Apologies for my tardiness in blogging of late – things have been rather busy, and I haven’t taken the time to compose my thoughts into a blog post. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, this blog post is not going to be much more than a status update, a newsletter if you will, but at least it will make me feel better that I have posted something current!
So what has been going on? Well, subsequent to the previous post, Project Venus UK & Eire has been in full swing. We packed ourselves off to Grantham for the weekend, did a bit of catching up with the Brewsters crew on Friday, and then the ladies got stuck into brewing on the Saturday, while next door, @metalman_tim and @BrewstersRich labelled up approx. 1500 bottles of Brewsters Porter to a soundtrack of AC/DC, Kerbdog and Metallica. (We were spared this in the brewery at least!) We had Michelle from Offbeat Brewery, Kathy from Oldershaw Brewery, Sara from Triple FFF, and then Sara and I from Brewsters and Metalman respectively. It was great to meet like-minded souls from the industry, I was particularly delighted to hear that Sara from Triple FFF had jacked in her job as a sound engineer with the BBC to turn her home-brew passion into a career – I’m not the only one crazy enough to do this then! Safety in numbers and all that. Anyway, back to the beer – the brew went swimmingly, and was christened Venus Jade in a nod toward the deliciously peppery Pacific Jade hops that featured heavily in it, including some dry-hopping. The launch of this malty minx will be at The Rake Bar in London next Monday April 4th. My flights are booked, and I am counting down the days!
On the Metalman front, things are ticking along – beer continues to be brewed down at White Gypsy, and we are trying to get ourselves into a production/delivery routine. We’re stocked in 4 pubs at the moment, and we’re hoping to expand in the next few weeks into another location or two, as we build up our supply of beer! We also supplied beer to the Porterhouse for their Irish Beer and Whiskey Festival 2011, so we can officially say that Metalman Pale Ale is available internationally (in the Porterhouse in Covent Garden) for a limited period of time! As part of this festival, there is an overall competition to judge the best beer entered, and much to our delight, Metalman Pale Ale came 3rd, behind the Franciscan Well with their delightful Purgatory in second, and Messrs Maguires in a well-deserved first place with their excellent brown ale. Congratulations to all, but especially to us newbies!
There has been some media interest in Irish microbrewing in general of the last few weeks, and we have found ourselves in the midst of it – we featured locally in the Waterford News & Star, and a write-up of our launch night in The Vic was published in The Munster Express. There was also an excellent piece in The Irish Times on the renaissance of the microbrewing scene in Ireland, which we were thrilled to be included in, and have already been contacted as a result of, so all good.
And in other news, our brand is gaining increasing recognition – I’ve been approached by random people 3 times in the last couple of weeks because they saw the logo on my t-shirt and wanted to ask me about the beer. It’s all going to my head a little, and I feel like a Z-list celebrity, but I am sure it will soon pass! Nonetheless, it’s nice to know that the work we put into the logo design is appreciated.
So that’s what we have been doing – what about things that are coming up in the next few weeks? Well, after the Venus Jade launch next week, the festival season will be getting underway, with Franciscan Well’s Easterfest in Cork and Brewers on the Bay in Galway, so we’ve got some work ahead of us to ensure a smooth supply of beer. We’re also considering a seasonal brew with some New Zealand hops, so if we can pull it all together in time, this beer may even make it’s debut at one of these events. (And we will also have replenished our t-shirt supply in time for these auspicious festivals!) We’re also expecting to announce new stockists soon, so watch this space for updates on that. And last but not least, we hope to be able to officially announce our intended brewery location – so stay tuned, and keep supporting Irish microbrewed beer!