2020 Year Summary
21 December 2020
Year Summary 2020
As we end what has been a year like no other, we would like to
say a HUGE thankyou to everyone for their ongoing support.
Covid-19: Adaptation and
The Coronavirus pandemic is an unavoidable topic
when it comes to looking back on this year.
Firstly, the impact of the pandemic on our
industry has been awful and we are very sorry to have seen
businesses fail under the extreme challenges they faced. We hope
you can support your local hospitality businesses when you can, we
know they will appreciate it. We have been delivering beer to our
trade customers throughout the year, offering as much support as we
In March we were faced with a choice to lay down
our pipes, pack up the hops and temporarily stop brewing or stay
open, keep brewing and adapt the brewery to meet the new demand.
Here we are at the end of 2020 brewing flat out!
Once our shop was added to the essential list,
we acted quickly in setting up our drive-through while deciding to
keep our shop doors closed for safety. Our drive-through provided
customers with a socially distanced, safe and completely contact
free shopping experience. Word got out and the service became very
popular. Over the following months our drive-through operation was
developed, becoming ever more efficient for the
For those customers who were isolating and
shielding, our drive-through may still be too risky, so we started
our home delivery service. This service initially offered our
customers living within 10 miles of the brewery the option to call
and place their order, which would then be delivered to their door
by our draymen. The service was then improved upon, adapting our
online shop to allow home delivery orders to be taken and extending
the delivery range to 17 miles. This service is very popular and
will stay part of our brewery going forward as will the
As lockdown relaxed and the tier systems were
established in September, the brewery shop re-opened its doors with
safety measures made to ensure customers and staff were safe. It
was good to see familiar faces back in the shop again.
Your support of our shop, drive-through and home
delivery services is the reason we have weathered the Covid storm
and we are very appreciative to you all.
As the country thanks the NHS for the amazing
work they do, we also wanted to show our support by offering NHS
workers a discount, saving them £8000 since it began. This discount
will continue into the New Year. Thank you all at the
A Year in Stats
402 Brews producing 3.8 million
73,000 cars served through the drive
25,000 home deliveries made within 17 miles of
4000 orders sent around the UK via
Over 1 million bottles bottled.
In the Brewhouse -
A Summary From Our Head Brewer, Ed Bates
"The sudden surge in demand from the drive-through was
particularly challenging as we were not geared up to meet this
demand. Lots of long hours to package the beer and where we would
normally throw people at the problem, we couldn't do this as we had
to stay socially distanced. There were some very tired members of
the packaging team in the spring! Thankfully, we had just invested
in a new automated filler which allows us to fill much quicker.
Without this, we would have never been able to keep up with
The bottling line was commissioned in the late Autumn
of 2019 and our tank set up was designed to be able to do 1 run a
week with possible 2 at very busy times. We were running these 5
times a week in the spring to try to keep up with the surge in
demand. It quickly became apparent that we needed to invest in more
filtration capacity and had to adapt lots of our tanks so we could
bottle more beer. We also had to train up staff quickly in the new
line, although they had plenty of opportunities to practice.
We bottled over a million bottles this year, each one having to
be placed on the line by hand and put into the box by hand. The new
bottling line has been amazing as it means we were not fighting for
space on someone elses line and we have had total control on the
quality of the beer. We are really pleased with how it's been
working and feel our bottled beer is the best it's ever
The shift from cask to small pack meant a complete
shift in what beers we thought we would be brewing this year. We
had brewed as many bottled Blonde batches by May as we expected to
brew all year. This has meant having to balance our contract of
hops and malt and substituting in different ingredients when we
could not get what we needed whilst keeping the beer character
We also launched a new core beer in Overthrow. Based around
Zebedee but modified to retain its balance at a lower ABV this has
proved even more popular than anticipated. Just another thing to
keep us on our toes this year.
The brewing team have also been joined by Sheehan who oversaw
quality control in a brewery in the States. He has come in with
some fresh ideas and we hope he will continue our drive to always
improve on the quality of our beer here at Rebellion."
Congratulations to all in our production team for their
flexibility and efforts to manage such a shift.
2021 Monthly Beer Range
2020's beer range was all related to sporting
events, none of which happened. Consequently, we are going to
re-run this year's beers in 2021. There were some fantastic beers
this year, so it will be good to taste them again.
We will be hosting the open nights as soon as we
can. We will be keeping an eye on the Government rules, making the
call to re-start when we feel we can do so safely.
Watch out for updates on this hopefully in the
At the beginning of December, we bottled our one
millionth bottle of the year, the most we have ever bottled on-site
in a single year, ever. Passing a milestone like this is a real
motivation for all the staff and really is a testament to the
effort of our brewing and production teams, who have been working
flat out to keep the shop, drive-through and online shop stocked up
with beer. More on this in our Head Brewer's summary
SIBA Digital Beer Awards
Beer awards were still being held this year,
with judges being sent the beer and tasting in their own homes. We
sent our bottled beers to The SIBA Digital Beer Awards, a
competition open in the UK to all independent breweries. We were
very happy to have won a couple of awards in the Midland region and
will enter again next year.
Red: Gold in SIBA Digital Awards 2020 (Midlands
Regional) in Premium Bitters (4.5 to 6.4%).
24 Carat: Silver in SIBA Digital Awards 2020
(Midlands Regional) Premium Pale Ales (4.4 to 5.4%).
Lager: Silver in SIBA Digital Awards 2020
(Midlands Regional) Session Lager & Pilsners.
Coming in 2021
Hopefully, the world may begin to return to some
normality next year. We have got some plans for 2021 and
we'll just have to see how many we can complete.
The plans are to have a brewery taproom run
alongside the shop so you will be able to come to the brewery for a
beer/coffee, possibly eat and then shop for your take-away beer and
wine. This will start off small and be developed over time with
plans still in their infancy, we will let you know more as soon as
This is a big unknown and is very much down to
the pandemic's development. We can't commit to anything currently,
so please keep an eye out for news in the Spring.
Reusable 1 Litres
This project was temporarily delayed due to
Covid but we hope you'll see them used in the New Year. The plan is
to introduce a new 1 litre swing top bottle which will be re-usable
and returnable. Once these are in, over 40% of our beer volume sold
in the shop will be in returnable/reusable containers. Our trade
division already achieves over 90% beer delivered in
We have invested in a new on-site, small-batch
trial brewery, which will be able to brew 500-1000 litre batches of
any style of beer from around the world. This was due to arrive
this week and is currently held up at Dover! This should be
commissioned in the New Year and be in service by late Spring so
watch out for a much broader range of once-off beers available
through the shop in the future.
We would like to again thank you all for the amazing support you
have given us over the year.
Lastly, we are also fortunate to have an amazing group of
committed employees to have worked very hard for the last 9 months
under ever-changing conditions and without whom none of what we
offer you would happen, so thanks to them all also.
We hope you all enjoy some form of Christmas and
a have a Happy New Year
From all at the Rebellion Brewery.
Let's hope for a speedy return to normal in