Beery New Year
Well, it's 2015 now... in the bin with the old calendar, on the wall with one of the naff ones given to you by some brewery?
I hope the "festive period" has treated you all as you would prefer.
I just want to take the opportunity to thank those of you who've supported Jolly Good Beer over the last nine months. Starting a new business is a challenge, as you'll all likely know. And the first year is daunting with ups and downs and a lot of money spent with no return. One can but look to the future and hope the investment pays off and at least pays for itself in the medium term. (I'm in this to make a living, not a fortune!)
I am nothing without customers who're as excited about good beer as I am.
So, what of 2015? I'll keep on plugging away - but I've a mind to refine slightly. I spread too wide with breweries in 2014 and didn't focus on those I really want to push and promote. That said, I've not sold any beer I'm not proud to sell and it all came from good independent brewery friends who I love to support. But I'm a tiny operation and the chaos of trying to wrangle beers from 20+ different breweries over 2014 has been... interesting. There's only one of me and only so many hours in the day.
Doing festival lists is just too hard for example, hours and hours of time for very little return. I'm afraid I'll be avoiding festival supply in 2015. But if you'd like to feature keg beers at your festival I've got the equipment and know-how to sort this out for you. Just let me know...
I've not decided exactly what the plan for 2015 is (job for the "weekend"), but I'd like to focus on two areas: keg and unfined cask. Fined cask ales "do not travel well", with limitations on how many times you can move them before the finings stop functioning. I've not had many ullages due to clarity issues, but I've had enough for them to be an irritation. Plus I cannot afford more storage space than I have right now so I need to work out how to use what I have more efficiently - and this means sticking with containers I can move about a bit more. (I'm not completely giving up on fined cask ale - but will be limiting myself to a handful of breweries and beers.)
The most detail I can give right now is that brewery-wise the list will be leaner and more focussed.
Keg-wise I'll be very interested in helping folk out with free-of-tie lines and getting some beers on as regulars if possible. Think of it as a collective - if we can collectively get regular supply of some key beers we can work on the pricing a bit and be more efficient. This could be valuable in the area of keg where pricing is distinctly higher. Food for thought?
In a moment my usual Thursday stock updates will land in inboxes - I'll be delivering from Monday Jan 5th. The stock updates will include my delivery schedule.
All the best, here's to a beery and successful 2015!
Beer Wrangler @ Jolly Good Beer