Another year has got by and that means it’s time to reflect. Individually and professionally, most of us have been put through the wringer in 2022. Now it’s time to assess and plan as we gear up for the holiday season.
Regardless if this year was naughty or nice, at least you’re still alive and kicking! That means you’re willing to grind and fight. At least, that’s how we like to think about things. (However, if you’re feeling a bit dark, don’t forget to turn to others for help).
On a more positive note, we’ve done much more than survive. Here at Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing Brewery, we‘ve had several great experiences this past year. We’ve also met lashings of wonderful people along the way.
As a newish brewery, we can’t help but desire the acceptance of our peers. Sure, we have spent a great deal of time perfecting our recipes and experimenting with new ingredients. Brewing is the pursuit of perfection. We’re happy with the products we put out, but we’re also just getting started!
With that being said, 2022 turned out somewhat surprisingly to be a year of awards for Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing Brewery.
The European Beer Challenge in London is the only beer competition judged by Europe’s leading beer buyers. Naturally, as we were the new kids on the block, we found ourselves compelled to enter the competition and get a pulse check on our beers.
We sent all of our core beers and then some. Honestly, we didn’t have expectations. We were looking to win a few awards but mostly were hoping for pointers and useful feedback. What actually happened was beyond our wildest dreams.
Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing Beers won 4 golds, 3 silvers, and 2 bronze medals at the European Beer Challenge 2022
Our product range tallied up the following nine medals:
We were especially proud of our no/lo medal winners. We are still stunned that Lager Day Saints took gold as a 0.5% ABV beer in a full-strength category!
After the European Beer Challenge, we felt pressed to measure ourselves up against every brewery on the planet. Where can you go to challenge ‘the world’ exactly? The World Beer Awards, of course.
In this competition, international professionals and certified beer tasters judged entries according to rigorous criteria. After submitting our beers, we kept our fingers crossed.
We were elated when we found out that both our Lager Day Saints and Easy Rinder won bronze medals. The categories they medaled in were Low & No Alcohol Lager UK and Low & No Alcohol Wheat Beer UK respectively.
The International Beer Challenge is where small brewers can compete against multinational big dogs. It’s sheep against wolves.
The International Beer Challenge (IBC) “aims to reward and promote excellent beers from around the globe, providing the perfect platform for brewers to express their beers to both trade and consumers”.
The competition encompasses 80 different categories. For the 2022 challenge, there were beer entries from 40 countries. While those numbers sound a bit terrifying, we were also starting to gain some confidence.
The IBC awarded us the following results:
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the people we’ve paired with up for good causes. One of which was our release of Please & Thank You rice lager in collaboration with the #WrestlingDemons project. We know many in the hospitality industry suffered deeply during COVID-19’s run. This project lets us give back by way of mental health therapy for those often overlooked staff who serve us in restaurants, bars, pubs, and cafes daily.
Edinburgh Blue Balls encourage men to talk about how they feel while ignoring how their bodies feel as they dive into arctic waters.
Another highlight of this year was another partnership for better mental health. Edinburgh Blue Balls is a group of men that meet regularly and brave the stiff waters of Scotland. It’s not only about taking a freezing dip in the deep blue. This group also serves as a platform for men to meet and talk about their feelings–a group therapy for a gender that is commonly expected to be ‘tough’ and ‘walk it off’.
Lastly, we have to mention perhaps our most exciting partnership, the Hackney Ladies rugby team. We love to see true athletes giving it all on the pitch and working together selflessly as a team. In fact, we found Hackney Ladies to be inspiring for how we aim to perform in our daily lives.
Oh, the women went all the way to the top winning their 7s tournament in April. Well done!
We attended several wonderful events throughout the year. So many that we probably remember them all!
Some of our highlights include the foodies Festival. One thing we love more than drinking good beer is drinking good beer with good food! Luckily, we were able to attend and participate in the fest in three different locations at Syon Park (London), Oxford, and Edinburgh.
The foodies Festival is jam-packed with creative and delicious food, live music, and quality craft beer.
Each event had its own mix of local flavours and personalities. We were absolutely stuffed with rich, delicious, and interesting food. The droves of people flocking to our tents for AF beer was delightfully surprising. We sold out of beer quite early at every fest!
The good news was that meant we had time to watch Natalie Imbruglia sing a few bangers!
A really unique experience was attending the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival. The event was packed with international chefs and world-famous authors–a huge departure from the fests we usually attend.
Speaking of which, 2022 saw SiWC pitching up at several festivals across the country including:
Of course, we also had several events where we got to talk about our beers. A meet-the-brewer event at Brewery Market helped kicked the year off with enthusiasm. We also professed our love of no- and low-alcohol beer on platforms such as the Beer Fridge Podcast.
While the aim of most of our events was to educate, we also learned a great deal from those working and attending every function.
We mustn’t forget that we are also a brewery in addition to a socially responsible brand. This year saw us release several new beers including the following:
Blue Balls Lager- our 2.8% Germanic Lager that’s bursting with crisp, refreshing flavour. Perfect for when you join the boys at Edinburgh Blue Balls for a chilly dip in the sea.
Please & Thank You- a smooth rice lager featuring zesty, aromatic new world hops. 25p of every can sold is donated towards offering free one-to-one therapy sessions for hospitality staff.
Seasonal Stout #1- the first in an annual series. Every year we will release something unique so don’t miss out on this year’s run. Stout #1 is complex yet balanced at 2.8% ABV.
As a brand, we can’t help but focus on business growth. A strictly by-the-numbers view can make 2022 look a bit flat. However, looking back on all of these wonderful experiences, we can’t help but grin from ear to ear.
The awards reaffirm that we are heading in the right direction. But it is you who give us real purpose and determination to continue to build SiWC. Whether paring up for a good cause or simply chatting near a festival stall, it is the people that touch our lives daily that keep us going.
We have big plans for 2023. You can help us reach our goals by visiting our online shop to grab some beers or brewery merch. There are always new releases and promotions, so check back frequently.
Further support can be via sharing your love of our products with your mates. Always remember, #WeGiveAFlock.
Here’s to a successful year! Cheers, and on to the next one!