To our delight the builder contractor returned to the brewery in earnest in January. The whole project has taken much, much longer than it should have but we were happy to see the final pieces of this part of our development completed by the summer. Just waiting for a few formalities and we can get some beers pouring in the tasting room (see our next blog).
After some plant improvements and maintenance work, we fired up the boiler and got brewing again on the 7th of February. Our overall production volume is up in 2022 but on a like-for-like basis we are actually down on last year since we only started brewing in April in 2021.
It’s been a dream since 2019 to have all of our kit installed and working (the building project being what stopped this being possible). This year, only recently this year, we have had all of our tanks, our cask washer, cask filler, keg washer/filler and canning line permanently installed in their final homes and it feels great.
Now our keg washer/filler is operational we have also been able to switch our keg beers from single-use, plastic KeyKegs to our own steel population.
We brewed 102 batches of beer in 2022 - 21 different beers in total but more than half of the brews were Scapa Special. Orkney IPA, Island Hopping and Orkney Best in cask and bottle plus Banyan in keg and can made up the vast majority of the rest.
Due to restrictions with contract bottlers our previously wide range of bottles has been limited to our main beers (Island Hopping, Scapa Special, Orkney IPA and Orkney Blast). We’ll address this one way or another next year.
We are particularly excited about one of our new beers that was in the pipeline since before Covid - OLA lager.
OLA as in Orkney LAger. It has been soft launched in a few Orkney bars since summer and we are learning more of the intricacies of lager making with every batch. More lager in 2023!
End on a high, always end on a high. Competitions were a victim of Covid but some have made a return this year and we are pleased to have added to our cabinet/wall.
SIBA Scotland 2022
Cask British Bitters - Scapa Special - Bronze
Cask British Best Bitters - Orkney IPA - Bronze
Cask Imperial & Strong Beers - Orkney Porter - Bronze
CAMRA Scotland 2022
Mild - Dark Munro - Winner
Strong Stouts and Porters - Orkney Porter - Winner
Check back for the 2023 blog soon. In many ways the outlook is even more challenging than it has been the previous Decembers but in many more ways we are in a much better position than we have been in the previous Decembers. Onwards.