It’s been a great period for Revival. For the third year running it’s won one of the top medals at the CAMRA Devizes Beer Festival. This year it was Silver, so we’ve now won all three top medals. We’re very pleased that the drinkers continue to enjoy it that much. Also, it was quite exciting for us to make it to the finals of the Champion Beer of Britain competition. Disappointingly we didn’t win, but to be amongst the very top of the thousands of British beers is quite an honour (and quite an achievement for a beer launched two years ago). Keep enjoying it and we’ll keep brewing it.
Another interesting venture for us has been exporting – and we don’t mean north of the M4! For those not following global beer trends, one of the major innovators of beer in recent years has been Denmark. Apparently word got back there that we are doing some pretty cool things over here ourselves, so with the help of Morten and team at Danish Beerhouse we shipped over Somerland Gold, Old Freddy Walker and JJJ. To meet local dispense requirements the beers had to be in keg rather than cask. This led to its own set of technical challenges and personal preferences. Having lived and travelled all over the world, we knew that excellent beer can be delivered in keg format. The trick is to pack it full of flavour and leave all the goodness in. Flavour is not something we are ever short of, so that was not a problem. And the solution to the goodness was to let the beer condition in keg just as it does in cask. The result is keg conditioned beer, unfined, and gloriously opaque – just like a fine yeast beer you would get in Germany, Belgium, the US or Czech. To prove to ourselves that we weren’t mad we did a side by side sampling of Somerland Gold at the Queen’s Arms – cask versus keg. It was a hot, sunny afternoon, which perhaps helped, but the keg conditioned version went down a storm (so did the cask, if you’re wondering). There have been requests for more kegs in the UK, so perhaps in the future…
The spirit of radio has infected us recently (thanks Neil, Geddy and Alex!), but it’s not just on the listening side. BBC Somerset listeners were keen to understand why someone would move from California to Somerset – and if I could learn to speak with a West Country accent. Unfortunately my poor pronunciation of ‘tractor’ means I need to work a bit harder. But they were pleased enough with the story to bring me back to voice my opinion on the state of pub closures. There are too many valid reasons why pubs are closing, but if we all remain positive and active in the state of global, local, corporate and governmental adversity we can stem the tide. What can be done? Landlords – develop a positive attitude, provide quality products and services that make your patrons want to spend their limited funds in your establishment, and take a long term view on turnover / profitability. Easier said than done, I know, especially for tenanted houses with unfair deals, but it can be done. Punters – work with your landlords to help them tailor their offerings to your needs, accept that you need to pay a fair price for quality (you get what you pay for), and use your local.
Our new pump clips just arrived and look completely amazing and unique. Imitators are sure to follow. Look out for them in West Country pubs as they replace our old clips. Unfortunately the exorbitant cost precludes us from delivering them through wholesalers, but customers and collectors can order them directly from us. We also have our new shirts in so you can look cool whilst supping that glass of JJJ. Bottle labels can also be purchased.
We don’t make many more than that, and they’re pretty much all gone at the moment. We’ve been pretty amazed at the response and caught off guard by the level of demand. Today one very happy drinker said that they were the best bottles of beer he’s ever had – the only ones that actually tasted as good as the cask version. Thanks Mike! The secret is down to our bottling technique, which is entirely done by hand (much to our dismay at times).
What started out as a simple requirement – get some bottle labels, quickly took on a life of its own. We were exceedingly fortunate to have some amazing help from our design and branding friends at Big Fish. They worked tirelessly to ensure we had some amazing items in time for the Bath & West show. Thanks so much to all the team there for pulling out all the stops.
We were absolutely thrilled with our success at the Maltings. In case you haven’t heard, Somerland Gold won Bronze and JJJ IPA won Gold for the second year running. Winning the awards was amazing, but the real buzz was the very enthusiastic response from the crowd when the JJJ award was announced. Clearly there was a lot of love in the room and we thank everyone dearly for it.
Congratulations to Kav and all the team at the Stapleton Arms for winning Heart of Wessex CAMRA Pub of the Year. We were on hand to watch Cav accept the award and were pleased to be greeted by the site of two milds on tap – very rare these days, especially in the south. If you’ve never been to any of the events at the Stapleton you are missing out.
There have been a few concerned calls regarding someone in a Moor Beer shirt seen about who has more hair on his chin than on his head. One person even noted that he had a California brewers’ beard. These increasingly frequent sightings of Uncle Fester have brought joy to many drinkers’ hearts, and don’t worry – he doesn’t bite very hard! If you offer to buy him a drink he might even tell you a story or two.
Congratulations are due to Rupert, Victoria, James, and the rest of the team at the Queens Arms in Corton Denham who were recently named AA Pub of the Year. It has always been a personal favourite and big supporter of the brewery, so we were very pleased to see them get the recognition they deserve. If you’ve not been there before you need to stop reading this and get down there. In addition to top quality drink and food, rooms are available – so there’s no excuse!