A little late, but here it is – news from April/May!
April, May and we’re neck deep in work. Things happened, whoever happened to be watching us knows that, but in the interest of accuracy I’ll remind you of the most important events of those days for the brewery.
And heads up to those who are just starting their adventure with us on this blog: go get your beer mug ready!
April was like a hand grenade at the beginning quiet and a moment later an explosion, with tricky moments but ones which bode well for the future. We started from a coming out at the Silesian Craft Beer Review spring edition at the multitap Kontynuacja Katowice. Our thanks to all those who came out to give us a high five and talk.
May was a month of shocks. As always happens in my case, at the last minute (and because of the general organisational chaos) I entered our beers in the competition of craft beers organised by the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences. To tell the truth, we didn’t stand a chance of winning as a new brewery on the market. As many as 83 different beers were judged in the competition from 37 different breweries. Pilica Brewery was up against such outstanding breweries as Profesja, 100 Mostów, Nook, Wielka Wyspa, and Caminus. The jury consisted of 6 top specialists with Rafał Kowalczyk heading the commission. Rafał, I assume, needs no introduction to anyone with the slightest interest in craft beers. But just to be sure, he is judge in international craft beer competitions such as the World Beer Cup (USA), the Great American Beer Festival (USA), the International Beer Cup (Japan), and the Brussels Beer Challenge (Belgium). He is also the organiser and head of the jury of the Polish professional beer competition GoodBeer. Now I’d like to take a moment to introduce Maja Drab, a specialist in sensory assessment at Kompania Piwowarska at the Poznań Brewery. With her there is no fooling around, she’s a total professional. The next judge was Krzysztof Lechowski, the co-creator and long-time lecturer of the first courses for beer judges in Poland, a juror at more than 100 competitions of homebrew and commercial beers, including two editions of European Beer Star in Germany. Rajmund Komosiński is a certified judge of the Polish Association of Home Beer Brewers. He is also the organiser of the Holiday Home Brew Competition and of sensory assessment competitions. The jury also included Sebastian Baranowski and Filip Dąbrowski, a graduate of the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences.
This actually happened, I received an email saying that one of our beers was a winner at the competition. Two weeks later we went to the gala celebration. And now, just imagine that you’re sitting there, all stressed out because you know that whatever place you win you’ll still have to walk out on that stage. Ok, and here goes, I hear that Amber Ale has been awarded honourable mention. Awarded by the jury due to the high and even level of the competition. Total surprise! I hadn’t had any information before that not one, but two of beers had won something. I was asked to come up on stage to accept the award. Blood pressure shoots up and I almost tripped on my own shoes. Later it got easier. I heard that first place was won by MO.ES from Pilica Brewery. I received the cup from the rector of the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Dr Tadeusz Trziszka. I thought I should lift up the cup like during the finals of the Champions League, but – relax – I didn’t do it.
I also had the opportunity to make a brief statement on stage, I didn’t have to but I did it. Thank yous here, thanks yous there, boring. But I really have to emphasise the two things that were most important for me. First, that behind every success stands not one person, but a whole team of people. My team includes my family, ReCraft Brewery, and good friends. The second thing was that the award was important to me personally, but also for all of Pilica. Just a little way of bringing attention to this fascinating place, so worth visiting and meeting the local people. I read from the faces of the crowd that I shouldn’t drag it out too long, because by that time I think everybody must have been hungry. You know, it’s a bit like at a wedding party, you’re already hungry in church and you can’t wait for lunch. I’ll try to present a little bit of information about the best things to see in Pilica in the category “A bit of history – Discover”.
The next day, after the award ceremony, we received a proposition to present our beers at the Natural Scientists Days in Wrocław. Sincere thanks for such a warm reception and for such lively interest in what we’re doing. We rounded out May with the “Flying Beer Festival” (Lotny Festiwal Piwa) in Gliwice (a travelling beer festival held in various cities). Our first festival was like a space flight with no escape capsule. We didn’t have basic things like stretch film to seal off our tent at night (that’s the way it works at festivals). Fortunately, fine friends from neighbouring breweries helped us out. Respect gentlemen, thank you. And who broke our lounge chair? Don’t worry, it’s already fixed!
In May, we also made the decision to launch a new beer and settled on what kind of recipe to use. For now, without revealing and details, I’ll just say that it’ll come out in late July/early August, meaning soon. And the official premier will be held in our friendly neighbourhood restaurant Pod Kolumnami in Pilica. The next premiers will take place in Wroclaw and Kraków. Stay tuned! We’re also getting a certain surprise ready. We’re betting on the element of shock. We’re still working out the details, further information will be given in social media.
Talk to you later! Be seeing you!:)