Hello all! It’s been a while so I thought I’d take a second to step back and give you all an update on how it’s going down at Cae Bach currently. I’m Chris H (also known as Vander) and I’m the head of sales here at Wild Horse. You usually don’t hear from me directly but I’m the person behind most of the social media posts and the newsletters. How do!
The first thing to say is that we’re busy. REALLY busy! Earlier in the summer we were ramping up production of our core beers, battening down the hatches and expecting an absolute onslaught. That has certainly come to fruition and in truth, it’s been a bit bonkers. It’s a fantastic position to be in when you know that you can comfortably sell every single millilitre of beer you can physically brew and it’s a massive boost for us as a business.
Summers in North Wales are always busy and it’s all hands to the pumps but this summer has definitely been different. Even before restrictions were lifted and it was outside drinking only at pubs, we were seeing a big growth in sales from a number of our outlets. There is no doubt that in the 17 months that have passed since the first lockdown, that locally our following has increased. This has been the result of a mixture of people focusing their spending more locally, us offering free home delivery across a large part of North Wales and our trade customers wanting to push us and other local products more and more. It’s fantastic because North Wales boasts some unbelievable producers who offer world class food & drink. If you’ve not tried out your local coffee shop, bakery, butcher, greengrocer, fishmonger, cheesemaker and so on I’d implore you to do so. Not only will you get some amazing produce but you’ll be supporting local jobs and your money stays in the local area. Viva Gogledd Cymru!
We have also seen a pretty significant increase in the number of tourists visiting North Wales and this has definitely added to the increase in demand for our beer. So much so we’ve had to take drastic action to ensure we don’t sell out (and sometimes we still do sell out!). We have been brewing our core beers at full capacity since May. We have 4 x 20bbl (3200 litre) fermenters dedicated to brewing Buckskin and Nokota. We also have 4 x 10bbl (1600 litre) fermenters that we usually dedicate to brewing our special releases like Fatlamp, Tramcar, Nokota Shuffle, Quarry of Colour and so on. Since the beginning of July, we’ve been using 2 of these smaller fermenters as conditioning tanks for Buckskin so we can brew more of it. We’ve also had to pinch a 10bbl fermenter to brew Nokota into a couple of times to stop us running out. At the beginning of last week 90% of our tank space was dedicated to core beer. This has had the knock-on effect of reducing how many special releases we can brew and it’s why we seem to only ever have 4 or 5 beers available at any one time. Because we’re brewing fewer specials, they are selling out so much faster than usual. Divebomb came and went in less than a fortnight, which is definitely a record! If you’ve been to the brewery on a Friday afternoon to pick up a case of Buckskin and Nokota and we’ve been out of stock – we’re sorry! Just know that we are doing everything we can to not go out of stock but inevitably it does happen.
The guys on the brewery floor who make all this magic happen have been absolute heroes during this period. For the past two months we’ve been a brewer short so everyone has had to dig deep to keep production ticking over at record levels. I know we’re not out of the busy season yet but these guys have been incredible so far and I’ve got to single out our Brewery Assistants Darren and Sam here. These guys have been at WH for less than 3 months and they’ve picked things up so fast. We’d be in big trouble without them! Beer is being produced and packaged as fast as humanly possible and there has been zero reduction in the quality and consistency of what we’ve been producing. I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve this summer. On a really exciting note we welcomed a brand new face last week at Wild Horse! George started on Monday to fill our vacant brewer position, joining from Alphabet Brewing Co in Manchester. We’ll introduce him properly in a couple of weeks or so when he’s settled in.
So, thank you for all your continued support, it really is appreciated. We'll be back with another update when things calm down a bit!