Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mummy, Daddy, where does bottled beer come from?

Here's one we made earlier.
Beer festivals are great fun, they give a brewery, or at least the workers therein, a chance to get out from behind the fermenters and meet people. Though people have questions. Some good: "Where can I get more of your tasty, tasty beer when not at this beer festival? Even if I shall be drinking it for the rest of the day, as I scarcely imagine that there'll be a tastier brew to be had all evening and dare not waste any of my precious beer tokens on what will be undoubtedly a less enjoyable beer" Some understandable: "So why did you open a brewery?" To which the answer is obviously; "so we'd own a brewery and the alternative is to work in a office with other people." Some bad: "Do you have a lager?" To which the inevitable reply is; "yes indeed, we have both ├ôr Golden Ale Lager or Dark Arts Porter Lager". And finally the ones that require long and tedious explanations like: "So can I get your beer in bottles?"

To the off-licence, my friends.
So in order to avoid long and tedious explanations to people at beer festivals as to why we only have kegged beer (and the occasional cask), we decided to put the beer in bottles. Or rather, we decided to pay some putting-beer-into-bottles specialists to do the job for us, as the only thing longer and tediouser than the explanations about the non-bottling of beer is the bottling of beer itself.

And so after a few mundane e-mails about transport logistics and some thoroughly more interesting ones about making the label look cool, we arranged all the arrangements and sent off the first shipment of beer. Expecting that the next time we would see it, in 18 to 21 days, it'd be sub-divided into small 500ml sections, surrounded by glass.

This indeed came to pass.

The evidence of which we observed when we took delivery of the multitude of bottles of beer. Obviously a quick quality check was essential, unfortunately it turns out we don't possess a bottle opener, which we only realised after a frantic search around the brewery. But where there's a beer bottle to be opened, there's a key or a radiator or a shoe that can be pressed into service to accomplish the task. We'd previously been remiss in capturing such landmark occasions in the medium of digital imagery; but not this time! Indeed we sent a wee teaser of a photo, of all hand and very little bottle, into the digital wilds on our Twitter account.

Not just your average picnic...
All that was left at that stage was to load up the van and drive the beer to all the off-licences that had been busily pestering us, in the nicest possible way, for deliveries since the word had got out that a bottled Trouble beer was afoot.

So next time you see the Trouble stand at a beer festival, we're happy to answer any questions, with the exception of "So, when are you bottling the Dark Arts...?"  Though the answers given might variously be factual, facetious, curmudgeonly, brief or downright unbelievable depending on our mood, the time of day or if we've chosen underwear that is too tight.