Looking back at 2020
What a year at Vault City Brewing! 50 new beers, 4 new team members and 1 new brewery.... Never mind the global pandemic!
It’s been a crazy journey which could fill pages and pages from upgrading to our new bottling line, starting the webshop and running our regular #soursunday feature all the way to our own brewkit arriving in our new site in Portobello, Edinburgh. We wanted to share a couple of our biggest moments from this year with you and a few of our favourite beers, both from us and our pals around the world.
- Going Full Time
- At the start of 2020 our growth since moving into 71 Brewing meant that Vault City brewing went from a pipe dream side project to a full-time gig for Founders Steve and Johnny.
- Losing a Founder.
- Not long into 2020 Johnny parted ways with Vault City Brewing which was a sad loss but both parties agreed best for all. We're stoked to try the first brews from his new project, Holy Goat brewing next year.
- Hiring a team
- Despite the difficulties presented by lockdown we had fantastic support of our fans which lead to growth all summer long. More work meant more people were needed and as we see out the year, we’ve assembled an ace team of 5 ready to leap into the challenges of the new year. Go team!
- Modern Sour Beer
- Our Sour Beers have always been a little different, from our fermentation and house mixed-culture to the flavour combinations and final character. We’ve settled on the term (/style?) Modern Sour Beer to describe our beers and split them into Session, Serious and Silly categories.
- Moving to Portobello, Edinburgh
- To round out an incredible (in every sense of the word) 2020 we find ourselves fully operational, with a handful of brews over Christmas under our belt, in our new brewery in Portobello, having returned to Edinburgh. Bonkers.
Our top five proudest beers we loved and hope you loved too:
- Strawberry Skies
- The Skies series started with Strawberry Skies, over a year later we’ve just rereleased it, and was the beer which really started our journey to discover what was possible with Modern Sour Beer and catapulted us onto many people’s beery radar.
- Apple Maple Pecan
- A firm staff favourite, this seasonal sensation was a hit wherever it was tasted. Liquid toffee apples with a nutty back note. We are really proud of this one. So proud, you might see some adaptations next year…
- Farm to Fermenter
- This was a series which we are immensely proud of and our season ended a little too quickly for our liking. Hyper-local fruits were sourced from right on our doorstep. Working with nearby farms to time their harvests with our brewing schedule to have fruit from farm to fermenter within 24 hours. This concept will be back next year for sure!
- Cloudy Lemonade
- The start of our Session Sour series, taking inspiration from soft drinks we enjoy through the summer, and the beginning of our organisation of Modern Sour Beer into Session, Serious and Silly categories. Cloudy Lemonade remains one of our favourite Session Sours.
- Imperial Stouts
- We tucked a portion of our Imperial Double Mash Stout into Speyside Whisky barrels for 9 months to mature gently and take on some barrel character. We then split the blend in two for editions, Maple Coconut and Honeycomb Turnover. We’re chuffed
Some of the best beers we tried this year narrowed down to five:
- BFM – Abbey Saint Bon Chien
- Inspirational blending from Switzerland. If you haven’t tried this Biere de Garde we highly recommend seeking out any edition of it in 2021. (We tried the 2017 edition just before Christams.)
- Fierce – Big Chomp
- Bringing the fire as usual our Scottish companions in craft beer have knocked this Imperial Stout out the park. A standout in the Collabfest range this year for us.
- Donzoko – Big Foam
- Nothern wizards of the reinheitsgebot, Donzoko is our go to crispy tallball with Northern Helles being a ritual refreshment. Big Foam touted as a Rustic Lager really turns up the heat on a style so many find extra cold.
- Verdant – People Money Space Time
- A full keg of this sessions pale lasted no time at all in our hands and the citrus and mosaic bomb has oodles of body and character for a sub 4% sipper. Perfection from Verdant as always.
- Mills – Saison Lees
- A South-West mixed-ferm extravaganza. The rustic Saison is the perfect balance of grain, funk and noble hop. We were blown away by this corker of a beer. Extra points if pairing with Ramen…
That’s it from us for 2020. We’ll see you all with some fresh releases and more info on the new brewery in next year.
Happy Hogmanay / Happy New Year!
Team Vault City x