When the economy gets blustery there are things that just refuse to lay down and die. Small breweries are one of those things. The tree in this picture, up on the common land on the way to the Hesket Newmarket brewery, seems to be another.
I have been buying beer from Hesket Newmarket ever since we came to the pub. They are interesting in that it is a village cooperative brewery. Around 70 people own equal shares in the brewery and this is a part of its success. I decided to drag Ann and Sarah along to see it today. Well, I enjoyed the day out.
Within the last few years the brewery has been bottling beers. Their bottling "plant" is so small it staggers me that it makes commercial sense. But they only supply the small outlets and avoid the pricing demands made of the supermarkets, which apparently show an interest, but at 40-50p a bottle that they are prepared to pay, they do right to reject. Loss leading eh? Screwing the suppliers more like. It makes me wonder how little the supermarkets are paying for the really cheap stuff.
Despite having no large retail distribution the demand for Hesket bottled beer has doubled in the last year. Cask sales are also very healthy, it would seem. So, yet again I can report a strong cask and niche bottle market that is doing very well indeed.
Thanks to Arthur for the samples, although it would be nice to be greeted with more than just "I know that face". He said the same when he saw me at the NWAF.
Doris 4.3% was of course in good form, as was Blencathra 3.2%,we are all still trying to decide on Dead Bunny Mild (No Hops, get it?) but then mild isn't what I normally choose to drink anyway. "All milds taste kinda soapy" says Arthur. Sarah enjoyed the saccharine laden lemonade, fine vintage apparently and matured nicely in Arthur's beer store. Not as nice, it was claimed, as the 10 year old farm made lemonade Arthur found in a hedge, but then he is a self professed bottom feeder. One expects top entertainment from the in-house character.
Sorry, no footnotes today, just a finishing asside about footnotes. I know, some of you don't like them. Tough, it's my blog.