Time flies when you’re having fun.
It only feels like yesterday that we were getting excited about a new autumn seasonal with ghoulish graphics. Now, 10 years later, Ghost Ship means so much to us that we are celebrating its birthday and reflecting on a decade as part of the crew.
Who’d have thought that Gyle 281, bubbling away in fermenting vessel 27 would have taken us on such a journey. It sailed down the racking line on 15 September 2010 and was shipped out to pubs ahead of Halloween. Fittingly, The Bell in Walberswick, whose ghostly goings on formed part of the brand narrative, were the first on the phone to order. It tasted great and customers sank enough pints to make us stop and take notice.
Ghost Ship reappeared in 2011 for an extended haunting that was supposed to run from May to November. It was our biggest selling seasonal ever and by the time we hit October, we simply ran out of Citra! We did manage to send a batch for bottling though, and it quickly joined its stablemates in our Champion Beer Box, holding its own against the more established Adnams range.
In the Spring of 2012, with the arrival of a fresh crop of hops, it became firmly anchored as a permanent product and with its pump clip upgraded to metal, it staked a claim on the bar. A lively launch party was held in Southwold involving ghost stories, sea shanties and a spectacular 3D projection on the brewery walls. Ghost Ship had arrived in a crash of waves and it meant business!
It was kegged, it was canned, and an export container containing 13,000 cases set off to Australia in February 2014. With sights set on new markets and new horizons, Ghost Ship got a new look in 2018. The design refresh saw the ship pivot and sail proudly towards you - not away. The beer also went through an evolution with the launch of a 0.5% version at a pop-up pub in London’s Soho. All the taste and only 0.5% of the alcohol, as it is Ghost Ship’s taste that got us to where we are today.
It was those flavours and that original recipe that inspired our 10th Birthday Collaboration Series. Mashing up elements of Ghost Ship and blending them with the best from our friends at Camden Town Brewery, Beavertown Brewery and Magic Rock Brewing Co. (which is in fermentation as we speak). Having fun with friends is the perfect way to celebrate this exciting journey.
Cheers to everyone involved and thanks for your support over the last 10 years. Here’s to the future!