mrsmelwoodbeer

and her exploits in the world of hand crafted beer…..

Mega update 2015 to date!!

I have just visited my blog and am ashamed to say I haven’t posted in over 16 months!!!

I have been concentrating on the business and the website etc. though so it’s not as if I’ve been twiddling my thumbs for that long. Sometimes life gets in the way doesn’t it?

Anyway, to rectify things a smidgeon I will try to round up the events in my past 16 months with a whistle stop tour of everything that’s happened. The problem might be that I may not remember it all of course but I’ll have a go!

Feb 2015: We realised that our little brewery was just too small for us to attempt to do everything we wished to do so we set about trying to find larger premises – preferably within the Estate we were already on – so we asked Knowsley Estate office if they had any empty buildings which we could initially use as storage to free up space in the brew house. They came up with a great building, actually situated not far from the brew house.  When we saw it we first thought it could make a great new brewery but it would have needed a lot of renovating and it was damp and musty so storage was out until that could be sorted.

One day, however, we were speaking to one of the friendly security men on the Estate about our plight and he said ‘haven’t you considered the Kennels?’ ‘The Kennels?? Where are the Kennels?’ we said. Only 200 metres away behind the trees, up the lane!! He went and got the key and showed us around.

The rest is just about history if you look at our website you will see it took us ten months to actually move into the Kennels – which we did over Christmas 2015 and New Year 2016 – not a good idea let me tell you! (But we are in now and settling at last!)

February also saw us collaborate with Liverpool Guild of Students to bring local real ale (or hand crafted beer as we like to call it) to the students of the University of Liverpool in the Sphinx bar. We worked closely with them to ensure that the beer was right for them and we are pleased to say that it is still a great seller for the Sphinx and students are literally lapping it up!

March 2015: Another Melwood Shakedown at the Baltic Social which was a great success and we started supplying Knowsley Hall (as resident brewery) for their Weddings and Parties with ‘Knowsley Blonde’ on keg – our first venture into kegging beer!

April 2015: Stan Shaw – our part time brewer – reached his 1000th lifetime brew! We gave Stan free reign to devise a recipe for this brew which he duly did and he named it ‘1000 Up.’

May 2015: A further collaboration with Liverpool Guild of Students to bring their first Beer Festival with beers from Melwood, Liverpool Organic, Milestone, Dancing Duck plus many others. Well supported by the students and public alike.

June/July 2015: Were spent keeping stocks going and supplying the lovely pubs in our area and perfecting our art really. We did an event for a friend’s swimming club annual awards ceremony, which was very good for us and we enjoyed taking our bar out into the sunshine for this great event.

Still really stifled in the small brewery we were looking forward to the move to the Kennels which we had anticipated would come sometime in September. We were wrong of course :-{

August 2015: Summer Shakedown was upon us again!! And our great friends at the Baltic Social housed us perfectly as always with a great turn out of support for us and the bands that played.

September/October/November 2015: Works on the Kennels took a long time to get going and a long time to finish then we had the added hiatus when an emergency asbestos survey had to be undertaken! It was an uncomfortable interval for us while we waited for the report. Luckily all was well and we were given the go ahead to move in! Once we licensed the property and advised HMRC of moving dates for the stock we were good to go!

Late December 2015: We were in the Dog House at last!

January – April 2016: We have settled into our lovely new home! We now have a brew house, cold room, bottling room, workshop, office, kitchen, toilets and more storage space than we could have ever hoped for! We are starting to bottle more and John and I have been brewing more and utilising all three of our fermenters at last! We are using the conditioning tanks we purchased at the end of last year. In an effort to reduce the need for isinglass finings we are transferring beers straight to conditioning tank for this very reason.

We have started bottling again! We have our own designated bottling room and will be utilising this more and more over this year. We have an IBC tank which we hope to bottle straight into as well sometime later this year.

We have been kegging beer more and more and are regularly supplying a new bar opened recently by our friends called the Dead Crafty Beer Company. We had a recent review  which said the beer  we supplied here, kegged Mojo Risin’ 6.0%,  is the best they’ve ever drank from Melwood! – that’s from a CAMRA stalwart too! We are so happy!

So that’s where we are up to. Work is increasing, time is precious and we are forging ahead.  Roll on the summer because the Kennels is sure gonna be lovely in the sunshine fully armed and operational

JJ

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Argh!!! No time to Post, November/December Round up

Sorry but I have let time slip by me again as I haven’t had chance to post updates!

We had the Melwood Beer Company’s Halloween Shakedown on 1st November and it was another resounding success.  You can read the review over on our website here: www.melwoodbeer.co.uk with pics and band info.

Otherwise it’s been really full on busy at Melwood (it’s never anything else!) Stan has been brewing and he’s produced a smoked Porter which he’s named ‘Old Hall Porter’ and a new beer, called ‘Discovery’ using Nelson Sauvin hops.  We think Stan might have got a bit used to the smoked malt though as everything he’s brewed is slightly smoky now!! Not smoky in a bad way of course and I think it reflects the time of year that we are in; a time of bonfires and raging firesides.

So Christmas or rather, Yuletide, is upon us and we have been madly bottling to put out some gift packs etc and to supply our lovely supporters with stocks over the festive season.

We have a few irons in the fire as well, so to speak, with some exciting collaborations coming in the new year which should see Melwood grow and expand as the year progresses.

I hope everyone has a great Yuletide and festive time and this blog will be back in the New Year.

You can find me/us @mrsmelwoodbeer or @melwoodbeerco on Twitter or on The Melwood Beer Company Facebook page in the meantime. Thanks for all the support over 2014 and Bring on 2015!!

Bottoms Up!🙂

 

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September/October roundup

I’m getting a bit lax at blogging these days! Sorry, I’m so busy that’s why.

We had a really busy September which saw us sell record amounts of beer! – Our busiest month to date!!

The Art School Restaurant www.theartschoolrestaurant.co.uk  opened its doors selling our bespoke beer and the Hanover Street Social www.hanoverstreetsocial.co.uk started selling our Stanley Gold! We are so very proud to have our beer in restaurants because it shows the quality of our products suits fine dining as well as fine drinking in our wonderful real ale pubs.

There have been a few festivals which we have submitted beer too and as usual all our casks sold out which is fabulous!

We have a cold room!! We got a cooler a couple of months ago and it has now been fitted in the cask store room so hopefully we wont have anymore popping casks!

Most recently (this last weekend) we had our first brewery visit from Wakefield CAMRA organised by our brewer, Stan.  Twenty three people came on a mini bus to sample our wares, eat a little buffet and look around our little brewery.  We were a bit scared about it tbh as we haven’t done this before but we needn’t have worried – they were lovely people and we really enjoyed it!  Feedback has been wonderful, with comments such as ‘the best informal brewery tour ever’ which makes us so proud.  We were given a framed certificate to commemorate their visit which we were made up with and they drank our bar dry before heading off with Stan into Liverpool City Centre for a pub crawl! I don’t know how they did it!!!

So it’s back to the usual grindstone of cleaning and brewing and cleaning and brewing – I hope you appreciate what we do because it’s all for you lovely people!!!

Until next time, keep supporting local breweries and local independent real ale pubs people.  Salut! xx

Here, as usual are some photos of the happenings….

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August in review, diamonds ARE a girl’s best friend and beer; dont forget the beer

Whoa!! Another month has gone by since I last blogged!!! I just don’t know where this time is going!!!!

Probably because we’ve been so busy and I haven’t noticed it already getting to the end of August, the end of summer and the brewery becoming cold again.

On a really good note, Diamonds ARE a girl’s best friend again! I got my engagement ring back from the jewellers who were replacing the stone.  It isn’t the same diamond and they’ve slightly adjusted the ring (so the stone doesn’t come free again I expect) but it’s back and sparkling on my third finger, left hand again:

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Mr M & I went darn Landan (went down to London) at the end of July so see two concerts by Grateful Dead legend Phil Lesh at the 02 arena.  We had a lovely two days away and we travelled First Class – only because it was just as cheap as standard – and enjoyed some sightseeing and R&R whilst we were there!

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Since coming back we have been so busy with deliveries, more deliveries and er… more deliveries!!

I’ve been stung by a wasp (OUCH!):

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And I’ve had an allergic reaction to yeast of all things (OUCH!)!:

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Not a good allergy for a brewer to have is it!

Anyway it’s gone down now and I don’t look so ‘Lesley Ash’ anymore.

 

We’ve been getting loads of great feedback about our beer and orders are on the up.  We can’t make enough, quickly enough to get it out there! Expansion might be on the cards but I don’t know how or when.

So that’s about it for the time being my friends so I’ll sign off with a few more piccys for your perusal!

Salut! and keep drinking real ale and keep supporting local pubs! xxxx

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Beer, Bottles, Work, more Beer & Diamonds Aren’t Forever!

Just a little update really.

We’re back into the swing of things again, working hard and getting very tired despite Stan’s addition to the team, there always seems to be more work than hours in a day! I’m not complaining really, well maybe a bit, but sometimes I think it’s no work for a lady! Frequently this brewery lark is hard back breaking graft and although I’m not shy of hard work, I wish Mr M had a more sedate passion instead of brewing beer. I don’t know what I’d do if I had the choice but then again I don’t think many of us know do we?  All I do know is it wouldn’t be this back breaking.

Anyway we’ve been brewing like mad ready to fulfil a large order from a distributer in Yorkshire going out next week so you Yorkshire lads n lasses might get to try our beer sooner than you think! Keep checking out your local pubs up north because you might be lucky to find us in your favourite hostelry in the coming weeks.

We’ve also been bottling like crazy because we have brewed a beer especially for a very new fine dining restaurant – The Art School Restaurant in Sugnall Street, Liverpool which is opening at the beginning of September.  Its a superb place with the fabulous chef, Paul Askew (formerly aka The London Carriage Works & Hope Street Hotel) at it’s helm and I am sure Liverpool is in for a treat when the doors finally open.  And of course they have a very fine aperitif beer brewed especially for them, by our own fair hands, for you to enjoy there as well as some of our other beers on sale at the bar. Bon appetite! http://www.theartschoolrestaurant.co.uk/

And finally, Diamonds Aren’t Forever – could this be a name for a beer? Hmm not sure but last Monday after being elbow deep in hops cleaning out the copper (boiler) and numerous other tasks at home the diamond in my engagement ring went missing, lost, vamoose, never to be seen again. Absolutely gutted.

Ah well its only a diamond! Good job I’m insured.

Salut my friends!

 

Here’s a few pics of the latest shenanigans at Melwood:

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Diamonds aren’t forever….

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Real Ale, Pilgrimage & CIDER!

We very rarely stop for breath these days at Melwood! But following our very successful event at The Baltic Social John and I were able to get away for a few days for our bi annual Solstice Pilgrimage to Glastonbury.  Not the festival mind; that’s in the neighbouring village of Pilton a few miles down the road, but the actual town of Glastonbury, the sacred Isle of Avalon.  It’s a place that means a lot to us and we visit every Solstice and climb Glastonbury Tor to watch the sun rise on this special day.  It was spectacular this year I must say and I have posted pictures of the sun on twitter and facebook.  We had a lovely few days away (although not exactly relaxing) but it took our minds off our normal BUSY, BUSY, BUSY lives!

We ended our trip with a very strange visit to Roger Wilkins Cider Farm in Mudgley just down the road from Glastonbury.  Strange in that it was down the narrowest, longest scary lane and was a ‘different world’ when we got there. Very ‘local’ if you get me!  Anyway Roger’s cider is my favourite cider of all time and we wanted to buy some for ourselves and a 30 litre box for our next event.  Roger turned out to be quite friendly and obliged with said cider.  We bought his strawberries too and they were delish!

Here are a few pics of our time away – note the Banksy at Roger Wilkins farm….

 

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June 2014 Update!!

Whoah!!!!!! I haven’t blogged for ages!!!!!

So what’s been going on down at’ brewery?  Well we’ve been brewing like crazy and have been making adjustments to the plant as we’ve been going along.  When I say ‘we’ I mean Stan, of course! He’s been helping us so much even though he took himself and his fambo off to Croatia for two weeks but he made sure he brewed loads of beer before he went so we had loads of stock!

Recently brewed beers:

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We had beers at ROLFEST and Liverpool Organic’s Waterloo Beer Festivals and they went down a treat.  We actually went to the Waterloo fest with our daughter Charlotte and some friends and I have to say we got a bit merry!! We had some fab beers, ciders and perries and partook of a wonderful cheese platter from the fabulous MrLiverpoolCheese (Liverpool Cheese Company).  I do love cheese so much!!

Then a few weeks ago we did a Meet The Brewer at The Cricketers Arms in St Helens.  It was a more informal event with general chit chat and mingling in this great St Helens Pub of the Year.

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The Cricketers Arms, Peter Street, St Helens.

 

 

 

This weekend is the Craft Beer Expo at the Camp & Furnace in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle.  We have three beers on there and have had feedback that they’ve gone down well which always good news! We’ll be there tonight (Saturday) so please hello!

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So all this has been a pre-cursor to our own first beer event!!!

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On Saturday 14th June we will be hosting our own bar at The Baltic Social, Parliament Street Liverpool.

We would really love to have everyone come and see us as we will be pulling pints from our bar and the fabulous Shakedown Street will be providing music of such magnitude it will blow your socks off! The Baltic Social will be selling their fabulous food so please come down for lunch or dinner – the menu is mouth-watering!!

And if that’s not enough for you after Shakedown Street’s final set finishes The Baltic Social will be showing England’s first game of the WORLD CUP at 11pm.

So how much better can you get in one day? Not much I bet! BEER, FOOD, MUSIC & FOOTBALL #nirvana

Its free entry too!

It would be great to see everyone at this event so do come along and get some happiness at MELWOOD’S SUMMER SHAKEDOWN!

See you all next week?

Salut my friends; keep drinking real ale and support our local pubs and breweries!

Mrsmelwoodbeer x

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Melwood Latest Happenings

Time really flies when you are having fun!!!

So what’s been happening down Melwood Towers then?

Well Stan has been brewing like crazy that’s what! We have loads of stock again thanks to him. He brewed his first brew, Derby Pale 3.7 abv and we delivered it to The Belvedere Pub in Sugnall Street Liverpool City Centre last Thursday.  Wow it flew out!!! and now they have ordered another two casks for this week which will include the lovely Paleface 4.0 abv so hope that goes down well too.

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Family news:

Our son John had his foot operation last week so he’s been off his feet and very grumpy because he can’t train or do anything until it heals.  He’s a footballer and he has had a metatarsal pinned with a screw to make the break he suffered last year heal finally. Poor lad then has the task of getting fit again for next season once his cast is off in 5 weeks.  He will be fine though and we are sure he’ll make it.  He has a fab attitude and will come back stronger and better than ever!

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I’ve had my hair cut last week too so I feel a bit lightheaded as it’s shorter than I’ve had it for ages!

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Tomorrow John, Mr Melwoodbeer, is having an operation too.  It’s a hernia repair but it means that I’ll have two ‘Johns’ infirm in the house and I’ll be running round after both of them! And doing my chores, and working and doing brewery lifting and deliveries!! Good job us women can multi-task eh!

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Still I should have our daughter Charlotte’s help too when she’s not working herself of course.  No rest for us women! But I’ll need Stan’s help down the brewery helping to lift full casks etc.

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So the Easter Break approaches and some welcome time off for those who don’t work for themselves.  We will be in the brewery though doing what we do and delivering to all those lovely pubs so that you can have a fabbo time.

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I’m not complaining honestly!

Happy Easter all and keep drinking real ale and supporting our local pubs,

Mrs M xx

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Melwood Back to Brewing, new business and an interesting event

Hello my friends!

Well we have been a hive of activity down at the brewery this last week.  The plumbing work has finished and we brewed on Sunday!!!  It was Stan’s first brew on the Melwood Beer Company’s system and he’s called this new beer ‘Derby Pale’.  It was a educational experience for Mr Melwood and I too because we had to learn how to use the newly plumbed in system.  Everything worked like a dream and we learned loads from Stan.

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The Head brewers

 

 

 

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Lets get the party started!

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Stan mashing in

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Stan pitching the yeast

 

Two new snippets of new business also happened this week.

We delivered four beers to Liverpool One Bridewell on Saturday afternoon! They (and we) are hoping to become regular suppliers of our beer and we are really pleased to have hooked up with them.  The bar is great and they have a quirky restaurant which is housed in the former Police cells (if you’ve never been).  They hope to allocate a permanent hand pull to Melwood Beers so watch this space for developments!

We are also delivering to is The Belvedere in Sugnall Street this week!  We have wanted to get our beer in this fine establishment for a while now and it is finally happening on Thursday.  They are taking two of our beers, the malty Lionheart & the hoppy Sunshine Daydream, so check out The Belvedere next week to see our pump clips gracing their bar and enjoy the beer!

Finally hold the date 14th June 2014 because we will be hosting an event that day!  It will involve BEER & MUSIC – a match made in heaven!  Keep an eye on the website for more details in the coming weeks.

You will also find our beer at the usual fine establishments: The Blackburne, The Caledonia, The Grapes in Liverpool.  The Phoenix Inn, St Helens.

Also at Stamps and Stamps Too in Waterloo.

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Citradelic on the bar at Stamps Too in Waterloo

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Melwood Expansion!

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MELWOOD OFFICE

Yesterday we worked hard. Really hard.  Took delivery of 40 sacks of grain (malt) which had to be carried into the brew house one by one. Thank goodness I had the help of our son John to do this despite his injury to his foot he worked like a trooper to get things done.

Because we will be brewing more and we have more casks we have moved the office area out of the brew house so that it is what it should be – a brew house.  Thankfully we have been able to acquire a proper office on the Stanley Grange site in Knowsley Park, very close to the brewery and this also has loads of storage room within it too! It is also nice and warm so in between brewing we can use the office to do our paperwork and sales stuff – and have meetings!  Its made a huge difference not having the desk, chairs, filing cabinets and our portable bar in the brew house and young John and I were able to move the brew house about to enable Stan to finish the last of the plumbing required for FV3 (fermenter No.3)

We had  wooden staging that John Aspinall used in the Cambrinus brewery down one wall which needed to be moved to put the fermenters in position.  So John and I moved this and 40 odd casks that were on it onto the other wall, moved the heavy workbench under it and replaced all the casks back on top. Mr Melwood arrived to help move the fridges but John and I did the heavy work.

We then had the first meeting in ‘Melwood Office’ with a new distributer we may work with.  It feels like things are moving so fast round here at the moment but it needed to happen so that we can get back to brewing asap!

It was a lovely day yesterday.  The sun was shining and John and I took ourselves for a lunchtime walk around the estate and its looking magnificent. We are so glad we are able to work in such a lovely place you know, many breweries are located on industrial estates in tin units with little character, we appreciate our surroundings every day!

So we are paying for it today, young John and I; our arms and backs are aching but we had such a huge sense of achievement after doing what we did yesterday and now we are ready to resume brewing on Sunday!

I will update how that goes on Sunday……

 

 

 

 

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