30 Dec Happy New Year!
As we lay out our goals and aspirations at the start of the new year, we also like to reflect on the events – and boy, was it eventful! – of this year past. A turbulent and tumultuous year politically, for WEST is has been a year of great growth and success, though not without challenge along the way. From our tenth birthday party and the opening of our new brewery, to the launch of nine new beers and a beer schnapps, we have to say we’re fairly proud of what we’ve accomplished. But the journey is ongoing, and we intend to work even harder in 2017 to continue to bring you your favourite WEST beers.
WEST is proud to have some of the best brewers around – Ally, Udo, Simon, Robert, and, the newest additions to the team, Luke and Marcel (both former barmen upstairs at WEST On The Green) – who together have limitless knowledge of all that’s involved in beer-making. It is thanks to them that WEST has produced a range of exciting and creative new beers this year, all the while following the traditional German Reinheitsgebot. This year alone we’ve produced a dark wheat beer (Dunkelweizen), two different dry hopped unfiltered pale ales (Dry Hopped GPA and New Town Pale Ale) and the celebratory Party Pils. Opus 268 and Bierbrand are perhaps our crowning achievements of the year, both projects that trace back to 2014 and the brewing of that year’s winter beer, Rammbock. The cask aged bottle conditioned wheat beer Opus 268 remains our highest-rated beer on the Untappd beer app, and we are still receiving requests to make a new batch.
We also launched our bottled NIX non-alcoholic lager and wheat beer, a first for WEST and a response to the new trends in drinking culture. Currently available in a number of pubs, supermarkets, and independent off-licences in Scotland, we intend to increase distribution of what’s already been called the UK’s best 0.00% beer. NIX is isotonic, too!
Most notably, 2016 has finally brought about great expansion for WEST with the opening of our new brewery, increasing brewing capacity more than ten-fold. The new brewery can produce 25,000 hL of beer a year, and individual batches of 30 hL each. It includes lots of shiny new equipment – twenty fermenters of various sizes, one 120 hL and two 30 hL bright beer tanks, three 9 tonne malt silos, and specialty malt hoppers to reduce manual handling. The new brewery is also home to a new lab, which increases our technical capabilities.
Not to be forgotten, WEST turned 10 this year! We cannot believe it’s been a decade since the WEST journey began. Our tenth birthday party went down a treat in the brand new Courtyard function space, with 80s duo Go West on stage and a crowded dance floor. The specially brewed ‘Party Pils’ was on draught, along with an unlimited supply of the other WEST core beers. Though an unfortunate fire alarm cut the VIP party slightly short, it failed to dampen the joyous mood permeating our Templeton premises.
We welcomed a number of new people to our team in 2016, including two fantastic new sales reps, Fiona Shields (West of Scotland) and Duncan Cowan (East of Scotland). We were sorry to have a long-time WESTie, Ruth Oliver, fly the nest in October, and we wish her all the best as she embarks on new adventures.
May 2017 allow us to build on the successes of the year past, as we strive to continue to bring our valued customers the finest premium beers and top-notch service that has come to be synonymous with the WEST name. We may have a few surprises up our sleeve for 2017 – you will just have to follow us and see!
Wishing all of you a happy new year and the very best in 2017.