Beer by Bike From BlackBar Brewery

17:55 Wednesday 21st March 2012
Drive BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: Johnnie D. has been to a new brewery in the county, where they’re avoiding fuel costs by delivering the beer by bike. (TAPE)
JOHN DEVINE: I’ve come to an industrial unit in Harston. We’ve got lots of casks, and there’s a big vat, looks like it could be some sort of brewery. Now, you are the man. You are Joe Kennedy. What do you do here, Joe?
JOSEPH KENNEDY: I’m here at BlackBar Brewery in Hartson.
JOHN DEVINE: Now, bikes are important in the business of brewing beer, aren’t they, for you? Why?
JOSEPH KENNEDY: They are for me, because I deliver as much as I can into Cambridge and the local area of about five miles or so, sometimes a little further. I deliver all my beer by bicycle.
JOHN DEVINE: And you’ve got a trailer, presumably, for your bicycle.
JOSEPH KENNEDY: Yes. I’ve got a trailer that attaches to the back of the bicycle. I can put two firkins into it, which is about 100 odd kilos of beer in the back of the bike. And off I ride into Cambridge.
JOHN DEVINE: And a firkin is a big container.
JOSEPH KENNEDY: A firkin is what most people would call a barrel of beer.
JOHN DEVINE: Do you get funny looks from motorists and passers-by and people walking along, who think, what the hell’s going on?
JOSEPH KENNEDY: I get a confused look a lot of the time, thinking, what’s this guy riding along for? And then they recognise the firkins in the back of the thing, and then there’s a smile to themselves as they think, ooh, beer.
JOHN DEVINE: So you’re in Harston now. And it’s the A10 isn’t it, into Cambridge from here?
JOSEPH KENNEDY: It is the A10 into Cambridge from here. So it’s down the side of the A10, and then you’ve got the Guided Busway from Trumpington, which will take you straight into the stations. So I can do here to Cambridge with two barrels of beer in about 25 minutes.
JOHN DEVINE: And of course everyone’s on about high fuel prices. You’ve beaten it all Joe, haven’t you?
JOSEPH KENNEDY: Oh yes. My fuel price is just a few more sandwiches a day.
JOHN DEVINE: And where do you go to in Cambridge, once you get there?
JOSEPH KENNEDY: Once I get into Cambridge, I’ve been into The Maypole, we’re into the Hop Bind, the Cambridge Blue. We’ve been out as far as The Swan, the White Swan at Stow-cum-Quay, I went out to last week. That is a bit of a ride. But it’s a nice day, so I thought, why not? I’ll go and do it. Get in. Park the bike outside. Try not to block the pavement. And get the beers in. No problem at all.
JOHN DEVINE: So how many times a week are you making this journey?
JOSEPH KENNEDY: I’m doing this journey probably at the minute once a week. But we’re only three months old, so I can’t complain. As we build it up, hopefully we’ll be doing it more often, and maybe I’ll pull my father out of retirement.
JOHN DEVINE: So Blacklight is one of yours. What else?
JOSEPH KENNEDY: We’ve got Blacklight. We’ve also got Black Economy, good for the current times.
JOHN DEVINE: That’s good.
JOSEPH KENNEDY: But it’s also named after a friend of mine who came up with the idea. We were discussing one day. And she’s actually an economist. Black Economy, all adds up really. (LIVE)
CHRIS MANN: Johnnie D. reporting from a brewery. What’s new?