Saturday 5 April 2014

Yerba - A collaboration with Metalman

Until 2013 I had never been to Ireland. In that year I found myself there a total of 3 times. The first was a UKTI funded trip to encourage businesses to export. It was a short trip of only just over 24 hours. The aim of the trip worked and we vowed to return, which we did, twice more that year.

On the final trip in 2013 I was verbally accosted by one Gráinne Walsh. She claimed I didn't remember her. OK, later it turned out I couldn't quite remember where, or when I had met her, but for sure I remembered. However, this did not stop her light-hearted banter and jovial piss-taking. They say if the Irish take the piss they like you. I'm still hoping I didn't misjudge the situation.

Gráinne and Tim1 run Metalman brewery in Waterford, Ireland. They make really good beer. Indeed, their Pale Ale is just exactly what a pale ale should be, very tasty, competently brewed and incredibly difficult to avoid ordering another when your glass is empty.

Gráinne's honest and fun approach left me wondering if this brewery would be good to hook up with and do a collaboration. It seems I had already started to chat to Tim later in the evening about collaborations. However, I'd had some strong beer by that point, and will admit to having memory failings. Indeed, it would appear that my slowly dying brain-cells have played tricks on me and I had incorrectly remembered where we had originally met the Metalman guys, as you will find out if you watch the video below.

Never-the-less, some months later I contacted the Metalman people and suggested we did a collaboration. We went to Waterford where we helped the beer to be developed and brewed. Later Tim and Gráinne came to Cumbria and brewed with us.

Since then our design people. LemonTop Creative, have been working on labels and keg badges that incorporate both our imagery. I think they did a splendid job. I wanted to make sure the equal parts both breweries played in the creation of this beer was reflected in the design. I think they nailed it.

 Hardknott/Metalman Collaboration from Hardknott Brewery on Vimeo.

The Irish version of the beer has been available for a few weeks now. The UK version is just rolling out of the brewery in bottles, cask and keg.


1Tim is in charge of the laid-back department at Metalman. Every brewery should have such a department, and clearly put someone in charge of it. You see, we brewers are a passionate lot, and invariably this manifests itself in undesirable traits, like getting wound-up unnecessarily, demanding that things are done in un-realistic timescales or just generally having un-provoked hissy-fits.

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