So long, 2021.
WELL THAT WAS 2021...
Now that we’ve got 2021 out of the way I wanted to take the opportunity to give you a quick update on how the year was for us.
With the pandemic continuing to cause havoc, I know it’s been a tough time for many people and businesses. So, before I tell you what we’ve been up to, I’d first like to say a massive Thank You to you, our customers, for supporting us and helping to make this a year to remember. We wouldn’t be where we are without you.
I’d also like to publicly thank the incredible team that we have here. We’re called Vocation because this is far more than just a job. And I’ve seen time and time again how our team’s passion for beer and brewing has got us through a tough year, whilst achieving some incredible results.
I think the best evidence of this passion is the number of new beers we made last year. We’ve just done the final tally, and were amazed to find out that we made 78 new beers in 2021! Each new beer involves refining a recipe, sourcing the ingredients, and designing a new label from scratch. It’s a lot of work, but we do it because we never want lose touch with the creativity and innovation that got us here in the first place. I wonder if we can beat the record in 2022?
It’s not just been about new beers though - against the odds we’ve had a record year for production. We brewed over 10 million pints last year – representing a big jump from 2020. We’ve seen growth in all areas of the business - in retail, pubs and bars, the webstore and export. We now export to 34 countries.
To achieve all this, we’ve invested heavily to keep improving our facilities. We’ve installed a new yeast plant, whirlpool, automated the brewhouse, set up a bottling line, installed 15 new fermenters, and established a barrel aging programme which you’ll hear a lot more about over the next few months.
We also opened a new head-office and a new bar in Manchester - with more in the pipeline.
And to support all this we’ve been able to hire lots more staff - there’s 108 people working across the brewery and bars now. It’s hard to believe that only seven years ago it was just me and a dog!
To top off an amazing year, in December our Director of Brewing, Matt Howgate, won the Brewers Journal Brewer of the Year award. Well done Matt – it’s thoroughly deserved.
Once again, many thanks for your incredible support though the year, and here’s to 2022 being even better.
Happy New Year!