Back in business

No beer this week?

A pleasing, regular question over the past few weeks as I get to the pub for the Thursday night session. Pleasing because there’s enough of a note of disappointment about it. Your beer’s being missed. It strokes the ego a little, that does. A regular question because it’s been six weeks since there was a cask in the pub. Six weeks waiting for HMRC to approve the wholesaler registration that is now a requirement alongside registering the brewery and paying the duty.

Mention to people that you’re waiting on HMRC and heads shake and nods are knowingly nodded. They rant a little about the inefficiency and how home-grown bureaucrats are holding back a start-up with their forms and box-ticking, their delays and couldn’t-care-less attitude. You have their sympathy.

It has to be said that the guys from HMRC who popped out to visit the Shed in early April were very pleasant, even sympathetic to the tiny nano-brewery (a pico-brewery, I suppose), caught up in a net intended for bigger fish.

As was the man from environmental health. Useful, helpful and constructive advice.

And the time off was well-used to make further improvements to the Shed: the wifi network extended and speakers added. Essentials for a day of brewing.

So, with sign-off from HMRC and environmental heath, we’re back in the pub. In casks:

Cairns, a very pale, hoppy 4.4% ale. Just pale malt, Brewers Gold and Hallertauer Hersbrucker. Plenty of hops – 300g of Hallertauer at flame out – so it tastes like lager on steroids.

Cascade, ironically, isn’t the one made with just malt and cascade but the 5% one with Cascade, Amarillo, Columbus, Chinook and Citra.

Sandilands – 4.5% – the Scottish one, with Goldings, Willamette and Fuggles.

These have been waiting and hopefully improving in the casks. They’ve had to be vented and resealed twice.

Back in business