Northwest Brewery & Brewers Meetup – Review
At Zoedale we love getting involved in the communities of the industries we supply so we decided to run an event for Brewers in Manchester. We decided to use the brewery event to raise funds and awareness for Mustard Tree Charity, helping Manchester’s Homeless and people trapped in poverty.
The event was held in the Ancoats based Beer House of local Brewery Seven Brothers and we couldn’t have asked for a better venue, particularly as they had plenty of their Watermelon Wheat Beer on tap! The event was very informal and delegates were met with free beers on arrival and a chance to catch up with industry peers – We also had some of our Camurri Brauer Craft Brewing equipment on display that created a lot of interest.
Sophie from Mustard Tree gave a short presentation on the charity and where the money goes that they receive then presentations started at 1.40pm with Steve Dunkley from local brewery Beer Nouveau. Steve told us he has been brewing beer since the age of 14 (yes, it is legal to brew and consume your own beer at this age) then moved on to how he made the jump to commercial brewing. Once you register as a business, with Environmental Health, Trading standards, to discharge effluent, HMRC and then AWRS you should be good to go! Steve’s session was in depth and provided a step by step guide to the set-up process.
Next was one of the Seven Brothers Keith McAvoy who talked about Crowdfunding. Having successfully raised a sum of money to invest in their own Brewery, Keith talked about the different platforms available like Crowdcube, how to prepare a pitch and prepare for the bombardment of questions potential investors will ask, how to decide what equity to give away, what rewards to offer and how to plan to invest the cash. The session was interesting and very useful to anyone thinking of Crowdfunding.[caption id="attachment_992" align="alignnone" width="300"] Keith from Seven Brothers engaging the audience....[/caption]
We had a short break for more free beers and some delicious snack food. Thanks to Orchestrated Beer for picking up the tab!
James Bleakley from Kegstar UK took the next session and discussed how you can upscale your brewery to meet demand without investing in a fleet of Kegs and Casks. Missing or lost Kegs and Casks cost the industry £50M per year. This is clearly a burden for all breweries but particularly smaller brewers trying to meet rising demand for beer but with limited cashflow. James explained how Kegstar works – Pre order the Kegs you think you will need at least 24 hours in advance, the kegs get delivered to you to fill with your produce then distribute to your outlets, they scan the code on the kegs once they need them collecting and the whole cycle starts again. The beauty for the breweries is that you don’t own the Kegs and your responsibility ends once they leave your premises. Leaving you to brew beer![caption id="attachment_991" align="alignnone" width="300"] James from Kegstar UK captivating the crowd....[/caption]
Lastly, we had Ben Crow from Orchestrated Beer talking about how this clever software, based on market leader SAP Business One, can streamline your brewery production and make you more efficient. This is the software used by the likes of BrewDog, Camden Town and many more and is now available in an affordable pay monthly package that is scaled to your brewery. The software handles everything from Accounting, Stock Management & Recipes, Production, Purchasing, Sales & Shipments, Planning & Scheduling, Quality Control and Brewery Reporting. Ben kept this very light and it really got people thinking about how it could benefit their own processes.
There were more beers and a raffle - Prizes donated by Zoedale Ltd ranged from a set of Marsden B100 Bench Scales to boxes of Seven Brothers Craft Beer. Thanks also to the Brothers for donating a Brewery tour.[caption id="attachment_989" align="alignnone" width="300"] Zoedale MD Tim Guest handing Cheshire Brew Brothers their Marsden Bench scale prize.[/caption]
The event raised nearly £350 for Mustard Tree and all the delegates said they enjoyed it and got some use out of the afternoon. Next year we plan to run a similar event in London.