Briarbank – A look back at the last 12 months

We won’t lie; the past 12 months have been somewhat different from what we’re used to. We’ve really missed the hustle of our upstairs bar, chatting to and serving our customers, and, of course, hosting our brewery tours, but there have been some momentous moments too. We’ve won five awards, four gold and one silver, we’ve run our annual homebrew competition, albeit a bit different to previous years, and we’ve launched our online shop, making our beers available to enjoy at home.

We’ve often talked about bottling our beers, and it seems 2020 was the year to do it. With the upstairs bar sadly closed, we started up our two-barrel system, sourced some bottles, and redeveloped our website to implement an online shop. Since we launched the shop in August, we’ve been brewing, bottling, labelling and shipping weekly. The support we’ve had from our customers has been phenomenal.

Our core range is available to purchase in bottles or mini-kegs, and with seasonal gift packs available too, you can grab a present for the beer lover in your life or even just yourself. The brewing, bottling and labelling are all done by our head brewer, Rob, and if you live within the ten-mile free delivery radius, he’ll even deliver them straight to your door.

We are currently working on expanding our webshop to allow for nationwide delivery. If you live outside of the free delivery radius and cannot collect, make sure you keep an eye on our social media pages for details on when nationwide delivery will be available.

Now, onto the awards, we mean, who doesn’t love to win an award? Before the first lockdown, we picked up three awards for the East Region in the SIBA Independent Keg Beer Awards 2020. Black Horse Stout took silver in the Keg British Dark Beers category (up to 4.4%), Hop to It won gold in the Keg IPA category (5.5 to 6.4%), and Mocha Porter scooped gold in the Keg Speciality Mid to Dark Beers category. In July, having now started to bottle our beers, we entered the 2020 SIBA Digital Beer Awards. Our first time entering our bottled beers and being awarded gold for both the beers we entered is an honour. Mocha Porter took the gold in the Speciality Medium to Dark Beers category, and Grapefruit IPA came top in the Premium PAs (4.4%-5.4%) categories.

The 2020 Homebrew Competition was also somewhat different, but the level and quality of entrants were amazing. In fact, it was incredibly hard to choose a winner. In the end, Stuart Betts took the winning title with his Strong Pale Ale, Water, Seeds, Flowers and Fungus…

We can’t wait to have Stuart in the brewery to start brewing his beer. Once we’re able to do so, we’ll be releasing details on our social platform so you can get your hands on a bottle or hopefully enjoy it in our upstairs bar.

Our 2020 round-up brings us straight into 2021. We hope to be able to welcome you all back to our bar as soon as it is safe to do so, but don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get your hands on our bottles or mini-kegs to enjoy a Briarbank beer at home. Keep an eye on our social media pages for full details of when we will reopen and when our nationwide delivery will be available.

And again, we wanted to say a big thank you to all our customers for their support over the past 12 months.