Offbeat seems to be the subject of a lot of hot gossip and speculation so here’s what’s happening.
Over Christmas I decided I needed to change my life; I’ve been self employed for 12 years, working crazy hours and Type 1 diabetic since just before my first birthday. There’s a lot of stress that goes along with work and it effects the diabetes badly; this year I’ve been given the opportunity to have an insulin pump which most diabetics have claimed revolutionises their care but as my doctor says, “You need to change your lifestyle to see the results”. This has been building probably for the past 6 months or so, more of my time is spent in the office chasing money or sales rather than brewing and doing what I love. It does mean the disbanding of our little team and Andrea and Caz will be off out in a few months with my huge thanks forever and glowing references.
The 6 barrel brewery kit was listed for sale with a view to making a fresh start but like the best laid plans a spanner got thrown in the works when Out There Brewing Company of big Newcastle offered me a part exchange for their little kit. Having seen the kit on Saturday I decided this was a viable plan and could work for me letting me keep brewing on a smaller scale with less overheads and less worries (hopefully). Being a smaller kit it also gives me scope to play around more without so much expense if something doesn’t turn out well. I used to be told “A bad workman blames his tools,” and having tried a number of Out There’s beers on Saturday they’re getting some great results out of this little kit.
In terms of the building the notice has been sent in to the landlord to terminate the lease on Unit 6 where the brewery currently sits and enquiries have been made about about putting the little kit in unit 4 where the bands play on #FirstyFriday. If we can get the go ahead for all this there will be a bit of rejigging about inside but hopefully it will work and #FirstyFriday can continue forever more between units 4 and 5 as it currently does.
In terms of beer you will see a bit less Offbeat about but it’s become a very crowded marketplace and I don’t want to be selling beer at £50 a cask which there are more and more stories of, I updated our costings the other day and just for ingredients and beer duty; £42 a cask was the number that came out without factoring in all the water, rent, rates, electricity, wages etc. Some of the core beers may go but reappear as specials from time to time.
I’ve been offered some work to keep brewing with other people and to help another brewery setup which I’m keen to be involved with. I’ve also two side projects with getting a customised wedding favours and brew days business “The Hoppiest Day of Your Lives” and the mobile bar with Otherton Ales, “The Argo Bar“.
So Offbeat Brewery lives on and for the next few months will continue as is as we work towards the kit swap at end of May.
Cheers, Michelle x