2011 - A Busy Year

Posted: 05 January 2012

At the risk of being likened to the BBC I am going to take the best bits of 2011 and stick them together and call it a new blog.

The last year has been very busy and so it does no harm to sit and reflect before moving on.

January started as a traditional catch up month, filling the brewery back up and reviewing what if anything we could have done better, particularly with all the issues we had recently had with the snow

February was a celebration of excellence with Asahi winning a Gold medal in the Brewing International Industry Awards, whilst Sun Lik and Whitstable Bay picked up silver medals

March we brought American brewers over to brew with us and David Holmes stared on Farming Today discussing PGI status

April was of course the Royal Wedding, a time for celebration and a great opportunity to develop several new brews both in cask and bottle

In May we had a celebration of our own as the brewers hosted a Pride in our Beer event in our newly opened on site venue (The Old Brewery Store) where we could share our passion for the beers with the rest of the company. There was also the Beer Bloggers Conference, a new experience for us!!

June was the month where we were worried about the drought (as I write this it is pouring outside and the wind is trying very hard to move the whole brewery into the Creek) and what effect it would have on barley and hops

July gave us the answer to May’s fears as we went from 30 plus degrees to torrential rain and several resultant (thankfully short term) operational problems

August was a busy month, beer writers’ dinners, the Great British Beer Festival, holidays and saying goodbye to our head brewer David Holmes as he left us to take up a senior role in South African Breweries

September followed on in a similar vein, The Faversham Hop Festival at the start of the month, brewing with another group of Americans for the Wetherspoons beer festival, brewing a Ginger Porter with Simon and Mel (better known as RealAleGuide and MrsRealAleGuide in the world of beer writing) and a celebration of hop research at the former Wye College

October was the month for our hop blessing service and several younger brewers participated in the Ultimate Brewing Challenge. All of this was overshadowed by the launch of Spooks Ale as our new beer in time for celebrations at the end of the month

November was a month of promoting our beers far and wide; I was at the British Beer and Cheese event in London whilst others of the team travelled to Belgium to the Karakterbier Festival. There was also the launch of the Grain to Glass initiative at the Houses of Parliament

December saw the year draw to a close with the brewery being featured in Ade in Britain and with us launching Generation Ale – a beer of distinction that has been maturing for over a year.

As I said at the start 2011 was certainly a busy year and I suspect 2012 will be even busier.

May I wish you all a happy new year.


Stewart Tricker - Senior Brewer