Hello, righteous people of the world wide web.

Well, look where we are. Back to square bloody one! Who would have thought, this time last year that we would be in the position we found ourselves now? We all thought we would be back to normal by June and nearly a year later we are still in limbo. A year we will surely never forget and one that many will look back on very negatively.

I have tried to look at it positively. I know my privilege, I have a job, roof over my head, clothes to wear and food on the table. In the grand scheme of things, I am doing absolutely fine. But it has been the social element for me. Not being able to see family and friends frequently. Not going the football, the pub and out for tea. Those are the things I miss!

So, not being able to do those things, what have I been up to? Well, quite a lot actually! You have kept us all very busy here at the distillery. Since lockdown 2, we found ourselves heading into the silly season. For those of you not familiar with working in retail or hospitality, late November till New Years Eve is considered silly season by many in these industries. In retail you have the onslaught of Christmas shoppers. Husbands on a rampage. The Pandora charm bracelet is full, what is he going to do now? He cannot stand the queue in Lush. Don’t worry son, its all online these days. He’s computer illiterate. Body Shop voucher it is. All jokes aside, the festive period changes people on both sides of the counter. No one wants to be there, but it must be done!

For us, it was not as silly as it usually is. There was no bar, no tours, no workshops, and no big Christmas events. Thankfully, where we missed out on hospitality we made up for online. We cannot thank everyone enough for all your orders. The distillery for the umpteenth was turned back into a warehouse. Mark and I were back in our trackies, packing and boxing up tasting kits like they were going out of fashion and delivering locally on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I have a newfound respect for delivery drivers, it is hard work! People do not be daft and put numbers on your houses!

We drafted in Morgan, one of our amazing bar team to help with the high demand online. Morgan has now become our latest member of full-time employees. We would not have coped without Morgan during the silly season. She has an amazing attitude, and it is impossible to be in a bad mood when she is around. Which is great for us grumpy lads in the distillery. We are looking forward to working with Morgan from here on out and we are sure she will become a huge asset. We had a couple more of the team in to craft our Christmas Crackers and Collection products. A big shout out to Ana & Jack, who are hands down the best cracker makers on earth. I tried to make the crackers, but I think that’s one job too much for me this year!

We were talking among ourselves in the office, just as Boris announced another lockdown last night and we came to the realisation that I have not done my actual job for nearly a year. In a way it has been quite good. Adapting to other roles gives you a better insight into the day to day of a business. Normally I pack the van and I am away around Lancashire and beyond. But this year I have been warehouse operative, delivery driver, distiller, bottler, labeller, host, sales, telesales, online sales, packer, market holder and my all-time favourite, barista. I am joking, I hate making coffee. It has been a ride, but I have tried to adapt with an open mind and enjoy the variety.

So, as we head into Lockdown number 3, I hope that you are all keeping healthy and safe. We are all in the hope that this is the last push. One last lockdown until we see that big light at the end of the tunnel. If not, we will still be here to tend to your gin needs. Responsibly of course. Check out our latest offerings on our website. We have a very exciting new project ahead with one of our favourite local businesses, Createbox, so look out for that!

Happy New Year from everyone at Brindle Distillery. Let’s hope it’s a good one. Tom x

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