A Second Chance for Celt – Part 3 – The Future of Celt
The Celt brand was tied up closely with Tom Newman, but it was also something quintessentially Welsh. It had wide exports and was something of our beer ambassador to the world. It’s a damn shame it’s no longer owned and run by Tom Newman but, like a listed building handed down from one owner to another, it is good to see it in new hands, and not rotting and forgotten in the wilderness.
Eyebrows were raised at the notion of Evan Evans now owning the Celt brand. The two heritages are near polar opposites. Though not as polar as Hopcraft’s Gazza Prescott and Simon Buckley of Evan Evans. The two met on the eve of the Celt beer launch.
It was a cordial clash of titans, and I’m sorry I didn’t witness their conversation first hand. I only spoke with them afterwards individually. For the most part they had a grudging respect for each other; granted, Simon Buckley viewed Gazza Prescott’s beers as ‘bleached clean’, while Gazza considered Simon’s to be boring brown beer. However, both sides had a respect for the other’s quality.
Quality. It is quality and consistency that will underpin the Celt brand in 2017. The approach will be streamlined, made consistent, and then they will push the experimentation. And this is where Celt will live or die in the years to come. Experimentation. Innovation. Evolution.
The Buckleys, with the support of brand ambassador Simon Martin, need to push the brand further and harder than they have ever taken any of their beers before. It’s good that they want to nail the fundamentals first, crucial even, but people will expect and demand new and interesting beers from the Celt range.
Ultimately, no one ever truly owns a listed building; they are merely acting as the custodian until the next generation comes along. In a similar vein, it would be wonderful to see Celt as something belonging to Wales, a platform of collaboration between Evan Evans and all the other Welsh brewers, a platform that showcases to the world how great Welsh beer is. The clash between Prescott and Buckley actually sparked an agreement to collaborate on a beer next Spring – along with Sue Hayward of the Waen Brewery. This is where Celt needs to go.
In the age of full disclaimer or whatever, I drank these beers for free.