This one is from the summer of 2018. We'd launched our first beer in February of that year, and quickly taken on a host of restaurants and shops. So by April, it was time to leave our 100 litre, overgrown home-brewing kit behind, and get some proper gear! Ordered form the UK, supposed to be ready in time for summer, it wasn't to be.
Our equipment, that we had closed the brewery down to renovate and make get ready for, was a couple of months late, and we only found out the week it was due to be delivered. That was a kick in the nuts! Now stuck in No Mans Land, where we could neither brew on our older kit, nor did we have our shiny new brewery, it was going to have to be a summer of waiting...and fun.
Rather than sit around, we teamed up with our good friend Robbie Dark, to produce a mini-series of short films depicting both Stinky Bay Brewery itself, and all the other things we get up to on the most awesome 45 square miles on Earth!
The mercury soared as we met up with Chris Scott of 'The Good Stone' fame. If you haven't heard of him, you might have tasted his work - as Jersey's answer to Ray Mears meets Jamie Oliver - he is an exceptional chef who loves cooking outside, over fire, in the elements. He also makes a damn fine pizza!
Salty 2, our little Orkney Fastliner 16, the first company vehicle we ever owned, dropped into the water right next to our name-sake, Stinky Bay. I've never seen the water so clear. Heading out of the main gulley from L'etacq the seaweed looked to be branches waving in thin air. From L'etacq, we pottered our way along the north coast, past Gronez castle, on past Plemont, catching a few fish for lunch along the way. There are so many gulleys, caves, stacks and arches along this part of the coast, and it's a section that very rarely gets travelled, except by the beach launch fisherman who operate form the north coast.
We pulled our boat into Little Greve, a tiny hidden beach, dropped anchor and set out what we needed to cook ourselves some lunch. Chris had taken care of this part (other than the mackerel) so we helped him lay everything out. After discovering nobody had bought anything to cook the fish on (not very optimistic about our chances of catching?), we Macgyver'ed ourselves a split for the fish to cook over the fire. It looked a little like a torture system for naughty fish in some cult movie, but it did the job.
Then went on the veg, the bread and some freshly caught scallops (not caught by us - from Josh at The Jersey Catch). The fish cooked over the coals, the oils from them dripping down and igniting into a spitting flame. The leeks roasted in their own skins in the ashes. It seriously was summer at it's best. A splash of our Session IPA into the scallop shells as they cooked, and jobs a-gud-un!
Everyone tucked in with their hands, tearing at fresh bread, layering on tomatoes and veg, and topping it off with a fillet of fresher-than-fresh mackerel, caught only a couple hours hours before. Maybe it was the fact that it was one of those legendary Jersey summer days, but it's still the best mackerel I've ever tasted!
Really, this day still gets talked about as possibly the best day ever. Excitement for the brewery, our mates, summer and everything to come, with a healthy licking of sun and sea; everything lined up perfectly for one of those days you tell your grandchildren about!