We can’t quite believe it’s a whole year since we started bottling our beers. 2020 was undoubtedly a year like no other, and while we missed the hustle and bustle of our upstairs bar, it allowed us to launch our online shop and ship our beers out across the UK. We’ve bottled over 10,000 beers to date, and we’d like to thank all our customers for their support.
Before the shop launched in August 2020, we had to change a few things around in the brewery, make room to start bottling, and go through learning to clean and fill the bottles. A year later, and we’ve invested in more equipment and opened our online shop for National Delivery.
Here at the Briarbank, we want to give our customers insight into what happens in our brewery and to coincide with our latest blog series; we caught up with our Head Brewer Rob to find out what happens on bottling day at the Briarbank.
After popping the kettle on for a quick brew, Rob sets to work on prepping and cleaning the bottling machine, lines, and area ahead of getting to work on bottling the chosen beer. Rob built the bottle machine himself, so is now an expert at stripping it down and re-assembling it.
The cleaning and labelling
Once the prep has been completed, Rob racks the bottles, 12 at a time and rinses them with a mild sanitiser before labelling the bottles on his recently purchased hand crank labeller. In the early days, Rob labelled all the bottles (all 700 bottles per batch, that is) by hand, which we can confirm required a lot of patience, and some slightly wonky labels.
Once the labels are applied, Rob places the bottles on the bottle filler, purges them with CO2 and fills them with the beer under pressure.
Our SIBA bottle caps are then placed on top, and the beer is weighed to ensure the correct volume has been added.
Rob bottles around 120 bottles per hour and 700 – 750 bottles per batch of beer. So, the whole bottling process takes around six hours.
Once they have passed the weighing, they’re placed into a bottle crate and moved into cold storage.
The clean down
Rob then brews himself another well-earned cup of tea before carrying out his cleaning regime and preparing the brewery for the following day’s activities.
Then, before heading home, he updates the online shop with the new beer, ready for people to place their orders.
Rob does all the bottling, labelling and packaging of the beer, and if you live within the ten-mile free delivery radius, he will even deliver them directly to your door too.
Want to find out more about what beers we have available? Head across to our online shop.