Pubs brew away the Dry January blues with nostalgia-infused ‘Iron Brew’ sour beer

Edinburgh brewer Vault City annual Iron Brew sour beer  – inspired by Scotland’s favourite soft drink – has been credited for driving punters back to pubs UK-wide throughout Dry January.

Almost 25,000 pints  – the entire limited edition run – of the annual “event” beer were sold, making it the fastest Vault City beer run since last year’s Iron Brew.

The nostalgic beer, which is released every January, was stocked in more than 100 bars across the UK. Its success meant that Vault City’s sales were up 9% in January when compared to Christmas, making it an outlier in the industry.

Online, the special beers sold out in just 24 hours, meaning all the more reason for punters to get back into pubs.

Rich Wardrop, head of marketing at Vault City, said: “January can be a very tough time for brewers, and for pubs. They need something to rely on. That’s why a few years ago we decided to release our most popular beer every January. Especially given the cost-of-living crisis, pubs need these special events to get people back inside. 

“We try to create a sense of fun and wonder with our releases. We always have exciting beers that get people talking up our sleeves. 

“Pubs are such an important part of our culture and it’s incredibly concerning whenever we see a pub close – and that’s something that happens all too often. All year round, we work in partnership with pubs to drive footfall and create one-of-a-kind experiences.” 

Colin Gardner who opened the Caledonian Craft Beer Merchant shop in Dunfermline in  2019, commented: “Though January is traditionally the quietest month of trade for on and off sales businesses, we can rely on Vault City’s Iron Brew Sour to bring plenty  people through the door as the first ‘hype’ beer of the year.”

Rosie Fryer, co-founder of  R&G’s Beer Vault and R&G’s Tap House in Macclesfield added: “We are constantly asked about when Iron Brew is coming back; it’s made a huge impression on our customers. When we get a heads up that it’s on its way, we know we always have to order double what we did the year before. 

“This year’s release was super exciting because of the variations, which brought plenty more people through our doors. We held a Scottish Showcase event to highlight the brilliant breweries we love to drink, and Iron Brew was the headliner.”

“January can be a tough time for us and a big release like this really helps draw in customers, especially the Scottish community in London”, added Karen Miller, founder of All Good Beer in Lower Clapton, London. 

Vault City is known for its nostalgia infused creations, including beers inspired by Toxic Waste sweets, Wagon Wheel biscuits, neapolitan scoop ice cream and grape soda.

Its beers are designed to make sour beer more accessible, with its Triple Fruited Mango Sour Beer among the beers stocked in more than 700 supermarkets across the UK.

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