Head and Tales: Polly’s Brew Co

Black Brook Cask Badges
Early Black Brook Brewery pump clips on our ceiling

Back in September 2016 Dave Roll, then our local rep for Shrewsbury & West Shropshire CAMRA, messaged us from the first day of the Shrewsbury CAMRA Beer Festival. There was a cask Milk Stout on the bar, and it was flying out, better still it came from a new brewery in Mold. Black Brook Brewery.

This we thought was too good to miss out on. It fitted in with so many things we wanted to always have: A dark cask beer on the bar, a local beer on the bar and supporting small breweries. So we messaged the brewery, saying that we had heard it was going well.

Sean the brewery owner, was a bit delayed in replying, after all he was pretty much a one man band then and was emailing from his phone, as he said:

…sorry about the delayed response, have been having problems with my phone e-mail client today.
That is very nice to hear indeed. Not going to lie it was our firstdelivery as well!

So we got our first order for three casks in; Golden State 4.6% IPA , Breakfast 4.5% Milk Stout and Purple Moon 4.3% English Bitter. We did say we would take have taken a Providence 5.6% Unfined American Pale Ale if it had been in keykeg ( a pointer to things to come!)

Very quickly all of Black Brook’s casks would be unfined and hazy. We loved them, but Sean would bring them himself and told us that he was struggling to sell unfined cask beer to other pubs nearby. After about a year the brewery stopped brewing…

Spool forward a few months to January 2018 and Black Brook were reborn as Loka Polly. Now brewing for keg, initially normal kegs but then changing to keykeg, we started putting Loka Polly branded beers on from March 2018.

Duncan collecting beers from Polly’s and meeting up with the guys from Turning Point Brewery on a collaboration brew day

They started going down a storm, with new beer sales Goth Arron fielding the calls and emails as sales grew. We then hit a hiccup… 6 months without any Polly’s, 6 months without hearing anything. What had happened to them?

The answer was nothing, but we had failed to open the email headed “LOKA POLLY & GDPR”, lots of their newer customers had signed up through a GDPR compliant website, but as we were such early customers we slipped through the net.

In May 2019 Loka Polly had their own little hiccup, as the brewery team was growing from three to six, with expanding exports the name Loka was already been used by a Swedish drinks company, so they changed their name again to Polly’s Brew Co.

In July 2019 Arron came along for a Meet the Brewer at the Bailey Head as part of the food and drink festival.

Polly’s are a permanent feature in the Bailey Head, on tap, in can or preferably both.


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