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And when we woke it was all a dream

Hey there, Outliers! Long time, no speak. How you doing? Okay. The family? Well, is that so.

Not much preamble is needed here, is there? We all know that Covid has been the strangest of times: a terrible nightmare for some, and just a plodding recurring limbo 1000-yard-stare for most. We’re glad to say that we’re in the latter camp.

We’ve been a little quiet on the socials of late because Team Outlier – that’s me and Ian – decided to largely down tools this second lockdown. We’re in the fortunate (and unfortunate) position of being a start up so our overheads are slight: it’s just the two of us and an old milking shed. We made the difficult-but-not-difficult decision to ease off and focus on family more, but this doesn’t mean that we’ve been doing nothing with Outlier. We’ve been doing some plotting, planning and prepping. So what’s up next?

  • We’re working on securing an off-licence so that we can sell direct through an online store, both here in the Isle of Man and across the UK. This will help to make our small batches more viable through that direct-to-customer route. It also will allow us to sell to pubs, bars and restaurants in smaller than wholesale amounts. And, in time, means that we’ll also be able to sell out of the distillery at Ballakelly.

  • Speaking of which, we’re gearing up to release another small batch, just your typical Manx honey liqueur spiced with cinnamon and locally foraged wood avens. (What the hell are wood avens?) We’re looking to use different local artists for different labels as there’s some great talent here on the Island. We used Keiran Hannifin aka Hans Effects for our Hedge Fund schnapps and we’re using Karolina Pawlowska aka Cup of Layna for our honey liqueur. More details on that as we head closer to the summer. On the bright side, lockdown has allowed for some lovely product testing...

  • We dipped our toe into the real world with a couple of little events around Hedge Fund last year. They were great fun. Well, they were for us – hopefully also for those that joined us at Bottle Monkey for the Outlier Spirits Tasting Pub Quiz Jamborees. We’ll be looking to do more this year, hopefully involving some of the best fancied boozers on the island.

  • During Lockdown 2.0, we ran the Outlier Manx Cup of Pubs & Bars through the Outlier Twitter account, which crowned The Ginger Hall in Sulby as the best boozer on the Island. The Ginge pipped live music venue Quids Inn to the title, but it was great to see some independent pubs and bars getting so much love. Not that you’ll likely need much encouragement to do so, but do support your locals when lockdown lifts.

So now it looks like the end is sight now, folks. Hold tight. And in the words of Abraham Lincoln, ‘In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years,’ Take that as some inspiration to make up for these last few weeks.

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