And well you might ask! This process has been much longer than we had either hoped, or even dreaded, but we are making progress and are hopeful that Waterford Brewday Number One is not far off.
We’ve been hard at work over the last couple of months pulling all the threads together that are necessary to start brewing at the Waterford brewery. As I type, the electrician is plugging away downstairs (pardon the pun) now that we have located that elusive third phase into the building, and our sexy new distribution board will be live any day now. The plumber will be back later this week to commission the gas burner for the kettle, and we’re hoping to knock out most of the refrigeration work next week.
Parallel to this we’re making savagely long lists of things we think we’ll need to buy, trying to figure out where we’re going to get it all from, and wondering how we’re going to be able to afford it all. Hurrah! We are, of course, continuing to brew at White Gypsy in the meantime, and deliver beer to our customers, although we are pretty much at capacity now and won’t be able to take on any new customers until we have moved production to Waterford – a good incentive to move things along as quickly as possible.
I am ever hopeful that the next blogpost will be about our inaugural brewday!
On Sat Aug 27, @metalman_tim and I took a trip up to Ireland’s oldest independent brewery at Hilden for their annual beer festival. For one reason or another (usually my MSc exams) we had never managed to make it up for this festival before, so it was with great excitement that we boarded the train at Connolly on a wet Saturday morning to trundle northwards for a pi**-up errr I mean a team-building and research exercise. And to see our beer in its export capacity of course!
We were not to be disappointed, the rain held off (mostly) for the day, the Hilden location is lovely for a beer festival, with delightful gardens, a very cool Nordic tent set-up, main stage and tasty grub – the pork belly was absolutely lush.
There was a tantalising selection of beers and ciders before us, some which we had tried before and others that were new to us, which meant that careful planning was in order to ensure that we tasted everything we wanted to taste, but also made the train back to Dublin. The “Divide-And-Conquer-In-Halves” is yer only man for this sort of task, and we got through them all. (I won’t say how many, ahem.)
In my humble opinion, one thing that struck me was that there appeared to be considerably more variety in the styles of Irish beers available, compared to those from the UK. While the UK beers comprised exclusively of blonde or pale ales with varying degrees of hopping, the Irish beers also included dark lager, Belgian ale, smoked ale and porters. Interesting. Another thing that struck me was that this considerable range of Irish beers constituted only a fraction of what is currently on offer from Irish microbreweries. Not just interesting, but amazing and exciting too. The revolution is coming!
Thanks to Owen, Nathan et al for their hospitality on the day.
To see a few pics of the day, click here.