So tell the people - who are you and what do you do?
We’re a father and son team, we run The Beerman. Our company is a real ale wholesaler. We want to bring the best beer into Cornwall, and to give the rest of the country a treat by sending Cornish beer north.
How long have you been moving beer around?
We started up in July 2014 and have been steadily growing ever since. Four years on and now we supply three hundred and seventy different beers from brewers all over the country.
What was the inspiration behind it all?
We set up The Beerman to give landlords access to high quality fresh beer direct from the source. There are just so many fantastic breweries in the UK whose potential deserves to be tapped.
How does it work?
First we liaise with pub landlords, recommending breweries and beers to suit their specific needs. Then we contact brewers, compiling lists and prices of what beers they have currently available. We put this information on our website and make up flyers. We take orders from pubs and bars until we have demand for eighteen casks from a single brewery. Importantly, this is the exact number of casks you can fit on a pallet. The pallets get stacked full of different beers and are delivered directly to us. Ordering like this means we can get direct delivery. Keep an eye out and you'll see guest beers from the same brewery on at the same time in different pubs we supply. I find it funny that we inadvertently set beer trends in Cornish pubs. We're getting lots of requests for punchy, spicy and well-hopped beers as we come into the autumn season.
Does this mean you have to taste lots of different beers and ciders?
Naturally, that comes with the territory. We have a responsibility to Cornwall and a duty to our customers, stocking anything other than the finest would be unacceptable.
a pint with:
BY nadia leigh-hewitson
My friend Norman Garlick, his son Steve, and their charming miniature dachshund are well known faces in ale-pubs around Cornwall. Behind the scenes this affable trio tempt the Cornish palate with exotic beers from “up-country” and ensure the realest of ales flow south. I snagged them for a drink the last time they were at The 'Front…
What sets you apart from other wholesalers?
Direct delivery from breweries means the beer travels as little as possible, that means it’s in optimum condition when it arrives to our customers. We aim to deliver the barrels the same day we receive them. If we can’t, then it’s into our industrial cold room and out to the pubs the next morning. We also offer access to the full range of beers from our partnered breweries. This means that the pubs we supply have access to beers that are out of the ordinary. Operating on this small scale means we’re prompt with the collection of empty casks.
Do you ever bring in anything extra special?
Generally all the casks we sell are somewhat niche. It's nice seeing something we've supplied sat next to more traditional commercial beers, and the pub-goers seem to enjoy the contrast too! We’ve been supplying various pubs with some pretty interesting stuff this year. The ‘Front in Falmouth has been regularly requesting gluten free beers, it’s satisfying being able to get beer to those who wouldn’t normally be able to drink it. Another Falmouth pub, Beerwolf Books, has been interested in the vegan beers we have on offer.
Do you have a brewery that’s your favourite?
Oh there are so many good ones: we really like the Cheshire Brewhouse, Totally Brewed, Blackjack, Shiny, Kinver and Marble, to name a few. I think our favourite might be Sarah Hughes as their range has such a cult following, people go mad for the Ruby!
Other than the tastings, what’s your favourite part of the work?
We get to build up genuine relationships with landlords as we don’t bother with the 'hard sell'. We have a growing and ever changing range so we get to introduce everyone to wonderful smaller breweries, there’s satisfaction in showing someone something they’ve never heard of. Being the connection between great pubs and exceptional breweries hundreds of miles apart is almost as gratifying as seeing people enjoy our ales.