Sorry, I have been out of the blog-iverse for the past few months. It has been very busy for me, however I am finally finding time to sit down and collate my thoughts.
This is about the fifth incarnation of this blog; honestly, I am hoping this is its last. I am using it rather selfishly to put a line under everything brewing/ brewery related, also to give a little peek in to my personal life. I am hoping it doesn’t bore you and that I don’t rattle on too long.
Over the past couple of months you will have noticed things being a little cryptic on my Twitter feed. This is because I was seeing out my notice period at the brewery I was previously working at. There were many drafts leading up to this blog; I had wanted to write about the different ways breweries operate and how it can have a good or bad impact on the staff that work for them, but after taking a step back and re-reading these drafts, I decided against it. They made me sound bitter about the past year and half and went off on more of a tangent that I had originally intended. To some extent I still do, but I’d rather that style than shaming people and breweries. It doesn’t make sense when I am still staying in the industry. I know from personal experience that ridicule of a brewery doesn’t tend to end well, for both the detractor and the brewery. Similarly, I won’t engage in bad-mouthing as although I may not agree with some of the methods chosen by the staff at certain breweries, they still have employees trying to earning a wage and get by. A dip in sales could ultimately leave people jobless.
What I will say is that I worked hard from day one trying to do what was asked of me: to build a brewery. When writing the recipes and creating the beer, I had to remember that that my thoughts were secondary to the theme of ‘making beer with a profit’. Ultimately, that should be any businesses game. Originally the brewery started with just the idea of producing bottled beer for weddings and commercial events, but with the cask side growing greater in demand, we concentrated more attention to it. As the months went on we expanded, doubling in size and tripling output. With the expansion came a shift from supplying selective freehold pubs to supplying Wetherspoons, Punch, Stonegate and Enterprise pubs. The concrete plan that was originally there had gone. A lot of things had happened behind the scenes by this point. I was getting more frustrated, maybe it was my own fault for not stepping up and pushing my point of view across more. My main reason for writing this is to hopefully rubbish all the negativity that is hanging around in my head. I know I can produce beer to a satisfactory level, but the beer I was producing was nowhere near that. It hurt reading comments and hearing people talk about the beer in a negative light when I knew I could do heaps better. I have a passion for creating beer, talking about beer and being around people who feel the same. I had to make the decision to get out: it wasn’t just effecting my mental well-being but my reputation locally as a brewer. However much I wanted to hang on and believe I could change the company, I couldn’t.
There have been many people that have helped me in the past few months, even year. A lot of them know who they are, some don’t, so I will be letting them know after this goes up. It has meant a lot to me to be able to unload pent up frustration to a select few and get a professional outlook on what has been going on in my short brewing career. I have learnt a MASSIVE amount from these experiences, all of which I hope won’t be repeated but will teach and aid me in the future.
To the present: 3 weeks ago I started at a new brewery. Already I knew this would be different. From the ethos of the brewery to the respect staff have to every single person that walks through the doors: I feel like I have found my place in brewing. I enjoy the beer that we make, everyday I feel I am going to work with friends that share a mutual understanding. Not having to worry about banging my head against a wall. It seems we are all travelling in the same direction. I feel I have joined at the right time as things seem to only be getting better and better. Now I just have to live up to the expectations I have of myself and help maintain the level of consistency and quality the brewery has already set. It looks like it will be a big year for them and I am ready to help them achieve our goals. I am just glad I can finally do what I love properly, and with a smile on my face.
Thank you all for the support, I hope you all enjoy the next part of my career in brewing as much as I do!