'From the end spring new beginnings' - Pliney the Elder
The end of the year is a time for celebration, reflection, and looking forward. Its been a wild year here at UnBarred, full of trials and tribulations, but ultimately, we can all look back very fondly on what has been a successful year not only for the brewery, but for the unique and amazing individuals that make us up and write our success story.
Jordan, Head Brewer and Founder of UnBarred, has been busy leading some incredible developments on the brewery side, alongside Lead Brewer, Gary. A total of 42 incredible beers have been brewed this year, 6 of those as part of the IPA Tour, an amazing project of learning and creativity that saw us release some incredible beers inspired by THAT style, the one that could quite rightly be attributed to why were all here in the first place. We’ve continued to develop a style of beer we’ve become synonymous with, the Pastry Sour, releasing another 3 including the Apple Pie Pastry Sour which Jordan claimed to be one of his favourite beers that we have ever brewed! We’ve also welcomed two new apprentices, Brenden and Lizzie, who have been invaluable to getting those incredible beers in to your fridges and favourite pubs and continue to not only build on their skills, but also influence the entire team with their fresh thinking and creativity. If that wasn’t enough, more recently we’ve commissioned a centrifuge that is going to help us achieve more consistent, quality, and innovative beers. Despite its diminutive appearance it’s a huge piece of kit that we’re very excited about and we’ll be introducing much more as 2023 progresses.
Events were a huge part of our year and success, making sure that the award-winning beer produced by our incredible team of brewers was making its all over the UK. Headed up by our Ops Manager Stewart, 1000’s of litres of Joosy, Bueno, and a host of other beers were flowing in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Glasgow to name a few. A little closer to home we took on a huge project for our birthday this year, creating a beer trail all over Brighton. You all turned up in masses to the 6 participating pubs, and your Taproom, to fill up your cards in an attempt to be the first person to make the trail – in fact the eventual winner was waiting for us to open to take the crown when we slung our doors open on the Saturday! We were blown away by the support shown and want to extend a huge thank you to the locations that took part and the hordes of thirsty drinkers that supported local establishments and partied with us.
And we can’t talk about 2022 without mentioned the return of Stoutzilla. The beast arose in November in a huge nationwide launch that included over 60 locations and saw bars and bottle shops selling out in a matter of days. The team believed this years was probably the best yet as the best continues to evolve, and judging by the feedback from customers that might well be the case! The barrel aged version made a return, much to the delight of brewer Russ who’s highlight of 2022 was the very successful continuation of barrel ageing programme, and sold out within the week. We rounded the campaign off with our first ever live YouTube tasting on the 14th! Spearheaded by Matt, an old friend of the brewery who joined us in October from Siren Craft Brew as our new Sales & Marketing Ambassador, and Marketing Manager Brett, and co-hosted by Emma Inch, who earlier in the year wrote about the titan stout in a book listing 250 of the worlds greatest beers – what an honour! This truly was an achievement for the whole team, from Jordan and his family humbly creating the beer back in 2014, to the sales and marketing team releasing Stoutzilla out into the wild and making the events happen.
The Taproom, the place where Brightonians and visitors alike have flocked in their thousands to get a taste of the freshest UnBarred beers possible, where the infamous barrels aged beautiful beers amongst a hive of activity, that hosted countless beer launches and celebrations alike, has been the mainstay of the brewery throughout the year. Come rain or shine, snow or high wind, the team have been there to welcome you all with a smile and a pint of your favourite beer. Antony joined us at the end of October to continue the incredible work of those before and keep looking after everyone who walks through the door, and will continue to do so throughout 2023 with lots of exciting plans.
So what’s next? We want to keep up that momentum, and so we’ve got some big plans for 2023! While we cannot tell you them all, we wanted to give you a little peek into next year to whet your appetite.
In our last blog we mentioned that we’ll be experimenting with lagers for 2023’s tour, exploring the nuances and subtlety of the world most popular style. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve come up with, the first of which is due to land in the first quarter of the year. This beer is inspired by the beer that started it all, but has probably been forgotten a little now, and so it seemed like the perfect place to kick off another exciting tour project.
On a daily basis, our Marketing Manager Brett deals with comments on socials, DMs and requests from all other platforms and in all shapes and sizes, asking us when we’re going to bring back this beer or that beer. We also cannot go to festivals anymore without meeting fervent UnBarred fans asking as when we might rebrew certain beers or mentioning beers we haven’t brewed in years, citing that particular brew to be the reason they go into craft beer – so we thought 2023 would be a great time to bring some of those back! We’re going to keep you guessing for now, but there will be returns for a few favourites and even clever one-off versions of some existing favourites to compliment them. Our release schedule is looking pretty hectic already!
The Taproom will continue to be the hub of the brewery, welcoming everyone with fresh beer and friendly faces. We have had some brilliant times since we opened, and 2023 will see lots more. We love having you come and enjoy your favourites, but we also like bringing those favourites to you, and so we’re currently working on festival plans for next year. Expect us at some of your favourites, but also let us know where you’d like to see us and we can make that happen.
We truly cannot finish without talking about us, without talking about you. To the fans, the festival goers, the publicans who sell our beer and keep our cask with impeccable precision – we salute you. We wouldn’t be here without you and will keep making the best beer we can for you. Cheers!