Nowadays, the most common form of beer deliver is on a distributor truck. Some imbibers are even lucky enough to have fresh growlers delivered to their home doorstep. What has gone out of style is transportation via sailboat, that is, unless you're Ales of Scilly. The "Most South Westerly brewery in Britain" located on St.Mary - the largest island of the Isles of Scilly archipelago - has sent their first delivery to the British Isles by way of a replica 18th century sailboat.
Since their opening in 2001, Ales of Scilly has been distributing exclusively to bars, restaurants, shops, and cafes on the island. When a micro-pub in Bude in North Cornwall requested their beer, the first female Cornish brewer at Ales of Scilly - Jennie Trevithick - was able to put her sailboat delivery idea into motion. Two barrels of beer were safely stowed away on The Grayhound and set sail for the The Barrel micro-pub on August 11.
The delivery to The Barrel is a first for both Ales of Scilly and The Grayhound. Five-sixths the size of the three-mast Cornish Lugger it's named after, The Grayhound comes equipped with eight-canons and is used as a charter vessel. The idea to utilize this old fashion method, however, goes beyond a means of shipping.
The Grayhound is an eco-friendly method of delivering beer to the mainland that allows the Scilly brewery to reduce their carbon footprint. Jennie Trevithick told The Drink Business,
"I originally came from Falmouth so knew about the sail trading boats and was keen to get our ales on it when I took on the brewery in March. The mode of transport is very fitting for the Ales of Scilly brand as we name our ales after local shipwrecks so each has a story behind it. It is also environmentally friendly which is very important for us. As we live on an island and in beautiful surroundings, the environmental impact is something that we are constantly looking at reducing."
The other means of cargo runs is through a freight vessel. Since freight air is far too expensive, the island receives a freight ship delivery three times a week from Penzance. As shipping to and from the mainland increases the carbon footprint, this helps the island reduce their environmental impact.
Having a successful shipment by sailboat has encouraged Ales of Scilly to do business with more accounts on the mainland. In the future, Ales of Scilly hopes to ship more beer via The Grayhound.