feels like

consumers to choose from. While it sometimes gets old mentioning the USA and

at times you need a year just to organise your team to

craft beer in the same breath, there is still much we can

mop the floors.

learn from their industry. One thing that they have found

So again, why bother? Well…because of this. No matter what your size, no matter where your location, you can’t afford not to if you want to market your beer. You could be

lately is that beer events which focus solely on drinking have lost their charm. “Many geographic areas have become saturated

making the best beer in the world but if nobody knows

with general beer tasting events,” says Curt Foreman,

this, you might as well hang your ‘For Sale’ sign today.

the founder of Brew Fest Partners. “We have gravitated

An Eventbrite survey from a few years ago that polled 5,000 food and drink festival attendees in the States, found that after a beer event, 99% of participants will

toward building niche events that target attendees looking for a unique experience.” If there isn’t something different about your event, it

recommend your brand to a friend. Not to mention, half

doesn’t matter how good your beer is, people will not

will buy your beer on the spot, and 40% will sign up for


your email newsletter. Before we go any further, let’s repeat that one figure

According to Foreman, there are three strategies to break out of the typical beer event mould:

“99%”. Just shy of every single person who attends a beer event will recommend your beer to a friend. Percentage

Get creative with your cuisine

wise, this is more effective than World Cup or Superbowl advertising that costs millions. Whether you’re a craft brewer or a brewery owner, events should be a vital part of your brewery marketing strategy. Events are simply one of the most


ost beer events include food, but the pairings rarely surprise: Beer and French fries. Beer and burgers. Beer and chips. But running a

powerful ways to build a brand in beer, and can be more

profitable beer business relies on thinking more creatively.

effective than any other marketing method – this includes

An unexpected combo is the root of the Bacon & Beer

social media and advertising.

Classic’s success, which takes place in three cities across

Like recommending your beer to a friend, after attending a beer event, attendees are more likely to visit a


July~August 2018

the U.S. “For the price of a ticket, attendees can sample from

Brewers Journal

E vent


I n s i g ht

80+ regional craft beers, enjoy unlimited bacon snacks,

San Francisco brand hosts events at some imaginative

and take part in original activities like a giant Jenga game

locations: national parks, botanical gardens, and even a

and a bacon-eating contest. We knew that people love

local dim sum restaurant.

bacon and beer, and we wanted to capitalize on that opportunity,” says Kate Levenstien, CEO of Cannonball

Double down on entertainment

Productions, the brand behind the event. And their unique food pairing has struck a chord: the Bacon & Beer Classic has seen 500% growth year-over-year.

Think outside the tap room


f course, people want something to do while they sip on beer. Live music is an obvious solution. Amy de Leon of Brew Fest Events

credits their musical acts as one element of their events’ success. “We take great consideration in the music acts


hen most people think “beer event” they imagine a brewery tap room or festival grounds. But these predictable settings

we hire to ensure they’re talented and fun,” de Leon says. If only building your brewery’s brand consisted of just brewing beer. As much as all talk about the camaraderie

won’t spark the interest of beer fans in today’s saturated

between brewers, that fact is competition between


small breweries is heating up, and it’s important to define

“An interesting venue is important for us,” says Amy

your beer’s experience beyond the keg, bottle or can.

de Leon, managing partner of Brew Fest Events. Public

Attending and/or hosting craft beer events can expand

gardens, urban warehouses, and local hot spots are all

your reach and increase your customer base.

spaces that can add something special to your beer

A brewery needs a community of supporters to thrive, and hosting events could be the difference

event. Fort Point Beer Company has a small taproom that doesn’t easily accommodate a crowd. Given this, the

between having one and not. Success is getting people knowledgeable with you and your brand. u



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July~August 2018


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D ry

H opping

The effect of dryhopping on fermentable sugars and ABV What impact does dry-hopping have on fermentable sugars and ABV? Brian Dickson and Colin Stronge from Leedsbased Northern Monk enlisted Dr Lee Walsh, account manager at QCL to find out.

world, Northern Monk work with charitable organisations and local businesses and collaborate with breweries and businesses who share their vision of craftsmanship and quality to help strengthen the North. Northern Monk started brewing in 2014 and has since become an institution of innovation in brewing, with a focus on quality, which is largely monitored in-house using a variety of lab equipment including the CDR BeerLab.

by DR lee walsh

With this in mind, it is no surprise that head brewer Brian Dickson and Production Manager Colin Stronge


were keen to use their BeerLab in our latest study to

oused in a Grade II listed mill in the

investigate the effect of dry-hopping on fermentable

spiritual heart of the industrial revolution,

sugars and ABV.

Northern Monk takes thousands of

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July~August 2018


n article published in the Journal of the Institute of Brewing in 1941 by Janicki, J. et al[1] discussed the presence of diastatic activity in hops and how

this might affect secondary fermentation on in cask beer.

Brewers Journal


Their experiments consisted of taking samples of starch


s c i e n c e

Table 1 : Dry-Hop Addition Rate and Alpha Acid %

dissolved in pH adjusted water (to approximate beer pH)

Addition rate

Hop 1

Hop 2

Hop 3

Session IPA

3.5 g/L




that the starch in solution was being broken down by

American IPA

4.0 g/L




enzymes in the hops.

Double IPA

6.0 g/L




and adding Saaz hops at a rate of approximately 40 g/L. The research discovered that maltose was produced from dry-hopping in mg quantities in just five hours, suggesting

Ron Pattinson points out in his blog (March 2018), that Brown and Morris also commented that hops contain a noticeable percentage of glucose and fructose (around

Below: Figure 1. American IPA Sugar Vs Starch

3%), which was also shown to be fully fermentable after extraction from the hops and addition of yeast.[2,3] Part two of Ron’s blog post also revisits the work published by Janicki et al, further discussing the ability of hops to break down starch into fermentable sugars. To best investigate these two effects, we picked three beer styles of increasing dry-hop quantities, namely a session IPA, an American IPA and a DIPA. The increasing levels of dry-hopping – all via a hop rocket – should give increasing levels of diastatic activity and fermentable sugar addition and potentially an increase in ABV.

The results Below: Figure 2. DIPA Sugar Vs Starch


or the study, a sample was taken from the FV every 30 minutes, with two samples taken before dryhopping and two samples taken after dry-hopping.

All three beers were dry-hopped for 3-hours using a hop rocket and all samples taken were analysed for ABV, fermentable sugars (g/L), Starch (g/L), pH, and bitterness (IBU) using the CDR BeerLab. The starch measured on the BeerLab will include a mixture of complex starch molecules not broken down in the mash as well as some longer chain dextrin molecules. Fermentable sugars is a measure of glucose, fructose, maltose and maltotriose. The American IPA and DIPA were not dry-hopped before running the hop rocket and therefore not before analysis, however the Session IPA was dry-hopped prior to using the hop rocket and analysis. The hops used in

Below: Figure 3. Session IPA Sugar Vs Starch

each dry-hopping varied by addition rate and alpha acid % as shown in Table 1.

American IPA and DIPA


he two most notable results came from the American IPA and the DIPA as expected, both beers showing high initial starch which drops as

fermentable sugars increase. As shown in Figures 1 and 2 the American IPA has a starch concentration beginning around 2 g/L and dropping to a level of around 1.5 g/L, this drop is exaggerated in the DIPA with a drop from around 1.8 g/L to just over 0.5 g/L.

July~August 2018


s c i e n c e

D ry

H opping

Table 2 : ABV During Dry-Hop Vs Packaged Beer

to during dry-hopping. Apart from the natural variation of ABV on the BeerLab

ABV during DH

ABV packaged beer


Session IPA

4.1 (±0.1)



dry-hopping, however as can be seen in Table 2 there is

American IPA

5.1 (±0.1)



The increase for the Session IPA is negligible, however for

Double IPA

9.0 (±0.1)



*ABV confirmed by distillation and density meter as 9.99%

(±0.1) there was no significant increase in ABV during the an increase in ABV value in the finished, packaged beer. the American IPA and the DIPA there is a significant jump in ABV, which correlates with the Sugar Vs Starch graphs above. To confirm accuracy of the finished beer results, the DIPA was tested by distillation and Density meter giving a result of 9.99% ABV.

The fermentable sugar concentration looks slightly


more variable with an initial drop in value followed by a peak, this can be explained by yeast being roused back into suspension from circulation of the hop rocket and absorbing some of this sugar. The peak in sugar concentration could come either from the diastatic power of hops on the residual starch or from the addition of fermentable sugars in the hops themselves.

Session IPA


t is apparent that the addition of dry-hops to a beer at the end of natural fermentation will contribute to a reduction in residual starch and an increase of

fermentable sugars. This can be explained by two effects; diastatic enzyme activity present in the hops, breaking down starch into fermentable sugars; contribution of fermentable sugars from the hops themselves. By increasing fermentable sugars near the end of


s mentioned previously, the Session IPA was

fermentation, yeast will continue to ferment beyond when

dry-hopped prior to initiating the hop rocket and

the brewer believes fermentation has finished, causing

as can be seen in Figure 3 the starch does not

an increase in ABV, which may not be accounted for with

exhibit a drop in concentration, there is however a slight

gravity readings.

rise in sugar concentration. This may be due to the initial


dry-hopping breaking down all of the simple starch and leaving only complex starch molecules, meaning that the second dry-hopping by hop rocket could not break down any more starch, but could add some sugar. It is clear to see in Figure 1 and 2 that hops are

u Janicki J., Kotasthane W. V., Parker A., Walker T. K.; J. Inst. Brew.; 1941; Vol. 47; pp. 24 – 36.

having a demonstrable effect on starch reduction and

u Brown H. T., Morris H.; J. Inst. Brew. (The Brewers’

sugar production, which ultimately will lead to further

Guardian); 1893; Vol. 6; pp 93 – 94.

fermentation in the beer – potentially giving a higher ABV

u h p://

than expected in the finished/packaged beer compared



July~August 2018

Brewers Journal

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s c i e n c e



Tackling the cost of microbial stabilisation head on Cold stabilisation of beer, also referred to as sterile filtration, can return significant cost savings over pasteurisation. In addition to providing an increased level of microbial security, and better protection of beer quality, cold stabilisation is by far the most efficient process to operate in comparison to pasteurisation from a cost perspective. This article from Parker Domnick Hunter discusses the four main areas where cold stabilisation returns significant cost savings over ash pasteurisation.

FROM PARKER Domnick Hunter

consumption, the future of brewing is looking increasingly optimistic. However, as these positive trends are driving


opportunities, there are also negative trends which need

he ever-evolving brewing industry is

to be navigated and which are driving the industry to

currently going through an exciting period of


change. With established markets buoyed

by the craft revolution and new beer

drinkers in regions typically associated with wine


July~August 2018

The spectre of increasing utility costs have to be managed for brewers to remain pro table and competitive. With energy and water costs set to increase in most nations, brewers are being driven to implement

Brewers Journal



s c i e n c e

process efficiency improvements to remain sustainable. What was once viewed as a conservative industry and reluctant to change, is now open to process innovations

about the author

which can yield better beer quality and increased operational improvements. Historically, most breweries have relied upon pasteurisation techniques to kill spoilage organisms and produce market stable beer, however this process can be costly to operate and can lead to a deterioration in beer quality. Through recent developments in filtration technology, cold stabilisation is now the optimum process to achieve microbiologically stable beer, to protect beer quality at the lowest operational cost.

Parker Domnick Hunter supply final filtration systems to the brewing industry, both at the micro brewery level and for the large breweries. These systems can be easily automated and integrated into the packaging line and provide the optimum technique for producing fresh, quality beers at the lowest operational cost.

As cold stabilisation of beer may still be viewed as a new technique for some brewers and therefore poorly understood, this article will outline some of the operational aspects to demonstrate where process efficiency improvements can be achieved over

protect the beer from over-pasteurisation and to preserve


the complex molecular compounds which make up the

One area of brewing which is a perfect candidate for process efficiency improvements is the “utility hungry” process of final microbial stabilisation.

unique characteristics of the beer. Even with the evolution of ash pasteurisation, the risk of damaging the beer’s unique characteristics is still present no matter how precise the process control.

Key cost savings

In a recent technical study performed by a large UK brewery, the effects of ash pasteurisation were compared


to cold stabilisation. In this study, the same batch of

f beer is to last for more than a few days once

beer was split, where some was sent for bottling via ash

packaged, then spoilage micro-organisms need to

pasteurisation and some was sent for bottling via cold

be removed completely. Typical spoilage organisms

stabilisation. The bottled beer was then compared in

include brewer’s yeast, wild yeast, and speci c anaerobic

triangular taste tests where the sterile filtered beer was

bacterial strains capable of surviving in beer – typically

identified to have the most appealing taste and longer

lactic acid and acetic acid species.


Traditionally, pasteurisation techniques have been

In flash pasteurisation, the beer is pasteurised as it

relied upon to produce commercially sterile beer which

travels to the filling machine, so hygienic filling conditions

is capable of achieving the required shelf-life demanded

are required to prevent recontamination. The same

by various customers. Typically, this would be 12 months

hygienic filling conditions are required when running

for bottled beer and several weeks for kegged beer.

cold stabilisation, so we will focus on the operational

Pasteurisation involves heating the beer in order to

differences between cold stabilisation and ash as

achieve a microbial kill. Initially, tunnel pasteurisation was

opposed to tunnel pasteurisation.

largely employed, where the beer is pasteurised once

While quality improvements both in terms of flavour

packaged into the container – with typical conditions

protection and shelf-life extension can be achieved, what

being 60°C for tens of minutes depending upon the beer

about the comparative cost, or the “operational expense”

specification and the required “pasteurisation units” (PU).

(OPEX)? As cold stabilisation is a much simpler process to

Tunnel pasteurisation can be viewed as the traditional technique to stabilise beer, however the

operate, this translates into significant cost savings. It is difficult to talk in exact terms as every brewery

systems themselves are large, require a high degree of

around the world is unique and there will be variances in

maintenance and can therefore be costly to purchase

operational costs per hl, and utility costs (gas, electricity,

and operate. In addition, it is widely accepted that

water, etc) may vary too. However, by making some

pasteurisation can impact upon beer quality. So, in recent

sensible assumptions, and applying identical operational

years tunnel pasteurisation has become superseded by

parameters such as; flow rate, hours in operation and

ash pasteurisation – where the beer is pasteurised at a

operational days per week, it can be seen that for a typical

higher temperature, typically 70°C for a much shorter

brewery running cold stabilisation as opposed to ash

time – typically measured in seconds. This process

pasteurisation, the OPEX savings can run into six figures

development represented an evolution in an attempt to

per year!

July~August 2018


s c i e n c e



Beer losses

energy. With cold stabilisation, as long as the line pressure is maintained at approximately 1barg, there is no


lash pasteurisers work by passing the beer through

requirement to run booster pumps. The electrical energy

a plate heat exchanger (PHE) at a required flow

demand and hence OPEX is therefore significantly



The PU level is a function of temperature and time,

Consumable spend

thus flowrate through the system is critical. The correct pressures also have to be maintained to achieve the correct carbonation level and prevent degassing as the beer heats up. If these parameters fluctuate and cause the PU level to change, the process is typically stopped and held in standby mode until the issue is resolved.


his is the aspect where ash pasteurisation can compete with cold stabilisation as the consumable spend for running cold stabilisation will be higher

Typically, this involves dumping the beer to drain and

than ash pasteurisation. The increase in spend comes

water is circulated through the PHE instead.

from the requirement to replace blocked filters when

With cold stabilisation there is no reliance upon ow

they are at the end of their usable life. However, through

rate, temperature or pressure, and as such, any deviation

recent advances in membrane filtration technology,

in these parameters will not affect the filtration efficiency

the blockage rate of the membranes used and their

or the performance of the sterilisation process.

cleanability now makes the cold stabilisation process far

In addition, the hold-up volume inside the PHE is much larger and this contributes to much higher mixing phases

more economical. The primary cause of filter blockage is through a build-

in comparison to cold stabilisation, further accounting

up of colloidal material such as protein and carbohydrate

for increased beer losses. Even if the ash pasteurisation

agglomerations as opposed to micro-organisms. By

process is relatively stable, and the PU levels do not

optimising the base chemistry of the filter membrane, the

fluctuate during production, every time there is a batch or

likelihood of protein or carbohydrate binding can be far

product change, the increased phase separations cause

reduced – which in turn will reduce the rate of blockage.

a higher degree of beer losses and therefore significantly

In addition, by tweaking with the filter construction (to

increased OPEX when compared to cold stabilisation.

provide high filtration area and immediate pre-filtration), the possibility for further lifetime extensions can be

Water consumption

achieved. As can be seen from discussing the points above, the cold stabilisation of beer represents a far more


s outlined above the mixing phases are much

economical solution than ash pasteurisation when we

larger in ash pasteurisation as opposed to cold

consider these operational factors. There are other

stabilisaiton. As such, every time there is a batch

factors to also consider, such as energy required to heat

change, or change in PU level the water consumption far

the PHE and CO2 consumption – however these are

outweighs that associated with cold stabilisation.

marginal when compared to those discussed above. Even

In today’s environment where brewers are having to

discounting the increased microbial control and better

be flexible and adapt to market conditions, there is a

protection of beer flavour, cold stabilisation represents the

requirement to change the products being packaged

optimum choice for brewers wishing to achieve efficiency

more frequently. In this environment, the water

improvements and protect bottom line profits.

consumption and hence the associated increase in OPEX


for ash pasteurisation over cold stabilisation will become more pronounced. Flash pasteurisers work by heating the beer up to approximately 70°C. Due to Henry’s law, the process of heating the beer will cause the CO2 to come out of solution unless the line pressure is increased and tightly controlled. As such, booster pumps which regulate the line


old stabilisation is recognized as a tried and tested method of achieving microbiological stability both in the food and beverage and

pharmaceutical industries. As can be seen from the points above, the cold stabilisation of beer represents a more

pressure at approximately 10 – 14barg are necessary

advantageous process than pasteurisation techniques on

to effectively control degassing. The requirement to

a number of levels. As brewers become more aware of

run pumps against a 10 – 14barg differential pressure

the benefits of this process, interest and demand for this

ultimately consumes a significant amount of electrical

technology is increasing. u


July~August 2018

Brewers Journal

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date s


e v e nt s


The Brewers Lectures return to Bristol this September. Join us at The Watershed on the 13th for an afternoon of education, entertainment and great beer.

19/07/18 - 21/07/18

Kent Beer Festival Canterbury Rugby Club, Canterbury 26/07/17 - 29/07/17

Liverpool Craft Beer Expo Invisible Wind Factory 07/08/18 - 11/08/18

Great British Beer Festival Olympia London


July~August 2018

17/08/18 - 19/08/18

Peakender Bakewell Showground 07/09/18 - 08/09/18

Beavertown Extravaganza Printworks, London 13/09/18

Brewers lectures Watershed, Bristol

Brewers Journal

Brewers congress

London ~ 28 november 2018

tickets on sale

The Brewers Journal July 2018, iss 6 vol 4  

The monthly magazine for the professional brewing industry

The Brewers Journal July 2018, iss 6 vol 4  

The monthly magazine for the professional brewing industry