SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR

By Alex Cosgrove

News from the Brewhouse No. 8 – Festival Frolics

Welcome to the latest edition of News from the Brews. This month we decided to try and hold on to the last of the summer and look back on our record breaking summer of events and festivals.

If you’ve been following our social media you’ll have seen Purity has been at lots of events and festivals this summer, it was in fact a record breaking summer for Purity in terms of the number of events undertaken. From Bruce Springsteen at the Ricoh Arena, Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul, Ocean Colour Scene, Birmingham Beer Bash, Tap Takeovers to Lunar Festival and Moseley Folk it has been an incredible summer. So as the sunshine fades we got an insight into what goes on behind the scenes at all these events with our Marketing & Events team.

Our Marketing & Events Manager Ian Parkes, our Marketing & Events Coordinator Alex Cosgrove and our Head of Logistics Ian Back have had a mammoth summer with events almost every weekend. So after a small rest bite we decided to grab a chat with them to find out just what it takes to deliver our award winning beer to all of these events.

As Marketing & Events manager how do you decide which events and festivals to get involved with?

IP: We make sure that we work with events that enable us to get close to our consumers, align with our values and interests and those festivals which care about the quality of the beers that they offer to the festival goers. Music is close to our hearts at Purity and we have been lucky enough to work with some of the most exciting and well respected festivals within the U.K. We started off working with the Moseley Festivals, Soul/Funk and Folk and 10 years later still work with the festival to supply great beer to accompany the amazing music. Since then we have seen our beer go out to Wilderness, Shambala, Lunar Festival and most recently Camper Calling to name but a few. The festival scene has also been a great way for us to retain a real connection to our local community none more so than the likes of Kineton and Napton Music Festivals and Alcester Food Festival. We love to see people enjoying our beers and being at the festival is a great way for us to do this.

What event has been the most challenging this summer?

IP: All of the festivals we work with present their own challenges but mainly because of our own high standards that we set for the beer. We are committed to making sure that you get as good a pint as you’d get in your local pub but at your favourite outdoor festival. This in itself is no mean feat as you have to deal with bigger temperature differentials, interesting terrain for heavy beer deliveries and a turnover of beer which makes good cellar management essential to getting the beer conditioned to our exacting ‘Pure Quality’ standards. Luckily we have a team here at Purity who love cask beer and take real pride in serving a pint in the best possible condition.

IB: I found the Mostly Jazz very challenging this year especially with the addition of the OCS Concert at the end of the week. We were presented with a new location for the main bar which in itself was a challenge to set up due to the uneven ground and ensuring the racking was erected securely and that stock was kept as cool as possible prior to the events. The positive feedback regarding the quality of the beer and the visual impact made it all worthwhile!

As Head of Logistics you must work very closely with Ian P how does it work with getting the event delivered from set up with the marketing team?

IB: I have worked with Ian for a few years now setting up and delivering events and we have developed a really strong relationship. We both understand the importance of quality and brand presentation and both fully understand that event organisers are likely to change their mind or have new ideas along the way which need to be catered for. Working together as a team on these events means that every eventuality can be covered, from emergency orders to technical service and training. We also have a really strong Distribution Team who all understand the complexities of these events and are willing to get stuck in to ensure that they run as smoothly and as profitably as possible.

Alex you were looking after the Ricoh for Bruce Springsteen whilst everyone else was at Lunar how was that?

AC: What an evening! It was a busy week that week with the build up to Lunar Festival as well so I spent the most part of the week over there. We had seen the crowd queuing on social media and thought it was going to be busy but nothing could prepare you for site when I got to the Ricoh! We delivered a record amount of beer to the Ricoh for the gig and it all went! Thankfully the training that Ian and I have delivered to the guys there ensured people got served a quality pint swiftly. We got some great images and had some great social media interaction on the night which combined with Lunar allowed us to kick start a weekend of music!

Music is a key part of Purity’s core values why is that?

IP: Music, like food, beer and cycling are all things which you tend to have to get under the skin of to get the most from. Most people that are into their music are into their food, beer and music aren’t satisfied with simply eating it, drinking it and listening to it, they want to understand, how and why it is made and what the provenance behind it is. We are a pretty creative bunch at Purity and the soundtrack to our lives often provide the creative driving force to the way we do business. We constantly have music on in the office and the incredible thing about our staff is that they rarely disagree on the music choice. 6 Music tends to keep us all happy and helps us all to generate a lively and creative office.

What is the most challenging aspect of delivering quality beer to events?

IB: Temperature and hygiene, by their nature many of these events have no chilled storage and often have to be delivered through a variety of mediums, mud and dust being just two……. Through careful delivery and staff training we ensure that the final serve is as good as the first and the first is of the highest standard. Obviously weather has a major effect on delivering to outside events (let alone its effect on crowd numbers) therefore the elements have to be carefully considered when planning deliveries and storing beer during the event.

Lastly which has been the most enjoyable event this summer for you?

IP: We all love Lunar Festival. We run the entire bar at Lunar, which means we look after everything from the cellar management to the front of house. The festival is brilliant and it gives us the opportunity for the entire team to be put up in front of our consumers and to show them what Purity are all about. Lunar has a great line up and assortment of food and activities, the vibe is awesome and everyone enjoys the atmosphere, which is supremely chilled out. Personally for me Lunar marks the start of the summer and there is no better time for us at Purity than staring ahead at a long, busy summer!

IB: Similar to IP really – Lunar is a mammoth effort from the whole Purity team but very rewarding. Despite the challenge it proved I did love the Ocean Colour Scene gig straight after Mostly Jazz. It was another huge effort from everyone involved to deliver two sell-out crowds our beer and we even had to deliver extra beer in on Friday night!

AC:  Tough one, Bruce Springsteen as I was in charge (kind of), Birmingham Beer Bash was great to enjoying some awesome beers and chatting to fellow beer fans. But for me Lunar is always a highlight and this year was no exception, I even roped in a mate from home to become an honorary Purity member! It is truly like nothing else that weekend and if you haven’t been you need to check out next year and make sure to go through the Magic Door.

By Alex Cosgrove

News From the Brewhouse No. 7 – It’s a Hard Job…

Welcome to the latest edition of News from the Brewhouse. For those eagle eyed enough to have spotted us on the recent Countryfile – ‘Shakespeare Special’ you will have seen the Bard of Barnsley, Ian McMillan visiting us and talking to our Front of House Manager, John Conod about Purity’s top secret tasting panel. And we wanted to give our Puritans the down low on just what happens, when every Friday various members of the Purity team disappear into the visitor centre for a special beer tasting.

John introduced Ian into this secret and now that the word is out we thought we would grab a chat with Aaron Taubman our Quality Control Manager, so he could explain to our Puritans, just what we get up to.

Firstly Aaron, tasting beer for a living must be really hard work I guess? 

Well it certainly sounds good doesn’t it, but in all seriousness there is much more to it than just standing around drinking a pint. My role at Purity as Quality Control Manager means I oversee all aspects of the production process to ensure that we produce the best quality beer possible. The odd taste test along the way is a perk of the job, but one that is done for the greater good in ensuring that our Puritans get the perfect pint.

How did the tasting panel come about?

Purity has always had a tasting panel. Before I arrived the tastings were all conducted in the brew house by the brew team and Paul and Jim. Nowadays though with Paul and Jim much busier and our standards even higher than ever, we have had to change the way we do things.

All great breweries all have a tasting panel as it ensures that all the beer we produce meets the high standards we set ourselves and by bringing staff members in from all the different departments it reduces the bias that could occur if it was just myself and the brewing team. That is what makes our tasting panel so special that each department takes responsibility for the quality of the beer that goes out of the brewery.

What are the benefits to conducting a tasting panel?

The main benefit is we are able to ensure that what we are brewing meets the quality standards we set but it also allows us to track from brew to brew and see what changes. It provides a quality assurance approach to the brewing process and is something, which has provided inspiration for other quality control processes in other areas of the business as we strive to achieve Pure Quality throughout the brewery.

By having a weekly tasting panel we can quickly detect any potential problems or changes in the beer and put processes in place to ensure that we don’t experience any crises. It also allows us to establish whether we need to make any tweaks to our recipes to keep the beers in tip-top condition. Because we constantly strive to brew the best beer possible we always open ourselves up to honest feedback and the tasting panel is a great platform to test our consistency.

What are the key things you’re looking for in each session?

The key things we are looking for are aroma, how true to brand each of the samples are and most importantly whether the flavour profiles of each beer are as we would expect. Recently we have been doing some work on enhancing the tropical notes we achieve in Longhorn IPA and thanks to the work by of the tasting panel we have been able to increase the aroma profile of the beer.

Have any adjustments been made to any of our beers following the response on these panels?

Yes – many changes have been implemented thanks to the findings of the tasting panel. It goes back to what I said earlier, we are constantly looking to improve and brew the best beer we can. The panel has helped us to make some subtle improvements here and there to recipes and have even been part of the rejection of a batch of hops, which as the brew team suspected, were not up to our own exacting standards.

It must be weird for you to have your work judged by your peers?  

No not at all, in actual fact it is refreshing. By opening up our round table it gives some of the team who don’t often have much to do with the beer a real insight into what we get up too. It keeps us on our toes and as innovators, we like that!

What beers have stood out in the tasting panel to date?

Well the two highest scoring beers of the sessions so far have been ‘X’ our bourbon aged Rye IPA and a new beer, which we have coming out soon!

Flo and I created  ‘X’ to celebrate Purity’s 10th birthday and both the bottle a limited edition keg version scored really highly with all our tasters. The second brew was one that is yet to see the light of day (apart from a few special test locations) and it scored higher than any other beer we have tasted to date. This is really exciting as we have been thinking about brewing this style of beer for a while and it seems like we are definitely on the right track with it and after a couple more small changes, think it will be ready to launch.  Watch this space I guess!

Hopefully we have been able to bring you a real insight into how serious we take quality of the beer we produce and that every member of the Purity team plays an important role into producing our award winning beers. If you want to learn more about X the highest rated beer at the round table tastings then take a look back at our previous News from the Brewhouse here…. Or to buy your own commemorative brew check out www.bottleshack.uk

By Alex Cosgrove

The Merchants Inn, Rugby our first Puritan Pub of the Year

As part of our tenth birthday, we have launched an initiative to celebrate pubs that uphold our ‘Pure Quality’ standard in the storage and serving of our award winning craft beers.

The ‘Puritan’ Pub of the Year title acknowledges the commitment to delivering the best pint of our beers possible to the consumer, and we have named The Merchants Inn, Rugby as our first winner.

The Merchants, known as The Pub of Rugby, is operated under the watchful gaze of Gary Burlison and Scott Whyment, who have turned the pub into a Midlands institution, where no trip into the town is complete without a pint of Mad Goose.

Gary, Scott and their team have become famed for the way in which they keep and serve their Purity beer and are testament to how, if you run your pub well, you can embed yourselves into the community and create a renowned and successful business.

Our Director of Brewing, Flo Vialan, and Quality Manager, Aaron Taubman, have prided themselves on the cleanliness of our brewery and the care and attention paid to the brew, all in the name of achieving absolute consistency. This detail permeates the rest of the business where ‘Pure Quality’ is practiced by all of the Purity team whether in the offices, on the road or in the brewery shop.

We have taken the unique ‘Pure Quality’ mantra further as a means of encouraging best practice amongst our customers and as a way of supporting them in delivering the best pint of beer possible. We have always worked hard to get close to our customers and have been able to add to the consumer experience by championing the virtues of a pristine cellar and well-kept and conditioned beer.

Our MD Paul Halsey, said: “We are delighted to announce The Merchants Inn as our first Puritan Pub of the Year. Gary and Scott are fantastic operators and never fail to take great care of the beer that we carefully craft here at the brewery. Their outlook on business and their work ethic is exceptional, and they are repaid over and over by their loyal staff and customers.

“In our industry, we are fortunate to meet and work with some top people and Gary and Scott are a fine example of that. It is no wonder that the fabled ‘Merchants’ has led to this great team being proclaimed ‘Puritan Pub of the Year’. All of us at Purity are delighted to raise a glass to them and we look forward to celebrating with more of our loyal advocates as we name more pubs as ‘Puritan’ pubs over the coming years.”

Scott Whyment, The Merchants, comments: “We are delighted to have been named as the inaugural ‘Puritan Pub of the Year’. To be recognised by the brewery for the way we serve their beer and keep our cellar is testament to the hard work of The Merchants Inn team and something that we will all look forward to celebrating together. The quality of the beer is exceptional and we are proud of our high standards and the quality of our service. Cheers.”

By Alex Cosgrove

Purity Brewing Company celebrates further growth as it turns ten years old

As we move into our 10th year, we are delighted to report a strong performance at financial year end. The company is reporting a £5,900,000 turnover, which means growth of 35% year on year.

We continue to go from strength to strength and can celebrate our 10th Birthday in style thanks to World Beer Award wins for Pure UBU (World’s Best Amber Ale) and Lawless Lager (World’s Best German Style Lager), exciting new partnerships, a growing team and the likelihood of a new beer on the way in 2016.

Purity owners Paul Halsey and James Minkin launched the brewery at Upper Spernall Farm in 2005, when they brewed and sold the beer, and even made the deliveries themselves, before recruiting now Director of Brewing Flo Vialan and building up a dedicated team of passionate people to deal with the growing demand.

Having started out with just two cask ales, Pure Gold and Pure UBU, our range has now grown to include Mad Goose and Saddle Black, as well as craft keg beers Longhorn IPA and Lawless Lager. We have been rewarded for our dedication to brewing quality and consistent beers by winning multiple national awards with CAMRA and SIBA and international awards at the International Beer Challenge and World Beer Awards, a sure sign that they we are continuing to satisfy the tastes of our discerning and loyal fan base.

In an exciting year for the Purity, our ethic of ‘brewing with a conscience’ has seen us named UK Sustainable Manufacturer of the Year, whist our growth and the award-winning nature of our beers has also seen us announce long-term partnerships with Wasps and Ricoh Arena, as well as continuing its relationships with Coventry Rugby and a number of regional music festivals including Mostly Jazz, Moseley Folk and Lunar Festival.

Purity MD, Paul Halsey: “For us, our ongoing success is absolutely down to our staff, supporters and loyal customers, who we know truly appreciate our approach to brewing. We have unwaveringly stuck to our principles of quality, attention to detail and brewing with a conscience and as we enter our 10th year have created a fantastic story and incredible following. Our ‘Puritans’ are the reason we keep growing, so here’s to everyone that enjoys our beer and makes us who we are today. I can promise that our values will continue to drive everything we do as we enter an exciting new chapter.”

News from the Brewhouse No. 8 – Festival Frolics
News From the Brewhouse No. 7 – It’s a Hard Job…
The Merchants Inn, Rugby our first Puritan Pub of the Year
Purity Brewing Company celebrates further growth as it turns ten years old