A Reindeer is for Life, not just for Christmas
UPDATE: All sold out online - a small number of cases will be available at the Taproom this weekend. We open 2pm Friday for takeout - get down early to grab your beer.
Will you give a small herd a home in your fridge?
Lots of you know and love Plum Pudding, the delicious 6.6% seasonal Porter that we release annually in the run-up to Christmas. Packed with festive dried fruits, cinnamon and lemon zest, this is a beer that always seems to spark joy. Some of you are also rather partial to its sophisticated sibling, Barrel-Aged Plum Pudding Porter; an even more decadent 7.6% creation, aged for over six months in oak cognac barrels for added richness. At the brewery, the release of these two beers seems to herald the changing of the seasons, and a turning inwards as we gravitate towards darker, more contemplative beers and quieter winter nights.
But what happens when life gets in the way of the meticulously planned release dates of these beers? When external forces and events outside of our control interfere with our forecasting spreadsheets? Rewind to the second half of 2021, and that’s exactly what happened. Despite our most cautious volume planning attempts and built-in time buffers, the packaging of both Plum Pudding and Barrel-Aged Plum Pudding were delayed due to label and can shortages - we’ve got the double whammy of Brexit and Covid to blame there. These delays meant that those all-important release dates were shunted on by several weeks, by which point our whole industry had been struck once again by total uncertainty around Covid-19, and the looming threat of a potential lockdown. Many venues that stock our beer were forced to close for large chunks of December, due to Covid outbreaks or in the hope of protecting their chances of opening over the Christmas week and New Year; hospitality’s busiest period. You can see where we’re going with this: we did not have enough time or outlets to sell our seasonal beers to, and now are left with a hefty chunk of both Plum Pudding and Barrel-Aged Plum Pudding.
Plum Pudding has a best before date of May 2022, and Barrel-Aged Plum Pudding a best before October 2022, so this isn’t about trying to shift beer fast before a looming deadline. The problem is that these BBEs aren’t suitable for the 2022 Christmas season, as consumers (quite rightly) like to buy beer with a few months’ shelf life. The beers need to be sold now, but due to their jolly festive attire of reindeers, that proves challenging in February. We firmly believe that these are exceptional beers, and if it weren’t for the shiny reindeers that sit proudly on the cans, we wouldn’t be in this situation. At this point, many businesses would be contemplating the unthinkable, and destroying leftover ‘Christmas products’ as a necessary loss - but we can’t do that. Such wasteful measures clash horribly with our sustainability goals, and we can’t bear to pour good beer down the drain.
So now, in February, we implore you to help us. These beers are tasting absolutely amazing; rich, nuanced and layered with complexity and skill. They shouldn’t only be drunk in December; they will taste great for many months to come, and to write them off as a Christmas-only beer is a terrible waste. With that in mind, we’re selling them off at ludicrously good prices, in the hope that many of you will try the beers and find enjoyment in them. You can buy 12 cans of Plum Pudding Porter for £15 (previously £50), or 12 cans of Barrel-Aged Plum Pudding Porter for £25 (previously £81). This deal is available online and at our Can Kiosk and Taproom, this week only. There’s a limited stock and we’re expecting these beers to fly out, so get involved.
A reindeer is for life, not just for Christmas - will you give a small herd a home in your fridge?