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End of Year Round-Up 2022

Before Covid came about we used the End of Year Round-up to look back at what we predicted would happen in the industry and make predictions for the following year. I think it's safe to say that with the cost of living crisis it is a case of many places doing their best to just stay open! Although we are an online delivery service we like to champion local pubs and breweries, please show your support to your local throughout 2023.

We always seek to be innovative and set ourselves apart, yes there are other monthly subscriptions about, however ours is the only themed fully Welsh and flexible subscription available. We added an enhancement with the Gold option in 2021 and added some new twists and themes in 2022 including some Beer Club exclusives and greater discounts. Towards the end of the Year we added another enhancement to the Gold club, with the addition of a monthly packet of Jones crisps. We wanted to add to the club but keep within our ethos and values, a hand made Welsh crisp company fitted the bill perfectly, adding more value and firmly sticking to our Welshness. Over the following month's Gold Club members will get explore their whole range of snacks.

One good thing about restrictions being lifted was that we could spread our wings and start stocking beers from further afield again. We make no secret of our fondness or Pollys, in fact we stock so many of theirs that we launched a 6 and 12 Pollys beer pack, usually our tasting packs offer a range of 4-6 beers from a brewery. This has proved so popular that we will aim to offer the packs permanently. Alongside Pollys we've tested the water with Hafod, Cwrw Ial and Bragdy Mona who were so well received they have joined our permanent range alongside other North Wales Breweries like Wild Horse and Purple Moose. Other new breweries we are now stocking include Anglo-Oregon that have the honour of being the first Beer Club 'Brewery of the month' featuring their entire range and Mantle were 'Brewery of the month' in September. Sadly we've had to say goodbye to a few breweries who have decided to call it a day in 2022, most notably for us was Rival Brewery in Cardiff.

We've also revisited the Grow your own Beer packs after a customer showed us their success from the first batch of seeds we did a couple of years ago. Keeping with our ethos we've sourced hop seeds from a Welsh based garden centre. We put much more focus on this during the Christmas period and received the biggest sales so far, something we will continue to stock as a seasonal product alongside our clothing range.

We rounded off the year with our Legendary 12 Beers of Christmas packs which together with our 24 beer advent calendar sold out in record time. It was our most ambitious pack yet, featuring breweries from all over Wales. One of the highlights was our latest collaboration with Dog's Window - Very Good Boy, a ramped up variation of our biggest seller Good Boy. We also sourced a fantastic box to show off the beers and to combat the cost of living crisis included a leaflet that offered an exclusive 15% discount on all purchases in January.

To set ourselves apart we have done a number of collaboration beers with our favourite breweries in the past but decided last year that we would have permanent range of collaboration beers. Rather than just get a brewery to make a beer for us we tend to make a homebrew first then approach a brewer, we get involved throughout the whole process from brewing to design, so it's a legitimate collaboration.

As mentioned Good Boy is our biggest seller so we aim to always have this in stock. What Dogs Want was our Christmas collaboration beer with Dog's Window in 2021, proving so popular we renamed it from What Santa Wants as it was too good to be confined to just Christmas! Likewise our collaboration with Tomas and Lilford - Baie Lekker, the modern brown ale for the 2020 British Lions tour of South Africa will shortly be rebrewed due to popular demand. To mark our 5th year of trading we did 2 new collaborations to bring the total to 5. A bit of a departure with a Black IPA with Anglo-Oregon and fittingly rounded off with a pilsner using Ella hops to tie in with the 5th birthday of my daughter of the same name. Brewed with the aforementioned Rival Brewery it received rave reviews. Sadly Rival are no more so we'll be looking to replicate this with another brewery.

Five collaborations beers to mark our 5th year which seems to have whizzed by. We have now entered our 6th year of trading and are proud of how the business has grown from a stall at the Porthcawl Christmas Market to being the longest established hand delivered Welsh beer delivery service and Welsh Beer Club subscription.

So we'll finish by saying a big hearted thank you. You are amazing and we really appreciate you buying from us, recommending or just simply following us. We have big plans for 2023, but like the rest of us we'd be happy with a healthly and 'normal' year, with no falling down a driveway and fracturing my ankle whilst delivering (like a hero I saved the beer!).

Neil aka The Welsh Beer Fairy

Wales Ales Co


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