Edition 25: Friends of Warminster Maltings

Edition 25: Friends of Warminster Maltings

NEW MILESTONES FOR THE MALTINGS

Issue No.25 is something of a milestone for the “Friends of Warminster Maltings” initiative, the completion of 4 years of news bulletins emanating from this iconic malthouse.

But the other, perhaps more significant milestone, is that I am writing this Newsletter from behind the managers desk. Yes, I am now running Warminster Maltings myself and have already set about making some significant changes but utilising the collective talent of everybody here. I have had to postpone any retirement plans I had, and am now firmly in the driving seat, and in particular, responsible for malt sales!

This is a very interesting experience, because my knowledge of malt, and the science of malting and brewing, is not something I have ever had to get to grips with before. You can imagine my fear and trepidation when, at the end of September, I had to drive to Yorkshire to visit our biggest brewing customer, a very large brewery. I explained to the head brewer that I knew a little bit about barley, but a little bit less about malt, although I was trying very hard to widen my knowledge as quickly as possible. The interview appeared to go well, because by the time I had to leave the head brewer was offering to double my order (since confirmed)! I cannot imagine I will have too many ‘sales’ experiences as good as that one.

So, the milestone is now behind us, and a whole new era for the maltings is laid out ahead. We are already beginning to embrace this – a new office layout (all new office furniture), a new marketing campaign, and an ‘all inclusive’ management style. You will see little difference on the outside as you drive past, but on the inside the atmosphere is positively buzzing. It is all very exciting, and I will keep you posted on how we get on in the Newsletters to come.

 

WORLD CLASSS

Our last Newsletter (No 24) was headlined with the triumph of Surrey Hills Brewery, in Dorking, Surrey, winning the “Supreme Champion Beer of Britain 2019”, with its beer ‘Sheer Drop’, made from Warminster Malt. Shortly after that, Island Brewery, on the Isle of Wight, who also make all their beers with Warminster Malt, scooped up two gold medals in their respective classes in the UK round of judging, which propels them into the finals of the World Beer Awards.

The two beers that impressed the judges most are:-

  1. ‘Earl’s RDA’ (Rich Dark Ale), Island Brewery’s flagship beer, the name reflecting that every pint sold contributes to the island’s Earl Mountbatten Hospice.
  2. ‘Victoria of Wight’, a beer commissioned for Wightlink, for their new flagship ferry of the same name.

We will keep you posted on how these beers get on when pitched against the rest of the world, but since we are not, at this stage, aware of any other Warminster Malt based beers in this year’s World Beer Awards, we are not sure the rest of the world really stands much chance against Island Brewery!

 

CALENDAR BOY!

The Warminster initiative behind Cancer Research UK, tirelessly led by Jill McIvor, has, for its latest money raising campaign, decided to produce a 2020 Calendar. Each month depicts a Warminster personality (or two), all drawn in cartoon form by local cartoonist Julia Roberts. I am very flattered to have been invited to be “Mr July”!

It is all a lot of fun, and supports a particularly significant cause. The Calendar can be purchased for £6.00 each, and is available from:

  • Cordons Ironmongers
  • Deli 1
  • Silver Street Stores
  • The Organ Inn

But be quick, they are selling fast!

…AND FINALLY FOOTBALL

“Maltings Gold” sponsored’ Warminster Town are enjoying mixed fortunes so far this season. It seems to be a case of “win one, lose one”, the latter always against the run of play, of course! On Saturday 5th October, the team played an evening match in order to host a visit from the ‘Ground Hoppers’.

The ‘Ground Hoppers’ are a group of football fanatics, from all over the country, whose outstanding ambition in life is to spectate at as many different football grounds as possible. On this particular weekend they packed in 5 matches, on 5 different grounds, thanks to Warminster Town playing an evening game against ‘Bristol Telephones’.

Warminster Town lost 2 nil, against the run of play, again. But the Club still won, they had a gate of 370 spectators, by far the highest in their league. And the ‘Ground Hoppers’ appeared to love our beer “Maltings Gold”, according to ‘Twitter Feed’ they were very impressed with “the clubhouse, and its excellent cask ale!” They will take that message home, right across the country.

So once again, our “Maltings Gold” sponsorship deal appears to have been an inspired decision. If we can come up with a few more ideas like that going forward, this new era of the maltings could be very exciting for us, indeed!

Edition 24: Friends of Warminster Maltings

Edition 24: Friends of Warminster Maltings

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!

Warminster Malt has, once again, just scooped the ultimate British brewing accolade by being the malt of choice for this year’s Supreme Champion Beer of Britain, as judged at the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia on Tuesday 6th August. Surrey Hills Brewery, of Dorking, a long-standing customer of Warminster Maltings, took the prize with it’s Best Bitter “Shere Drop”. This beer is described as “a clear golden ale with an outstanding taste of toasted grains, and fairly restrained hop. Lightly bitter.”

Ross Hunter of Surrey Hills Brewery with his trophy at Olympia (right)

But this result was better still, and something of a double celebration, because the barley variety that produced this particular malt is the world famous variety Maris Otter, owned and managed by Robin Appel Ltd, sister company of Warminster Maltings Ltd. 

This is not the first time Warminster Maltings has triumphed at the Great British Beer Festival, they have been the malt of choice for the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain twice before, in 2004 when the Hampshire based Triple FFF Brewery won with their beer “Alton’s Pride”, also made from malt made with Maris Otter barley, and again in 2011, when the Mighty Oak Brewery, from Maldon in Essex, won with a beer named “Oscar Wilde”.

We are all absolutely delighted to have pulled off ‘the double’ once again. It all serves to underline the outstanding quality of the malt still produced in Warminster, in Britain’s oldest working Maltings. The plan now is to get some “Shere Drop” home, to be served at The Organ Inn, Warminster, at their Beer Festival on the 6th and 7th September, when the townspeople can all taste and toast the success of the all-conquering Warminster Malt!

(P.S. ‘Maltings Gold’ will also be at the Organ Inn beer festival).

…AND WE LOOK LIKE THE CHAMPIONS!

I am now talking about the 2019/20 Warminster Town Football Team, sponsored by the Maltings (‘Maltings Gold’) whose new football strip is a step away from the ‘traditional’ into something much more contemporary, even worthy of the Premier League.

WTFC’s new strip

Our  ‘Maltings Gold’ logo has been enlarged, and is now also emblazoned on the “away kit” – that is worn when the team have to divest themselves of the Red and Black, in favour of their opponents similar strip – and the Reserve Team shirts.

The first team has also recruited some new players who have chosen to step down from higher up the football league, in order to come and play for Warminster Town. This is all very exciting, and highlights a determination by the manager, his assistants, and the team, to go for an outright win of the league this year. In fact commentators have already tipped Warminster Town as the favourites to win the “Tool Station” Western League.

And I must not finish without complimenting the club on the football pitch itself – what a superb piece of grass that is! It’s thick, lush, and totally weed free, and mown north to south, as well as east to west, it looks every bit as good as Wembley turf.

I have to say, I am so impressed by everything I see at Weymouth Street, we have decided to ‘up our game’ as well. We have installed x 2 new ‘Maltings Gold’ hoardings, on the far side of the pitch, opposite the clubhouse, and brought one of the former hoardings across to the entrance. So there is even less doubt about it, the football club, the Maltings, this new season, we are all quite definitely going for Gold!

NO TEAS IN THE GARDEN

For the second time this summer, in August, the rain got in the way again, and I am afraid, come rain or shine, there will be no tea party in September either. Pat Whitty who makes all the scones and cakes herself, will be just out of hospital following a serious knee operation, and I will also be away (raising money for Prostate Cancer). So ‘Teas in the Garden’ this year has not enjoyed the outcome we had hoped for.

However, as I write, the “Tea Team”, that is Pat, Judy, Jerry (the foreman), and me, are all up for continuing again next year. So fingers crossed, and with a bit more climate change, the weather will be more on our side next summer.

Special Edition: Suppliers of Championship Malt

Special Edition: Suppliers of Championship Malt

Warminster Malt has once again just scooped the ultimate brewing accolade by being the malt of choice for this year’s Supreme Champion Beer of Britain, as judged at the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia on Tuesday 6th August. Surrey Hills Brewery, of Dorking, a long standing customer of Warminster Maltings, took the prize with its Best Bitter “Shere Drop”. This beer is described as “a clear golden ale with an outstanding taste of toasted grains, and fairly restrained hop. Lightly bitter.”

But this result was better still, and something of a double celebration, because the barley variety that produced this particular malt is the world famous variety Maris Otter, owned and managed by Robin Appel, proprietor of Warminster Maltings Ltd.

This is not the first time Warminster Maltings has triumphed at the Great British Beer Festival, they have been the malt of choice for the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain twice before, in 2008 when the Hampshire based Triple fff Brewery won with their beer “Alton’s Pride”, also made from malt made with Maris Otter barley, and again in 2011 when the Mighty Oak Brewery from Maldon in Essex won with a beer named “Oscar Wilde”.

Robin Appel was delighted to have pulled off ‘the double’ once again. It all serves to underline the outstanding quality of the malt still produced in Warminster, in Britain’s oldest working Maltings. The plan now is to get some “Shere Drop” home, to be served in Warminster, so the townspeople can all taste and toast the success of Warminster Malt.