Caption: New beers in 2015
Caption: Matt & Chad (Crooked Stave) brew Key Lime Tau for the 2016 Rainbow Project
Caption: We were at events in The Lakes, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham & Norway
Caption: Olympian City Christmas Markets in Hong Kong
Caption: Matt accepting silver at the International Brewing Awards for Brodie's Prime Export
Caption: Chuckleberry Sour, one of 2015's limited edition beers returning in 2016
2015 saw us release 14 new beers; starting with Hop Black in January, Jester in March and more recently three versions of Oat Wine. In the spring we brewed our first sour, a style popular on the continent for years and increasingly so in the UK. Our journey into the world of sours didn’t stop with Solar Sour; we aged some on damsons, created a barrel aged raspberry version, brewed Chuckleberry Sour and used the same kettle souring technique with our Rainbow Project collab Key Lime Tau (2π).
2015 saw us working with 5 breweries, both at home in Staveley and further afield. With Marble we created Beer Matts; with Tapped Brew Co in Leeds there was Rhubarb Saison; while in New Zealand Matt brewed with fellow Kiwi Kelly Ryan at Fork & Brewer to produce Parallel Importer; Chad from Crooked Stave joined us to brew this year’s Rainbow Project beer and with Tiny Rebel we crafted White IPA. This winter also saw the release of 3 versions of Oat Wine, our collab with Wild Beer Co brewed in June 2014.
OUT ‘N’ ABOUT
Our own summer beer festival in July was our most successful to date but it wasn’t the only festival to include Hawkshead beer – we had bars at festivals across the country; Manchester CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival, Grasmere Guzzler, Leeds International Beer Festival, Indy Man Beer Con, Craft Beer Calling and Norwegian festival What’s Brewing. We also took over the taps of some of our customers; North Bar in Leeds, Brewdog in both Leeds and Birmingham and most recently Port Street Beer House in Manchester, often showcasing rare or exclusive beers.
HAWKSHEAD HEADS EAST
The increasing demand for British beer overseas means we continue to grow our export sales. This year we have established new relationships with importers in both France and Hong Kong. We’ve also continued and developed our trade to Italy and Sweden, so if you’re on holiday around the Venice and/or Stockholm area you may just stumble upon a bar with Hawkshead beer on draught.
We’re delighted and humbled to be rewarded not only for the quality of our beers but for the business as a whole – in March, SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) named us Brewery Business of the Year. Brodie’s Prime Export won awards in both bottle (Silver at the International Brewing Awards) and in keg (Bronze at SIBA North). Cask IPA won a double award at SIBA taking both Gold in it’s category and Bronze overall. And Cumbrian Five Hop won another award, this one from CAMRA, a silver medal in it’s category at the Champion Beer of Britain NW region competition and to top it all we had 3 beers in the CBOB finals in London this year.
THE NEW YEAR
The coming year will be our 10th in Staveley, in July we’ll celebrate our 10th summer beer festival so expect something special. Our spring festival is 18-20 March and summer 21-23 July. 2016 will see the return of a couple of our most popular limited edition beers from this year – Chuckleberry Sour and Chocolate & Tonka Bean Imperial Porter. We’re looking forward once again to taking part in the International Rainbow Project, we've been paired with Yeastie Boys and have the colour green, the launch for this international collaborative project is expected to be in September. We’re hoping to join with some friends for more special collabs in the New Year, watch this space.