Wednesday, 23 April 2014

It Had to Happen: Website Revamp

Our website is currently undergoing a major refit. Let's face it- it had to!

My first attempt was functional and somewhat cute, if not spectacular. So now we've got the professionals in - Yellow Spade Design. They helped us create our stylish bottle labels, flyers and gift pack designs, so it is very apt and nice of them to take up the mantle of designing our web pages for us.

An example of Yellow Spade Design's fabulous work for us!
 So please be patient whilst we undergo this work. You can follow this blog for the latest news. Our Twitter feed now links into this blog rather than the website.
For those of you looking to buy our beers online, this can still be done at:
and also at our dedicated page on the Beers of Europe website:
as well as at our other outlets around the UK.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

In March - Moths, Migration and Masterchef!

Moths: Introducing Death's-head Hawk-moth - an Iconic Stout

As Nick Cave is misquoted as saying...... "Release the Moths!"

Our first Moth Beer - again supporting Butterfly Conservation was released in March: the spookily named Death's-head Hawk-moth Stout.  This represented our first brewing collaboration in Nottinghamshire with the lovely people at Welbeck Abbey Brewery. My good self and head Brewster Claire Monk put our heads together to create a fantastic new beer.
As befitting the characteristics of this moth, this beer could only be a Stout. Needless to say all parties are really pleased with the outcome. The beer itself is very well rounded and more easy drinking than a 5% abv stout should ever be. With no bitter after-taste and a little smokiness on the end, it really is a fabulous drink.

Sneeking in under the cover of darkness: our amazing new Stout

What was also great about the release of this beer was the fact that half of the brew batch was casked and distributed by Welbeck Abbey to their publican customers, so that the multitudes could enjoy the Death's-head on draft.
Also, I am reliably informed by Claire that one cask went to a small beer festival, where it won best beer! An amazing debut. Personally, I sampled some gravity fed DHHM at the newly-opened The Star Inn in Beeston, where it was spot on. Thanks Gilly!

Migration: Arctic Tern Set to Fly Out on Cask

Peck, peck, peck! Look out, there's an Arctic Tern about. Many of our Seabird IPA's have forsaken their normal breeding grounds in Northumberland and headed for Lincolnshire. An initial pilot run in conjunction with Small Beer Ltd saw the delivery of a number of Firkins (9 gallons or 72 pints) to a their brief roosting positions at Small Beer, before embarking on a Nationwide trek to pubs in the UK. They didn't have much respite, since all were sold out within 2 days. I think this beautiful beer, reflective of a beautiful bird, is going to be popular! Hopefully we can supply Small Beer with some more soon. 

The release of the Arctic Terns into the wild was accompanied by the concurrent release of the new branding for our pump clip. Here we have majored on prominently sporting the "From the Notebook" wording at the top of the pump clip, pasted onto a notebook background. We hope that people will like it and become familiar with it and its new distinctive shape.

Masterchef: Beer in Food - It's the Future!

Recently, we have been working with professional (and we think Master)chef Kirsty Cruickshank to create a number of recipes using both sustainable sources of Fish AND our Seabird Series of Beers supporting the Marine Conservation Society. We think this is an ideal combination of ideals! Have a look at her website, For the Love of Fish - its faboo!!!
Kirsty has come up with a number of recipes so far which incorporate the use of Eider Dark Beer, Arctic Tern IPA and Puffin Best Bitter in their constitution. Of course you don't use a whole bottle in the recipe, so that there is plenty of opportunity to finish it off whilst cooking! One of these recipes is to be showcased on the Marine Conservation Society webpage FishOnLine, in May, since the recipe uses the "Fish of the Month". No spoiler alert here! Log on in May to find out just how delicious fish can be :-)  Also you can follow Kirsty on Twitter @fortheloveoffish

I know a fab chef called Kirsty
Who's fish dishes include our beer-birdies
No she hasn't forgot
To use the lot
It's just when she cooks, she gets thirsty!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

There's been a lot happening!

Hi Everyone,

Its been a while since my last blog post (July 2013) so lets take it in stages shall we......

August 2013

Nice. The Butterfly Range in its completeness.

Three became four as we welcomed our new brew, Brown Hairstreak into the fold of our Butterfly Series. We coincided its launch with our appearance at the Pershore Plum Festival, where we were lucky enough to be invited to share a stand alongside the local Brown Hairstreak Champions: the West Midlands Branch of Butterfly Conservation. See for details.

September 2013

Colin, Jean-Christophe and Graeme.

We attended the fabulous Alnwick Food Festival where our beers sold really well and we rubbed shoulders with the stars. Jean-Christophe Novelli found time during his busy schedule to pose with the likes of us and all the other market traders. Not only is he a top chef but a top bloke to boot!   

It seems that the good folk of Alnwick were already in Christmas Shopping mode as we ran out of our gift packs on the first day. They do look fab though and make exceedingly good presents!

February 2014


FTN attended the Eider Chase Meeting at Newcastle Racecourse. With bottles available at the on-course bars and draught Eider on sale just outside the racecourse at the Border Minstrel Pub, the velvety smoothness of this delicious dark beer was brought to the masses! As a rather blatant attempt to promote our lovely Eider beer, we gave the winning owners and trainers of each race on the card one of our very desirable Gift Packs. See the official photographers website for imagery:

The winning owners and trainer of the Eider Chase itself were treated to a complementary case of 12 Eiders as a suitable reward for winning this gruelling stamina test (second only in distance to the Grand National). Congratulations here goes to the winning connections of Wyck Hill, the owner, JP McManus and the trainer David Bridgwater. Rather fitting then that I backed Wyck Hill to win and celebrated later with a pint of Eider in the Border Minstrel!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Butterfly Beers Released into the Wild

Three of the four Butterfly Beers brewed to support Butterfly Conservation have now been released and are available for purchase, These are Red Admiral, Orange-tip and Gatekeeper, with the fourth brew - Brown Hairstreak due to be released in August 2013 (watch out for notification on this blog and on Twitter @ftnltd)

Our Lovely Labels - drawn by Stewart Sexton

Butterfly Conservation will receive 10p per bottle sold. From the Notebook Limited are now Purple Emperor level Corporate Supporters of Butterfly Conservation.

In line with the production of the new Butterfly Beer stocks we had a Press Release, detailing the new range. The Press Release was orchestrated admirably by Kevin Palmer Media Services and led to exposure in the Nottingham Evening Post, Derby Telegraph, Newcastle Chronicle, a live radio interview on BBC Radio Derby, an article in Derbyshire Life and Countryside Magazine and web-based exposure at the websites of the British Guild of Beer Writers, Beer Today, Midlands Business News and the Erewash Partnership website (of which FTN Ltd is a member).

FTN Butterfly Beers alongside the Seabird Series at Brown and Green, Little Eaton, Derby
This excellent exposure has led to new business, with Leigh Norwood, a member of the Beer Writers Guild being interested in the concept of our beers supporting Wildlife Conservation. As a result, FTN beers are now stocked at Leigh's fabulous shop, Favourite Beers in Cheltenham. Also we are now selling at all 3 Brown and Green delicatessens around the country, namely Derby, Trentham (Staffordshire) and Newent (Gloucestershire). We are pleased to add Boda Home in Whitley Bay to our growing list of stockists and our beers are currently selling well there. Long may it continue.

Further additions to our range of beers in support of Butterfly Conservation are planned for 2013-2014, so please re-visit our Twitter feed (@FTNLtd) or this blog from time to time to see what's brewing!

In the meantime, our new Butterfly Beers Gift Pack are also available with Tasting Notes for the new series. Try them - they're flutteringly good!

Butterfly Beer Gift Box

"Butter-flyer" Tasting Notes

Monday, 3 June 2013

Butterfly Beers Coming Soon!

From the Notebook Ltd is pleased to announce the imminent arrival of our second series of beers. Working in conjunction with Butterfly Conservation, we have developed a range of Butterfly-inspired beers.
The first 3 beers of the Butterfly Series are due to be released on 29th June 2013.
The initial range will consist of Red Admiral, Orange-tip and Gatekeeper, with Brown Hairstreak to be brewed and launched later on in 2013.


Sales of the Butterfly Series beers will attract a donation from FTN Ltd to Butterfly Conservation to assist their work in protecting butterflies, moths and our environment. These payments will, in turn, support FTN's Corporate Membership of Butterfly Conservation.
Label Design of the Butterfly Beers
Allendale Brewery did a remarkable job for FTN in producing the Seabird Series, so it was with supreme confidence that we once again engaged Allendale in assisting us to develop this new range. And once again, these exceptionally talented people have produce quality beers in a range that shows off their diverse brewing skills. Having tasted the test brews, we are confident that the upcoming commercially brewed batches will be just as good and popular as our Seabird Series is currently proving to be. We cannot wait to get our hands on the finished product at the end of June 2013.
These beers will initially be on sale at our usual outlets, with online sales being managed by Northumbrian Gifts. They will be available to pre-order through Northumbrian Gifts until their official release and general sale thereafter.
This will be the start of an exciting new relationship for FTN with Butterfly Conservation. We have also been commissioned by Butterfly Conservation to produce a range of Moth-inspired beers which will be released later on in the year. So watch this space for detail of this new range and for further details on all of our beers as they become available. For more details of Butterfly Conservation's work visit:


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Kittiwake Golden Ale and 3 Bottle Gift Sets Now Available

Kittiwake Flies In
From the Notebook's inaugural Seabird Series is now complete with the October fledging of Kittiwake, our Golden Ale. This completes our first batch of brews, made by Allendale Brewery in association with The Marine Conservation Society. Not bad going for a Company which came into being in February. 

Q: You have 4 beers and a 3 bottle gift set. Idiots! How does that work?
A: 4 into 3 does go! This cunningly allows a "mix and match" approach for the 3 Bottle Gift Sets, so that personal tastes for beer styles can be addressed more accurately. Our policy is to provide the Gift Set Boxes to retailers at cost, giving them the freedom to allow customers to choose their own configurations. If your gift recipient is an IPA/Golden Ale fan but doesn't like dark beer, then fine - give him/her 2 Arctic Terns and a Kittiwake. Job done! 

3 Bottle Gift Set: These really do make exceedingly nice Christmas gifts.
Stores Update
Migration of the beers from the warehouse has started in earnest over the past month. Steve at Northumbrian Gifts has been successful in distributing to the likes of  St. Aidan's Winery on Lindisfarne, a prime site, we hope for sales in Northumberland, as well as shops in Bamburgh and beyond. The department chain Beals have taken stock for their shop in Hexham, where we hope that sales over the Christmas period will be brisk.
In Nottinghamshire and the surrounding areas, From the Notebook beers can now be found at Local Not Global in Beeston, The Deli @ Radcliffe, Hops in a Bottle in Mansfield, The Real Ale Corner in Chesterfield and The Real Ale Store in Newark. Hopefully more stores will take migrant birds, allow them to nest in their shops for a while before moving onto pastures new. Perhaps underneath Christmas trees?
The "We Couldn't Do It Without You" Section
A big thank you to Kap at KNK who helped us with the merchandise photography.  KNK is the place to go in Nottingham for picture framing. KNK were responsible for producing beautiful framed versions of the artwork from our bottle labels.
Still Life: "Framed Picture of Arctic Tern with Bottle" by my friend Kap 
These framed pictures are also available for purchase either through FTN or KNK directly (click here). They also do a stunning 4 panel version of all the birds in the Seabird Series which is selling particularly well. Call me or KNK for a quote today! Dare I say it, but a picture/beer combo make a pretty awesome "his and hers" gift for Christmas! Not too sexist a comment I hope!
That's all for now. I've an Arctic Tern in the fridge with my name on it. Cheers, Graeme.


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

FTN Website Now Live!

Hi Everyone,
Today the From the Notebook Ltd webpage has gone live:
The style I was going for was that of a complete novice, who has never done any web design before. Mission accomplished I feel! Any comments however scathing will be appreciated  :-) Any typos are purely intensional (see what I've done there)! Have fun with it and buy some beer. It's nice.
Cheers, Graeme.