Looking Back 2014
When I started to write a review of 2014, I looked back at my 2013 review and was quite amazed at our Club’s success in attracting new blood. Our mailing list has grown by 50% and now stands at just over 100. Our members list, consisting of anyone who has attended a meeting over the last two years, has grown almost as much and I expect it to exceed 50 with our first meeting in January 2015.We also now have 170 Twitter followers.
Meetings during 2014 were planned after taking into account where our members live together with those locations which have good transport links and this approach seems to encourage attendance. In fact attendance ranged from 17 to 26 (slightly up on 2013) with meetings at Leicester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Burton upon Trent and Derby. My thanks to Ray, Tim, David, Steve R and Malc for chairing those meetings. I believe the MCB’s policy of having a different chairman for each meeting also brings a variety of approaches to our meetings. It also helps with maximising the use of our contacts and in 2014 enabled us to have two guest speakers from Thornbridge and Sacre Brew breweries covering the very important subjects of water treatment and yeast respectively. .
Two excellent brewery tours took place during the year at Two Towers brewery in Birmingham and the other at Burton Bridge as part of our Burton meeting. On both occasions, the Head Brewer gave an interesting insight to the set up and workings of their brewery.
The highlight of the year was the MCB / NCB competition in Sheffield on 1st November. This competition involved brewing a Pale Ale of between 1045 -50 using only British hops. This resulted in MCB taking all four top places, illustrating once again that we are a formidable regional brewing group, able to compete with the best in the country. This is further supported by the success of our members in various national competitions. Our thanks to the NCB for organising the competition and we look forward to doing battle again in 2015.
We held two socials during the year in Nottingham and Birmingham, which were well attended.
Two further events worthy of note were the very informative Corny Keg event and the visit by several members to the Brewery Museum in Burton upon Trent.
2014 also saw the launch of our new website by our webmaster, Malc N. Our thanks go to our former webmaster, James F who has fulfilled this role for a number of years. I would also like to thank our sponsors, Malt Miller and Birmingham Beer Bash, the latter partly run by David S one of our members. I have received numerous positive comments regarding our website which has undoubtedly been a major factor in attracting new members.
We already have a number of events planned for 2015, which is hoped will keep the MCB vibrant and ensure that it continues to go from strength to strength.