It's a bit difficult to write an end of year blog without sounding a bit like Rikki Fulton's Rev I M Jolly!
We started the year with great plans and ambition to build on our re-brand which has been a massive success. We loved what our designers Thirst Craft achieved and it was endorsed when we picked up the best individual design award as part of SIBA UK business awards, well done to Thirst Craft for all their hard work! The design which won was our 440ml fully wrapped can design and we were the first Scottish brewery to launch this packaging type in market this year. The new designs instantly had an impact in terms of sales so much so that it wasn't long before we were flat out in production. This underlined our need to increase production and put funding plans in place.
After careful consideration and research, we decided to reach out to the crowd and involve or costumers and loyal followers in our expansion plans. What followed well exceeded our expectations and we raised a whopping £550,000 well over our original crowd funding target of £350,000. We also learnt a lot during the funding process which is probably better left to tell you about it in another blog, or over a beer.
We had initiated discussions with our preferred equipment supplier earlier in the year and we are delighted to say that the deposit has been paid for our new brewing equipment which will be supplied by Stainless Steel Vessels Ltd (SSV). We have been working closely with SSVs team of experts on the spec and design of our new equipment over the last couple of months which has been very exciting. This will not only see us double production and achieve far higher levels of consistency but will also allow us to produce new and exciting beer styles. We already have several great collaborations and projects lined up for the new kit.
Our plans for a new brewery building are moving forward and we recently completed a learning journey with our Architect which saw us visit some very interesting projects in the North of England. We should have much more to share with you regarding our new home in the new year!
This year also saw us pick up a barrow load of awards! At beer X in March we picked up a business award along with 5 national SIBA beer awards. In June our Southern Summit was judged at the CAMRA Scottish real ale festival and picked up the title of the Champion Bitter of Scotland 2018. The final competition of the year was the SIBA Scottish championships and we thought we did well earlier in the year! We were delighted to come home with more golds and category awards than any other brewery, 13 in total! Something to keep the brewing team happy! It was also good to see some of our new beers pick up golds, including our new IPA Lost in Mosaic. This means we head back to Liverpool in March 2019 for the SIBA British Championships with five beers and to London in August 2019 for CAMRAs Champion Beer of Britain competition with Southern Summit.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone of our customers, followers and investors for their support and encouragement, we would not have made it this far without you! We started the year as a business with 2 owners and have finished it with over 500! If you think this year has been ambitious just wait to you see what we have in store for 2019!
Wishing you all a happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year!
Fiona and the team