Wednesday 23 April 2014

It Had to Happen: Website Revamp

Our website is currently undergoing a major refit. Let's face it- it had to!

My first attempt was functional and somewhat cute, if not spectacular. So now we've got the professionals in - Yellow Spade Design. They helped us create our stylish bottle labels, flyers and gift pack designs, so it is very apt and nice of them to take up the mantle of designing our web pages for us.

An example of Yellow Spade Design's fabulous work for us!
 So please be patient whilst we undergo this work. You can follow this blog for the latest news. Our Twitter feed now links into this blog rather than the website.
For those of you looking to buy our beers online, this can still be done at:
and also at our dedicated page on the Beers of Europe website:
as well as at our other outlets around the UK.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

In March - Moths, Migration and Masterchef!

Moths: Introducing Death's-head Hawk-moth - an Iconic Stout

As Nick Cave is misquoted as saying...... "Release the Moths!"

Our first Moth Beer - again supporting Butterfly Conservation was released in March: the spookily named Death's-head Hawk-moth Stout.  This represented our first brewing collaboration in Nottinghamshire with the lovely people at Welbeck Abbey Brewery. My good self and head Brewster Claire Monk put our heads together to create a fantastic new beer.
As befitting the characteristics of this moth, this beer could only be a Stout. Needless to say all parties are really pleased with the outcome. The beer itself is very well rounded and more easy drinking than a 5% abv stout should ever be. With no bitter after-taste and a little smokiness on the end, it really is a fabulous drink.

Sneeking in under the cover of darkness: our amazing new Stout

What was also great about the release of this beer was the fact that half of the brew batch was casked and distributed by Welbeck Abbey to their publican customers, so that the multitudes could enjoy the Death's-head on draft.
Also, I am reliably informed by Claire that one cask went to a small beer festival, where it won best beer! An amazing debut. Personally, I sampled some gravity fed DHHM at the newly-opened The Star Inn in Beeston, where it was spot on. Thanks Gilly!

Migration: Arctic Tern Set to Fly Out on Cask

Peck, peck, peck! Look out, there's an Arctic Tern about. Many of our Seabird IPA's have forsaken their normal breeding grounds in Northumberland and headed for Lincolnshire. An initial pilot run in conjunction with Small Beer Ltd saw the delivery of a number of Firkins (9 gallons or 72 pints) to a their brief roosting positions at Small Beer, before embarking on a Nationwide trek to pubs in the UK. They didn't have much respite, since all were sold out within 2 days. I think this beautiful beer, reflective of a beautiful bird, is going to be popular! Hopefully we can supply Small Beer with some more soon. 

The release of the Arctic Terns into the wild was accompanied by the concurrent release of the new branding for our pump clip. Here we have majored on prominently sporting the "From the Notebook" wording at the top of the pump clip, pasted onto a notebook background. We hope that people will like it and become familiar with it and its new distinctive shape.

Masterchef: Beer in Food - It's the Future!

Recently, we have been working with professional (and we think Master)chef Kirsty Cruickshank to create a number of recipes using both sustainable sources of Fish AND our Seabird Series of Beers supporting the Marine Conservation Society. We think this is an ideal combination of ideals! Have a look at her website, For the Love of Fish - its faboo!!!
Kirsty has come up with a number of recipes so far which incorporate the use of Eider Dark Beer, Arctic Tern IPA and Puffin Best Bitter in their constitution. Of course you don't use a whole bottle in the recipe, so that there is plenty of opportunity to finish it off whilst cooking! One of these recipes is to be showcased on the Marine Conservation Society webpage FishOnLine, in May, since the recipe uses the "Fish of the Month". No spoiler alert here! Log on in May to find out just how delicious fish can be :-)  Also you can follow Kirsty on Twitter @fortheloveoffish

I know a fab chef called Kirsty
Who's fish dishes include our beer-birdies
No she hasn't forgot
To use the lot
It's just when she cooks, she gets thirsty!

Wednesday 26 March 2014

There's been a lot happening!

Hi Everyone,

Its been a while since my last blog post (July 2013) so lets take it in stages shall we......

August 2013

Nice. The Butterfly Range in its completeness.

Three became four as we welcomed our new brew, Brown Hairstreak into the fold of our Butterfly Series. We coincided its launch with our appearance at the Pershore Plum Festival, where we were lucky enough to be invited to share a stand alongside the local Brown Hairstreak Champions: the West Midlands Branch of Butterfly Conservation. See for details.

September 2013

Colin, Jean-Christophe and Graeme.

We attended the fabulous Alnwick Food Festival where our beers sold really well and we rubbed shoulders with the stars. Jean-Christophe Novelli found time during his busy schedule to pose with the likes of us and all the other market traders. Not only is he a top chef but a top bloke to boot!   

It seems that the good folk of Alnwick were already in Christmas Shopping mode as we ran out of our gift packs on the first day. They do look fab though and make exceedingly good presents!

February 2014


FTN attended the Eider Chase Meeting at Newcastle Racecourse. With bottles available at the on-course bars and draught Eider on sale just outside the racecourse at the Border Minstrel Pub, the velvety smoothness of this delicious dark beer was brought to the masses! As a rather blatant attempt to promote our lovely Eider beer, we gave the winning owners and trainers of each race on the card one of our very desirable Gift Packs. See the official photographers website for imagery:

The winning owners and trainer of the Eider Chase itself were treated to a complementary case of 12 Eiders as a suitable reward for winning this gruelling stamina test (second only in distance to the Grand National). Congratulations here goes to the winning connections of Wyck Hill, the owner, JP McManus and the trainer David Bridgwater. Rather fitting then that I backed Wyck Hill to win and celebrated later with a pint of Eider in the Border Minstrel!