So here we are, almost a year to the day that we took our first trip to the brewery in pure disgruntled silence as it was 6 in the morning on a Wednesday and none of us had followed the basic advice of not drinking the night before, except for Andrew of course; who was used to being active that early in morning because his happiness is solar powered and he must make the most of the sunlight.
The day started as good as could be expected, by that I mean we accidentally opened the valve from the hot liquor tank and pushed our mash in time out by about 3 hours. Flying start, Wood Key style.
The day was otherwise relatively painless, mostly listening to The Meters, taking far too many photos and generally fanboying out throughout the day. Our first Pilgrim had hit the tank and was on the way to fermenting away to greatness.
Time passed, yeast consumed sugar, released alcohol, as it’s known to do, and we arrived back for bottling day, it was tough work, but well worth it, we bottled, labelled, made boxes, built pallets, capped bottles, as hands on as we could be. This was from 7am the launch day til 5, where we then brought the stock to McHughs and did our first tasting. I was only there for an hour or so, as I had tickets to a Mastodon gig and there’s priorities in life.
We had our full weekend at the Flavours of Fingal festival, selling beer and meeting people. Myself, I was worse for wear due to lack of hearing, but we struggled through and had as good a launch weekend as any.
Since then it’s been selling, brewing, tastings and the other accoutrements associated with this business, and it’s been a great year; 4 beers released, ravens being our second mainstay beer, the Pilgrim winning bronze at the Alltech festival, and of course me permanently tattooing the Pilgrim on my body (it’s the little things you know).
A year on, things are a little different. Less mistakes, less fanboy nonsense but still the best feeling there is when creating beer. Today was for our newest brew: our 1 year anniversary brew, a limited edition single hop, hopped with…? That’s right, Pilgrim. Good guess, people. We could not help ourselves, we’re making a beer with the hop we probably should have used since the start, but hey, you live and you learn. This will be available at Flavours of Fingal, McHughs Off-license, select bars, and there may also be a 1 year birthday bash for the Pilgrim himself! Invites are in the post, but not for you Adrian, you know what you did.
This beer will be a simple 4% pale ale, late and dry hopped to a ridiculous level and hopefully easy drinking. One thing that has not changed in the past year with Wood Key, is the importance to us of a good playlist, so with this blog I will include to the playlist of the brew day. It’s got a bit of everything from the last year, some of the old favourites and of course because I made this one with no one else around, some face melting metal. It’s got a bit of everything, just like ourselves.
It’s been some year, and I hope there’s many more. If you keep drinking our beer. we’ll keep making it. Hell, even if you stop, I won’t. Hope to see you for the birthday bash, flavours of Fingal, behind the bushes at my house, wherever you want to pop up
Onwards and Upwards