“He’s at that difficult stage”

Every business I have ever worked for has been “at that difficult stage” – a bit too small, not quite big enough to get the benefits of something or other, be it tax breaks or efficiencies of scale or bulk purchasing power or whatever is flavour of the month.

So it is no surprise that Bolthole is at that difficult stage. In my case the difficult stage is whether to grow or not.

At the moment I sell everything I produce and I am flat out in production. I have up-scaled once by squeezing a bit more out of the mash tun and buying more fermenters but I can’t get much more out of that … I could buy another fermenter, but that is just working harder not smarter.

I know I am not maximising my opportunity because I dare not speak to off-licences or local pubs and restaurant in case they want more than I can supply.

The trouble is the next step is a big one … premises and stainless steel by the shedload, both of which mean cost commitments which need to be paid for by selling beer.

Having given this a lot of thought I have decided to stay small. I want to produce something I am proud of, that is driven by quality, not cost and brings a degree of hoppiness to the people I know (or will get to know).