OUR YEAR IN BEER
We’ve almost wrapped up another year at Vault City and as usual, we’re in complete disbelief! Where did the time go? Time flies when you’re having fun etc etc. Seriously though, we’ve put this blog together to help remember some of our favourite releases, collabs and events from 2023.
It’s been a big year for us and we’re so grateful for all the support we’ve had from our amazing customers in the UK and beyond. We’ve got some exciting things brewing for 2024 and we can’t wait to share them with you…
STILL SOUR TO THE CORE
We’ve gone sourer than ever this year (if that’s even possible). We also brewed more beers than ever before, including our most sour release inspired by toxic waste sweets. We added 8 new fermenters to the brewery in 2023, adopting a New York style architecture and building upwards to make the most of the space we have in our current site – which is admittedly a little tight these days…
In total, we released 84 beers in 2023, compared to 65 from the previous year, continuing our schedule of 6 new releases each month plus a few extras for good measure. That’s 79 sour beers and 5 imperial stouts overall.
82 of these releases were sold across a variety of bars, bottle shops, and our website, and 2 were new additions to supermarket shelves. 17 of these releases were home collabs but we also ventured out to roughly the same number of breweries for ‘away’ collabs. 8 of the 84 releases were rebrews in some shape or form, meaning 76 brand new recipes were created this year – testament to our production team who quite frankly knocked it out the park!
TURN UP THE VAULTAGE
This year marked a few firsts for Vault City, including our recent move to a 7-day production schedule while maintaining our 4-day work week. We also hit some serious high-vaultage with our imperial stouts in 2023. Now, we’re known for high ABV beers but this was a new record for us, with our DDF (double-deep-fried) series hitting 15.5% and most recently 16%.
DDF M*rs Bar Imperial Stout was the first of the series, brewed in collaboration with our pals at Neon Raptor. The Scottish stereotypes were as apparent as the bold flavour, and this unique twist on a big chocolatey stout has just been announced as the highest rated beer in the UK on Untappd in 2023.
WE GOT SOUR AF
Our last release of 2022 was our first 0.5% beer, a collaboration between Vault City and Mash Gang timed perfectly for Dry January in 2023. Since then, we’ve launched 5 more 0.5% beers in our sour AF series with the lo & no legends at Mash Gang.
Alcohol free and reduced alcohol beers are still fairly new to us, but it’s something we’ve loved brewing, and the response has been amazing. We’re excited to create more in 2024, from 0.5% sours, to radlers and table beers around 3.4%.
HELLO EL PERRO NEGRO
Award-winning sour beer pairs perfectly with award-winning burgers. We can say this confidently because we’ve tried both together. Many, many times. The wonderful team at El Perro Negro know their way around a smash burger, and now so do the people of Portobello, since opening their pop-up kitchen at our taproom, Porty Vault.
This collaboration launched in September and was supposed to last 12 weeks but as expected, our love of beer and burger combinations has only grown since then and they’ve found a fairly permanent position as an extension of team Vault City. So, if you haven’t tried El Perro Negro yet, pay Porty a visit and get your hands on a burger alongside 36 choices of draught beer.
SUPER-SOURS ON SHELVES
Our first ever 4-pack hit Tesco shelves early this year, with Strawberry & Peach sours at a very sessionable 4.3% Our 4-pack was built for BBQs, parties, or just a reliable fridge filler for sour obsessed sippers.
We also launched Triple Fruited Mango (our biggest selling beer) into lots of new supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – where we later launched Rhubarb & Custard, an exclusive dessert sour picked from our top-rated session sour recipes.
We released a lot of new beers this year, and we got a lot of requests to stock more supermarkets. This is something we’ve been working on, and we’ll have some exciting news to share soon…
5 YEARS OF SOUR BEER
2023 marked our 5th birthday and we celebrated the only way we know how; by brewing some extra special beers and making stupid videos on social media. We can’t quite believe how quickly this year has gone by, so you can imagine how difficult it was for us to process 5 years as a dedicated sour beer brewery.
4 of our birthday releases were collaborations with Polly’s, Moersleutl, Adroit Theory, and our indie partnership with The Hop Shop, Craft Bar, and The Hanging Bat. The 5th and final release was our 999g/L Birthday Cake smoothie sour, which coincidentally was the 5th time we’d brewed a beer of this style, using the legal maximum amount of fruit while still being able to call it a beer. Check out our birthday blog if you wanna learn more about our sour beer journey, kicking it back to the early days of 2018 where we hand bottled and hand labelled all releases in 400L batches.
WEE VAULT TURNED 2
While the brewery turned 5 in July, our tiny taproom (with more taps than seats) turned 2 this November. The Wee Vault was our first foray into taprooms, and we love our cosy space more than ever. It’s a stone’s throw from Haymarket with 24-taps and an equally impressive takeaway fridge, plus it’s the perfect place for a schooner or two to kick the night off or before you head home!