Road trip! A first day-trip for the Collective to Newcastle-upon-Tyne was always going to be a highlight in the calendar in the run up to Liverpool Beer Week. We’d come across Box Social at the Liverpool Craft Beer Expo and as part of the incredible Northern Powerhouse collaboration, led by their Wylam mates, and through the Black Lodge Liverpool connection.
It was great seeing the brewery already a hive of activity – Ross Holland was hard at work already mashing in the beer we’d designed (more on that later), Steve was with the canners at the back, transferring an FV into a sizeable pallet – the first of three planned that day. Boxes were being made, and moved, filled and sealed; Hectic might be one way of describing it – and needless to say we felt a little like we’d intruded a bit!
There wasn’t a great deal of time for standing around and drinking, however. All hands to the pump as the pressures of transferring beer, weighing cans, and monitoring the underback: We did our best to muck in where we could to help out with the regular brewery business. It was a real eye-opener for the pressures that microbrewers are under to produce and package beer consistently: Ross, Steve, Calum and co were incredibly calm under what was a highly pressured day. Definitely earned a beer themselves at the end of it – as did we, and we partook back at their City Centre tap, alongside some of the other crafty sights Newcastle had to offer.
Everyone, say hello to Sirius B - A 6% White IPA with tonnes of wheat, and hopped heavily with Idaho Seven and Idaho Gem to give it a great, juicy pineappley hit; A perfect pivot for the Anspach & Hobday Black IPA.