Nina Simone once sang – “it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, ooooooooh. And I’m feelin’ good”. Pretty much how I feel every morning, or at least how I’ve felt for 50 years 2 months of the 50 years 4 months of my life. A feeling I especially had when I decided to start this venture and brew full time.
Yep, it’s been a funny 2 months. As you know, I started up in earnest in February of this year, just as lockdown occurred. This meant, like many, a need to massively adjust what I was doing, hence the switch to cans. Not something I, quite frankly, wanted to be doing from day one. But, if nothing else, I have always been super flexible, super adaptable and always comfortable to adjust what I am doing, both professionally and personally.
The 1st 4 beers canned have been received OK, from a personal point of view nowhere near the standard I am aiming for, but improving with every brew.
So, where are the new beers you are wondering?
I had 4 cans go down well, and have received huge support from both a core of wonderful local people, and from further afield and from trade. The plan was to increase output a little and be canning 3 beers a time every 2-3 weeks. However, having just installed my kit and started brewing in January, i expected some teething / bedding in issues. With everything else going on, I have had to battle through such issues to get beer out there. I’ve not been happy with what’s been out there (I never will be) and unfortunately some big challenges happened during 2 brew days, affecting the overall process and ultimately the resulting beer, so much so that I have tipped 2 brews away due to them being substandard. This, on top of 2 issues causing 2 mashes needing to being dumped half way through, has been a bit of a kick on the balls.
Now, I’m not one for being negative, or dwelling on things, Setbacks are something to ignore. You put them behind you, pick yourself up, and crack on. That’s what I do. However, unlike me, I’ve had something of a shit, wasted month. I just want to be getting good beer out to you lovely people and the issues I’ve had, plus the effect of lockdown and the usual bi-annual cycle of waiting for cancer scan results (delayed, which didn’t help), I think resulted in me being a bit under the weather by my own standards. So, I’ve had the day off with the fam, I’ve been sorting issues out at the brewery and, most importantly, I’ve just re-brewed “Life Was Peachy” DIPA (8.5%) and “The Number Of The Feast” Stout (6..66%). Feels like a month wasted, in fact it has been a month wasted, but back in the game.
In 2 or 3 weeks these will be canned with a triple fruited Gose. I’ve also planned the next 3 beers after these – a return of a table beer “You Can’t Quit Me Baby (3%), a Mild (Yes, a Mild in cans!!) and a NZ hopped IPA I’m particularly looking forward to, that will be around 6.,5%
So, what’s the plan moving forward?
Well, Tap Room plans are on hold at the moment. i occupy a small space. The safety of you all is hugely important. There is nothing I would love more than to have built and opened the Tap Room now as planned and be welcoming you all. Sadly that will have to wait. The plan is to shortly start getting the Tap And shop ready so I’ll at least be able to offer collection of small pack, and container fills, both of Leviathan Brewing beer and selected guest, so please bear with me.
Production wise, as I mentioned, next 6 brews are exclusively cans, but the plan after that is 2 :1 can and keg. 2:2 if I can get hold of another Unitank. I’m also in prelim chats with the unit next door with regards to taking over that, which will allow expansion. Seems weird talking expansion when I’ve just got going, but with the current 5BBL brewhouse more fermenters is the most cost effective way off increasing production to allow both cans and kegs moving forward, given subcon canners MOQs.
To finish, just want to give a MASSIVE shout out to everyone who has given Leviathan Brewing and me huge support over the last 6 months. You’re the reason why I will continue to build on what I’ve started here, so THANK YOU, it means SO MUCH.
Keep things peeled for updates, there’s a lot more beer coming!