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Fergus's New Year Wishes

By Fergus Fitzgerald, also posted in News on

Adnams Fergus Fitzgerald with the hops growing in the yard at the Whisky Dunnage in SouthwoldThis is just a quick post to say thanks to you all for this year, as you’ll see fairly shortly we’ve had a fantastic year and I know it's expected at this time of year to say ‘yeah, it's gone really well, thanks’ but it really has. There are still a few days' trading before year end but unless we’ve bought a lot of identically broken calculators then when we add it all up we will have brewed more beer than we’ve ever done before. On top of that we’ve also sold more beer than we’ve ever done before (this, I’m told, is more important than the first part). Even better, people who’ve bought that beer have paid us slightly more money than it cost us to make so everyone is happy because that means we can afford to do it all again next year. Along the way we also won a few awards, beer quality and consistency has never been better, and we’ve brewed more batches of beer and more new beers this year than before, which keeps us brewers happy. So generally you get the idea that 2014 has been a fantastic year. Before we head off into the final sunset of 2014, I’ve got a couple of Christmas wishes for 2015. These aren’t aimed at any particular deity or rotund men in red velvet suits so feel free to pitch in. 1.    Please let the crop of Jester hop be as good as the samples. I’ve bought quite a lot of this new UK hop variety and I’ve already sold some of the single hop beer, so I’m sort of banking on it being fantastic. 2.    We need to do something about the constant arguing about the ‘C’ word. What it is and what it isn’t, who decides, no one knows. I would say no one cares but that isn’t true, just please stop. Or we just pick someone at random and they get to become the sole arbiter of 'Craft'. My Mum could do it, she doesn’t know anything about beer so she has no prejudices either way, she’d be perfect. I’ll ask her. 3.    There have been far too many instances this year of sexism in the beer industry, whether its pump-clips, apps or ridiculous toilets, the cry has often gone out that ‘it's 2014, how could this still be happening’, well next year is 2015, that’s a whole one more than 2014 so can we all try and make sure it doesn’t happen anymore. It's depressing to see and if nothing else it alienates a large section of beer drinkers and is totally at odds with what I perhaps naively see as the inclusive culture of beer. 4.    Judge a beer as you find it rather than on the reputation of the brewery. This is aimed at me really, I try to be open minded but I have caught myself this year voicing opinions about beers that I haven’t even tasted, both positive and negative. I want to get back to a place where I judge a beer on its own merits, big brewery or small, traditional or modern. As the Chef in Ratatouille says ‘anyone can cook’ and by ‘cook’ I mean brew and by ‘anyone’ I mean good beer can come from any brewery not just the ones I like. 5.    Keep saying yes (when you can). We’ve had a really busy year, I may have mentioned, and with that comes problems of time and tank capacity etc. so it easier to say no to new ideas but one of the reasons I think we’re selling more beer is we have been willing to try some new things over the past five years. It’s one of the reasons I like collaboration brews, it almost always involves someone asking you to do something you’ve never done before. If nothing else it makes life more interesting That’s it, thanks again for enjoying a few beers with us in 2014, some of you in person. See you all in 2015. Fergus

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