Coming of AGe #6

So far on ‘Coming of AGe’:  I made a decision to brew commercially, I was in a reflective mood, I got my excuses in early.  I learnt that buying a brewery and installing it into a suitable premises can cost a bit and that buying ingredients can be a case of I want never gets, but trying never hurts.

We’ve had a busy few weeks and the notable news is that we’ll be brewing a beer with Weird Beard Brew Co in June (more on that soon), and that we’ve decided on temporarily housing ourselves with North Yorkshire outfit Hambleton Ales.  Having traded many emails and met on several occasions, including a good look at the kit, we are now looking forward to getting involved and finally brewing our first beer.  When you consider that our first beer will be realised early in July, the speed at which Northern Monk Brew Co. has progressed has been a surprise to me and to my usual safe and steady approach to brewing – Learning point:  you can’t control all of the risks, all of the time.  It may seem obvious to say so, but decisions need to be taken and commitment is needed to steer a new business in a coherent direction. 

When I consider the first meetings we had, sat in a local pub, cooing over branding and deliberating the essentials; such as when we’d take our first road-trip down the West Coast of North America, the last two months have certainly focused our minds.  As I’ve already written in my previous posts, the challenges are numerous, (and in no particular order), choosing a host, licensing, duty registration, recipe formulation, sourcing ingredients, methods of dispense, deciding on a core range, storage, worrying about who we’ll sell to, how we’ll distribute it, budget constraints, investment temptations, deciding on what to Tweet…ok the last one isn’t so much of a challenge, but hopefully you get a feel for what I’m saying.
 
We feel as though our chosen approach to brewing, as cuckoo brewers, will (and should) be debated.  Some will whisper in dark corners “…dirty contract brewers…”, some will draw from better-known Scandinavian reference points “…they’re ‘gypsy’ brewers ya know!…”, but we simply see ourselves as nomadic, for now. We’ve thought about all of this, perhaps a bit too much, and we’re shifting our energy to concentrating on the things we can control.  A brewing kit is only half of the story, the beer will be 100% NMBCo, no compromises.  Our aim is to be the heart and soul of the beer we brew – it’s our recipe and I’ll be brewing it.   In summary, we’re two lads from Yorkshire, giddy with enthusiasm and resolute in achieving beer that we’re proud of.
 
Until brewday #1 is done, the beer safely fermented, transferred to its temporary housing before reaching some willing taste buds, we won’t know if we’ve overcome all of these challenges.  We accept that we won’t necessarily ‘nail it’ at the first attempt, but like many other proud brewers before us, we’ll get there.

  *Follow @NMBCo (Northern Monk Brewing Company).

**All Grain (AG)

I’m no longer with NMBCo.  Read about it here http://www.northernmonkbrew.co/blog/2013/09/northern-monk-brew-co-next-chapter

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9 thoughts on “Coming of AGe #6

  1. I think that’s a good practical approach to set up in another brewery while you get started. I think a lot of home brewers dream of starting their own brewery… so I wish you the best of luck and will be watching your progress. Keep doing the hoppy IPAs, my personal favourites at the moment!

    • Cheers. There’s a lot to learn yet and using an established kit will help with some of that. That said, I look forward to putting our own kit together and the benefits that will bring. Here’s hoping this first year goes the way we want!

  2. Might I ask how many days experience of Hambleton’s brew-kit you’ve garnered so far? Thats not meant to sound snooty, its about knowing the kit… Hambletons press the ‘Go Dave’ button as the Dave-brewing-Balloon Fizzzzzwuzzzzzes off into the distance 🙂

    ‘If’ I owned some spanking new brew kit I’d do all sort of pre-brew measurement, calibration & testing before hitting the ‘Go Brew’ button, just to make myself happy that the fundamentals did what i expected and to try and offset any potential screw ups.

    Running someone else brew kit/process is obviously different as all the fundamentals have already been figured out and you just dial in your recipe, and with some (maybe about a weeks worth) tuition you proceed to hit that ‘Go Dave’ button yourself….

    Go Dave, Go NMBCo! 🙂

    • We’re happy with our preparation with Hambletons and this is ongoing. Calibration is not an issue to us as the kit is established and we’re working closely with their brewing team. Not sure what you mean by “the Dave-brewing-balloon” but if you’re worried about me falling at the first hurdle, then thanks for your concern, it’s appreciated. But show me a homebrewer going pro and a new business owner that isn’t mindful of the pitfalls.

      Running someone else’s brewkit is not an ideal situation to be in, but it gets us where we want to be, which is in business. We’re working hard to plan beyond Hambletons as this arrangement is only for the short-term… and Hambletons would tell you the same. They’re helping us out where others might not have.

      We should discuss this more over a pint 🙂

      • *Over a pint 🙂 I’m keen for everything to go smoothly for you, I realise how much there is to learning the procedure… It’s a lot!
        It would have been easier learning by myself on my own kit than being shown the procedure here at saltaire. Brain overload indeed, all crammed into 5 days with an intense brewery manager pointing out and overemphasizing my errors!

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