Month No. 3

Where did the last three months go?! It doesn’t seem like ten minutes ago when we nervously unveiled LOKA POLLY to the public. We had no idea how it was going to go; at that point all we had was some rag-tag kit, an extremely talented brewer, a head of sales who kinda sorta knew what he was doing but had the gift of the gab, and five beers. Five beers which, unbeknownst to us, was about to propel this tiny little set-up in North Wales firmly onto the radar of the UK craft beer scene.

As mentioned in our previous blog post; all of our launch beers are now out in the wilderness, meandering its way through the UK as far north as Glasgow, and as down south as Brighton. It’s still utterly insane to think the beers we produce from a farm on the outskirts of our hometown, more famous for its propensity for a riot than its beer scene, are reaching people in these cities; and we’re still completely overwhelmed by the feedback we’re seeing when we come into work every day.

So here we are at month three; we’ve (just about) caught up with demand, although we’re still pretty much selling out of every beer we brew as soon as it’s ready. New cans are FINALLY due to land next month; naivety on our part as to how quickly we’d sell out meant we didn’t anticipate that our canning company wouldn’t be able to fit us in at the drop of a hat once it became obvious our plan to still have can stock available in mid-March was being thrown out of the window. We’ve been satiating demand with keg-exclusive beers in the meantime, but our real passion is packaging our beers in those lovely 440ml vessels of beauty. The time is almost upon us for new canned products and we can exclusively reveal that the new cans will be as follows:

 

  • Citra Simcoe IPA - The kegged beer we’re most proud of up to now is getting its own can run! Soupy, low IBU pineapple juice in a glass deliciousness!

 

  • El Dorado Mosaic IPA - The closest we’ll be able to get to the Galaxy Mosaic IPA for the time being, thanks to a certain Dublin brewery, but that’s not to say we’re sacrificing any quality by bringing El Dorado to the party! Just as juicy, treat it like Galaxy took a holiday to the States.

 

  • Chinook Ekuanot Pale - We’re improving our pale ales little by little every time we brew. This is no exception; we’ve taken the best part of the Amarillo Ekuanot Pale keg from early March, and formally introduced it to the best part of our Chinook Simcoe IPA. We left them alone for a little while, and well...this bitter, piney, resinous stateside baby came screaming into the world.

 

  • Citra DIPA - The big daddy, the main event, the big dookaroo (I might have made that last word up). We’re big fans of DIPAs here, and we’re taking a massive leap of faith with this one; our first ever crack at the style. It’ll be making its first-team debut at the Beer Heroes Chester Craft Festival in April, keep a keen eye out for it; we’ve got big hopes for this one!


 

Summer is also in the post, and that means we’ll be out and about a lot more (we’ve just about managed to coax our token goth, Arron to come outside into natural daylight). That means we’ll be catching up, and in some super excellent exceptional cases brewing, with our new brewing friends, taking over various taps across the country, and meeting the people who love our beer in person! We’ll also be focusing on keeping our relationship with our good beer-drinking fans as personable as we can, with ideas beginning to come to fruition which will be landing in the very near future. We’ll be posting all of this to our social media pages as and when it’s confirmed on both sides, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled on our various platforms!

 

I’ve just realised how wordy this is, my bad. So here’s a bullet pointed version of loads of things that were awesome and a couple of things that sucked from our first quarter year of existence:

 

THINGS THAT WERE SUPER AWESOME:

 

  • Selling out of beer within a month of launch

Coming back to this point is still just as insane when we first realised it was about to happen. Barely a month in and having to scramble back into the brewhouse to replenish stock levels.

  • Some of the best distributors in the company coming to us wanting our beer

We’ve made friends with some seriously cool cats who distribute our beer for us across the country. We wouldn’t be in the place we’re at now without them, and we promise we’ll be coming to tip a couple of pints when we can!

  • Going straight in at #1 on Untapped for best brewery in Wales

It’s completely arbitrary, we know. And we’re definitely by no means whatsoever in the same league as some of the breweries on that list, but it’s pretty cool to see our name up there with some of our brewing heroes.

  • Making friends with some of our favourite breweries and bars

There’s a healthy friendship developing between ourselves and a certain brewery in South Wales, we’ve a couple of collabs in the pipeline, and we’ll be taking over the taps in some of our favourite haunts in Manchester over the summer!

Monday mornings are usually reserved for a lot of coffee and contemplation. This is our go to playlist when coffee and contemplation is on the agenda

  • Arron got a new car

This was awesome because apparently the garage told him his old car was just about ready to kill him to death. Plus it’s fun to take the piss out of him for buying a stereotypical salesman’s car.

  • Being forced to implement a pre-order system on our new releases

Demand was such that we ended up taking pre-orders on our beers throughout March and April. It’s insane to think that people were happy to shell out money for beer that hadn’t even been brewed yet, let alone touched a keg.


 

THINGS THAT KINDA SUCKED:

 

  • Being forced to implement a pre-order system on our new releases

Our kit can be a bit unpredictable, and as such doesn’t always yield exactly what we hope it will. As a result, there was the odd occasion where we had to let someone down on an order because we’d oversold a beer. We’ve pretty much got this fixed though!

  • Putting Sweden on hold

We were really REALLY excited about striking our first export deal with some super friendly folk in Sweden, but unfortunately with it being too much of a clusterfuck to sort in such a short amount of time, we’ve had to shelve it for the time being. No bad blood on either side, and we’ll reconvene in the Autumn with refreshed gusto!

  • Chinook Simcoe unpredictability (cans)

Out of all our launch beers, this is the one that got the occasional bit of flack. We’re looking into it. But if you’ve had the Chinook and not enjoyed it, we’re sorry! We’re tightening our techniques and making sure any hiccups like that don’t happen again.

  • Arron really hurt his finger

Like some kind of petty ghoul, Arron’s old car decided to punish him from beyond the scrapyard and introduce his new car door to his finger. WITH SEXY RESULTS. For real though, it was pretty gross. His finger looks like a bald man gurning now. No, we’re not posting a photo of it.

  • THAT post on UK Craft Beer Forum

If you saw it, you’ll know. No, we still don’t understand it either.


 

Sean Wheldon