Visit the Woolpack Dave's Beer and Stuff site

Well that was an interesting week. Last Saturday we exchanged contracts to sell the Pub but had no place to live. We had already moved the brewery out of the pub and it was in bits in the new location. I really wanted to get some beer brewed to catch the chance of selling some for the Easter trade in the Lakes. Despite not having a home to go to we still needed to get our various extensive possessions moved out somehow before the 19th, which is a week today as it happens.

By Saturday we had an offer on a house accepted, it's great being a cash buyer. All week I've been moving stuff from here down to our spacious 2400 sq ft industrial unit. Each trip I'd spend a couple of hours doing some plumbing or wiring. Dumping beds and boxes until a scarily small amount of the floor was showing.

I've been critical of breweries moving and retaining the geographical name despite dispensing with any connection to the original location. For this reason I wanted to retain some geographical link to Hardknott. The simplest way to do this is to continue to use the same water for brewing as I used here. An intermediate bulk container, or IBC mounted on my trailer was the answer. My big Nissan 4x4 might well be bigger than I need most of the time, but for shifting a tonne of water it's great. Today I brewed Woolpacker with Hardknott water, hopefully the new owners will be happy to buy it off me and allow me to continue to extract from, what is soon to become, their private water source.

This is all fine and dandy, but to be able to brew sufficient beer to make a living from I need a brewery slightly larger than the two-and-a-bit barrel plant I have now. It takes around 500 litres of water to make the 9 firkins of beer. I'd really have to aim for about 50 firkins of beer a week to make a reasonable living. I'd need to cart at least 3000 litres of water a week to make that amount of beer. 3 tonnes of water. I'm not sure that I'd find enough people who wanted to buy the 3600 pints of beer a week who were bothered about the provenance of Hardknott beer. In fact, who really is going to care enough to pay the extra, never mind the fuel usage and impact on the environment.

For these reasons we've been thinking that all in all it might be better to leave the Hardknott name behind. Sure, some of you have come to know that this is the name of my brewery, but the larger market that I need to develop probably doesn't care. The only problem is, we can't seem to find anything that fits the bill. I've been bouncing ideas off Jeff Pickthall and so far nothing has jumped out.

I like single word names. Conjoined made up words are fine. We certainly want to avoid anything that suggests traditional or olde-worlde. I don't want to tie myself down to geography and besides, geographically named beers appear to get themselves constrained to local distribution.

What I do want is a name for my brewery that suggests innovation, because innovative we certainly intend to be. We also want a name that will give a prospective purchaser the idea that the product is crafted with care and passion, because I can promise that my beers will always have that.

Has the above brought any inspiration to my reader? Have you got the very name right there and are just bursting to let me know?

Well, go on then, tell me, comment away.