Behind the Scenes: Winter 2021
Over the past six months, we’ve been concentrating our time and energy at the brewery on improving the quality of our beer. You might have seen snippets on our socials about this, but I'd love to let you know in more detail what we’ve been up to and why. Here goes...
In recent years, I was becoming more and more aware that our reputation for quality beer was not the best; consistency was all over the place, and my own knowledge of brewing had hit a ceiling. Naivety and often being spread too thinly across the business were slowly making matters even worse, but we live and learn, and that’s why I'm really confident in the future for McColl’s, as we’ve recently taken a lot of positive steps so that both trade and retail customers can have total faith in us to deliver beer of the highest standards.
You might have seen that we took on a new head brewer in Si Whittington, previously of Camerons Brewery. Si has brought a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the brewery and has absolutely transformed how we now operate. I'm now very confident that only the best quality of products will be leaving the brewery.
Over the past 6 months we've invested heavily in:
- Quality Assurance (QA) - including new cleaning protocols, raw ingredient sourcing, and the development of lab analysis;
- Products – new product specs, with tight pre-packaging Quality Control (QC) measures;
- Packaging – we've purchased an Anton Paar CBoxQC in order to accurately measure and control Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and CO2 levels in the final package to improve product stability;
- Fermentation Control – we've installed a brand new glycol chilling system to be able to produce specific beer styles and consistent, reliable beers.
As tempted as we were to just buy a canning machine and knock out new beer after new beer, we really wanted to take this opportunity and strip the brewery back to its foundations. And that’s why we are now confident that these changes will help us improve our reputation and become a go-to brewery - not only for great tasting beer but also as a reliable and consistent brewer of highly drinkable, quality beers.
McColl's also has a great new addition to the team in Lee, our new Sales Manager, who brings a wealth of experience in trade and sales (and a few spreadsheets, too!).
With a number of new beers already released and even more planned for this winter (and early 2022) we are now really excited by the prospect of getting our great new beers out there to illustrate how far we have come - keep an eye on our socials for updates!
I can also reveal that we've got a brand new core range coming soon (which will include our revamped SUMA), and styles we previously wouldn’t have felt confident in brewing...we hope you’ll really enjoy what we now have to offer.
But we won’t stop there as we look to spread our wings next year and push our boundaries even further. So, if you’re interested in working with us or just want to know more, please get in touch, or grab a beer and let us know what you think.
Thanks for all the support over the years - time to repay you all by brewing some lush beers!