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My goodness!

CBR18. I don’t know what we were expecting, but it certainly wasn’t that epicness.

The electric atmosphere! The crazy raving dance party room at a beer festival! The incredible amount of awesome beers from small breweries we hadn’t tried before.

And us.. people were going crazy for US?! How on earth did that happen!?

When we signed up for CBR18, we knew we wanted it to be around our launch, but we realistically had no idea at what point it was going to happen in our business plan, and whether we’d be ready to actually exhibit there.

So with months to plan, we decided upon 4 recipes to take with us – a raspberry & beetroot gose, a juicy IPL dry hopped with citra, an imperial stout with cacao nibs & vanilla & a milk stout. With our tiny 100L kit, it took a good few months of planning & brewing to get here!

Our kit has been fairly restrictive in terms of getting our name out there – as everything we brewed from the start of December was dedicated to CBR, so this really was our launch event. Our local landlord at the Fox & Hounds has been waiting for kegs for a while!!

Because we were so low on capacity, Andy at Elusive brewing kindly agreed to brew a collaboration with us for CBR, an intensely crushable session IPA, which had also been on tap at West Berk’s Tryanuary tap take over & Beavertown’s Birthday Bash.

We hoped to get some feedback on our branding and let people know we had started. A lot of people criticise Craft Beer Rising for allowing bigger “faux craft” breweries to be there and charging too much that makes it hard for small breweries to make money from the event.

We were never there to turn a profit. We just wanted to get on the lists of some independent bottle shops, pubs & distributors who may be interested in what we are doing. It’s hard to get noticed when there are over 2000 breweries in the UK now and over 170 at this event alone. We never expected it to go as well as it did, and think that’s all down to people shouting as loud as possible about us, in particular other breweries (what an industry we work in!!!)

So many people were incredibly supportive of what we are doing. Day one, we started and most of the people who came over to our stand said “Who are you? I’ve never heard of you before”. By day 3 word seemed to have spread about us. “You have to go see this mental married couple who launched here on Thursday! You have to try their beetroot & raspberry gose! Go and try Double-Barrelled!”

I mean, we were (are) completely mind blown. There were some incredible breweries there, a lot of whom have been brewing commercially for a lot longer than us, and we never expected that reception.

We just wanted to take time to really thank the people who have shouted out about us and brought some of the buzz to our stand. It was a true word of mouth launch.

Beer Bloggers – Chris Martin from Alcohol by volume, Nicholas, the Great Beer Dad & Matt Chinnery the Half Pint Gentleman.

We were super lucky to get some incredible feedback, development points & love from acclaimed beer writers & judges – Melissa Cole, Roger Protz & Emma Inch who even interviewed Luci for Fermentation Radio on her day off.  Getting named as “one to watch” by the editor of the Good Beer Guide the first time our beers have ever been sold is bloody insane.

A big thank you also, to our potential future customers – Kevin at the Fox & Hounds, Joel at the Hop Locker and Jen at Hop Burns & Black, who all endorsed us to anyone who’d listen!

I’m sure there were other people out there who were doing the shouting who we didn’t even realise were doing so as well.

Your support of us really means to the world.

If we’ve missed anyone off this list, it’s not because we don’t appreciate it, it’s because we are not really used to managing such a busy social media yet!!!!

We made some new brewery friends, which is always good to have, from the Seven Bro7thers up in Manchester, Drygate in Glasgow to 40FT & Laine Brew Co in London to Unity down in Southampton are among the few who kept on coming over to have a chat and find out what we were all about.

Despite being the two of us on the stand most of the weekend, we did get a chance to try some awesome beers when people were kind enough to bring them over & wanted to recognise those here.

Our best beers of CBR

We were really lucky to be close to a few awesome breweries who we may have sneaked a extra few beers in from over the weekend (you may notice how all of these were basically next to our stand haha!);

Boxcar – PAL-012 Enigma Double Dry Hopped Pale

Brick – Tamarind & Lime Leaf Sour

Hammerton – Crunch – Peanut Butter stout

West x Three, after sampling their range of gose’s with locally sourced Anglesea sea salt we are now big fans. Their raspberry kettle sour was one of our favourite beers of the festival. Swansea I hope you know how lucky you are!

There were so many more breweries we wanted to try and were hearing good things about many breweries there, big, small and offshoots of more traditional breweries. We are lucky to have such a thriving beer scene in the UK. It’s beer at the end of the day, and you can’t go too wrong with good beer & nice friendly beer people.

What a blast.

Next steps are to try and our lease sorted for our new premises so that we can actually start getting our beer into even more peoples hands. Exciting times!

Thanks again for your support.

Mike & Luci

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