Last updated 20th May
Absolutely FABulous dahling!
Our very own metalman_gra escaped from the brewery last Friday to attend the FAB Waterford Business Awards as a finalist in the “Best in Food and Agri” category. She thought it was just a great excuse to change out of her Metalman uniform, have an afternoon off and scoff a free lunch, so was a bit stunned when she was announced as the winner – hurray!
Easterfest – The Line-up
Easter time again. Sweet. So we’ve finalised our line-up for the ever-wonderful Franciscan WellEasterfest beer extravaganza, and this is what we will have on the bar :
- Pale Ale – As they used to say on the ad, don’t leave home without it. Keg only.
- Windjammer – it’s back! Slight recipe tweak because we couldn’t get our hands on any Southern Cross. Keg and cask
- Alternator – Belgian style spicy wheat beer, brewed with black pepper, nutmeg and coriander. Keg only.
- Chameleon Ginger - light, refreshing beer made with root ginger. Keg only.
- Chameleon Brau - it’s lager, innit? Thirst-quencher, hopped with Saaz and Tettnang. Keg and cask.
- Chameleon Garnet - amber beer with hops from three continents. Delightfully full bodied with a smooth finish. Keg and cask.
- Chameleon Equinox - the very latest in the Chameleon range (we just can’t control Grainne and her experimenting, someone get her out of the brewhouse) – a wheat lager made with orange, lemon and coriander. Keg only.
Warning – some of these beers are in limited quantity, and when they’re gone, they’re gone! Hurray for Easterfest – we love Irish beer!
And again! Gosh this is fun.
We can’t resist it. Another Chameleon incarnation, this time we’ve dabbled with the ubiquitous lager style, after much pressure from many directions. (Hey if it worked with the lager then it might work with bottles, so keep pressuring us ) Chameleon Brau is 4.3%, hopped with Saaz and Tettnang to give a light floral character, and will be coming to a rotating tap near you, as long as we don’t run out!
Chameleon changing its colour!
So our latest Chameleon beer is hitting the bars at the moment – we decided to go red this time, and play with the Sorachi Ace we picked up a couple of months ago – notes of toasted malt, caramel and biscuit, hopped with varieties from three different continents. A combination of Bramling Cross, Pacific Gem and Sorachi Ace, added in the both the kettle and the cask, deliver complimentary flavours to give a rounded, quaffable beer with plenty of body and a lovely dry bittersweet finish. (Well we like it anyway!) Get it while it lasts!
Ho ho ho!
That time of year again. Already. Honestly, I don’t know where the year went. Or at least, I didn’t until I started looking back at some pics of the brewery installation that was ongoing at the end of last year. All told, it’s been quite the 12 months for us! We completed the brewery fit out in Waterford, started brewing our own beer, and tripled the workforce. (Yes, there are three of us now, and we’re stoked!) Still, it’s not enough for some folk out there, who are still insisting that we should put our beer in bottles. Honestly, who has the time? I suppose if we *did* bottle our beer, we could drink it from our snazzy new travel mugs, the latest addition to our swag inventory, and the *perfect* stocking filler that you’ve been looking for, even if we do say so ourselves. (It seems they were impossible for Grainne to resist. This is what comes of a company credit card. Beware!) But in the absence of bottles of Metalman Beer for now, we’re going to have to make do filling them with tea. In this weather, that’s quite a welcome option, but we know it’s not enough for some of you, so we promise that this is going to make it onto the 2013 agenda in some shape or form. We’re looking seriously at it, and are investigating various options in the hope of finding one that will work for us. As soon as we know more, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, get out there and buy your craft beer Christmas hampers with other people’s beer in, and we’ll be doing our best to give you the option to include ours next year Ho ho ho from Metalman Brewing!
Who wants to brew beer?
The last several weeks have been pretty hectic at the brewery – festival after festival meant that squeezing in normal operations, admin and sleep became something of a challenge at Metalman HQ. It was all tremendous fun though, and more than 1 day off in any given calendar month is totally over-rated. It also meant a baptism of fire for Nathan, who was abandoned in the brewhouse halfway through a double brewday, and verily rose to the occasion by finishing off a couple of brews in his usual independent and capable manner. That said, I’m not sure he really understood the inevitable implications this would have i.e. 6am starts in his very near future, muhahaha! Nonetheless, he seems to be happy with everything, and we’re thrilled to be putting him on the payroll from October 1st – hurray! Nathan joined us through the JobBridge scheme in April this year, and while it has gotten some pretty poor press this last week, it has worked out really well for us – so much so that we’re going again! We’re looking for someone to join us in the brewery to get involved in the beer production side of things. No experience necessary, but enthusiasm essential. More details on our blog page, take a look and if you’re interested, send your CV to email@example.com a covering email telling us why you want to join the team. Exciting times!
Please sir, can I have another ton of malt?
So our last update was a couple of months ago, and since that time we have been furiously brewing away here in Tycor, kegging like crazy people, learning lots of weird and wonderful things (usually) about our brewery, and spending money that we don’t have on process refinements and the like. The results of all of these efforts have been varied – for the most part we’re pretty happy with how things are going, but there are always things that we’d like to do better. Paperwork is pretty high on that list at the moment – I genuinely never thought I would be longing for the opportunity to sit down and spend spend *all* day doing paperwork – the thought of it is even now making me a little giddy. Actually, if I am being honest, I should be doing paperwork right now, but such is the nature of human beings and their predilection towards procrastination. (Or at least *my* predilection towards procrastination. Maybe I’m not as excited about this paperwork lark as I thought.) Anyhoo, things are flying along faster than we could have hoped for it, which is brilliant, but not without its challenges. We had anticipated a somewhat more calm bedding-in period, with a slightly calmer brewing schedule, to allow us to acclimatise to running our own production brewery. Alas it wasn’t to be : demand is such that we’re brewing almost twice as much as we expected to, which of course is taking twice as much time as we expected it to, and is eating into the old paperwork (and sleeping) time. Granted, it’s not without its perks – this means that our sales are heading for twice as much as we expected them to as well, which is all good! And it also means that we’re going to need another pair of hands around the place sooner than we expected, which is great news for those of us who get more done when other people are around than they do on their own. (That’s me I’m talking about – by contrast, Nathan is a paragon of industry when I am not at the brewery, I don’t know how he gets so much done. I wonder sometimes if he’s got a hidden army of droids somewhere. If he does, I really wish he’d bring them to work more often.) The other perk of having our own brewery is that we are free to experiment a bit more with what we’re brewing – our production schedule is our own, so we can slide sneaky batches of experimental beers in whenever we have the time and the raw materials. At the moment, we’ve got a batch of Chameleon with Ginger in a conditioner, waiting to get carbonated and kegged up tomorrow, and on Friday we’re going to be brewing something that doesn’t have a recipe yet. *rubs hands in glee* Yup, I reckon that’s what it’s all about!
And they’re off!
So we finally got the last piece of paperwork in place that allows us to move our production over to our Waterford brewery – huzzah! The brewing schedule is planned, the malt is ready, and we’re frantically bolting the last of the packaging equipment together to get going – there’s nothing like a deadline to focus the mind In tandem with this, we’ve had a new addition to the team who has put in sterling work in getting our keg washer to an operational status, and seems to never tire of getting stuck into ambiguous jobs. (Makes the rest of us look bad, frankly.) Things are definitely busy at Metalman Brewing these days! But before they get too busy, we’re going to sneak off for a quick holiday in the middle of May to recharge the batteries (and eat lots of pizza), with a view to coming back fighting fit and ready to make lots and lots of beer. We’re calling it “Italian Craft Beer Research Field Trip 2012″. Ahem. So watch this space, hoping to have a bit more time to keep the site updated with interesting tidbits about what we’re doing, and get some more pics up here too. The graphic designer has grand plans for a new (read:proper) website too, so that is also on the way. But first things first – Brewers on the Bayin Galway this weekend for festival fun – see you there!
It’s Festival time once more, starting off with Easterfest at the Franciscan Well in Cork over the Easter weekend. We’re getting everything organised for our jaunt down to the people’s republic, and discovering all the bits and pieces which are missing from our travelling kit because we hijacked them for something else at some point that seemed more important. Whoops! Windjammer will be making a reappearance on cask for the weekend that’s in it, and we might (fingers crossed) have another surprise up our sleeves – watch this space!
Poor neglected website
We’ve been exceedingly remiss of late. Pushing towards getting the brewery operational has been all-consuming these last two months, and we’ve hardly had time to breathe. But we’re just about there, and waiting for the final pieces of paperwork to come through so we can mash in. We’ve had some fairly painful moments (which I will blog about soon, when the pain has faded and I can look back and laugh!) and no doubt there will be more to come as we iron out the last of the idiosyncrasies, but the end is in sight. Or maybe I should say, the start is in sight! In other news, we have recently submitted a job posting to the JobBridge Scheme for an operations assistant at the brewery. We’re pretty excited at the idea of bringing someone new onto the team, so if you think you might be interested in talking to us, take a look at our job posting here, and send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.