Having been scheduled for Castle Rock Brewery, Nottingham, this meeting was held via Zoom on Saturday, 18 December 2021, because of concerns over the C-19 Omicron variant. Apologies were received from Ann Mace and Bob Crumpton. Also present were Paul Horrocks and Mike Sangster (Allens), and Nick Metcalfe (Co. Sec.).
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved without comment.
Mike Sangster was welcomed to his first meeting.
Nick Metcalfe reported significant activity on the BME front over the 2-month period since the last Committee meeting. All issues noted and ratified by the Committee (in particular, success in a recent auction of Hydes ‘B’ Ordinary shares).
Admin issues dealt with, including Barclays Bank signatory update, recent performance of James Sharp, year-to-date joiners, and leavers stats etc.
After full and final discussion, a decision was taken to ask Peter Darby (an authority on hops) whether he would be kind enough to address the 2022 AGM.
Lengthy discussion on possible brewery trips in 2022, with Holts, Shepherd Neame, and Black Sheep emerging as favourites, all three having already agreed to the proposition in principle, albeit with C19-influenced restriction on attendee numbers. Committee ‘leads’ to firm up dates with Admin Team, organise publicity etc.
Report-backs were received on existing investees, including Loungers and West Berkshire. Loungers’ present stance on ‘cask’ isn’t ideal in terms of CMIC’s remit, and recent developments at West Berkshire indicate a serious, imminent problem. Committee members reported back on AGM/shareholder meetings at Shepherd Neame and Hydes, respectively. BrewDog noted as continuing to attract press attention in respect of possible flotation.
Lengthy round-the-table on investment policy in micro-breweries, along the lines should we or shouldn’t we, and, if so, how much? Inconclusive and to be revisited – 2017 paper on this subject to be refreshed and possibility of a joint workshop with SIBA on this subject also raised.
With monies available to invest, a further round-the-table as to investment appetite, eventually agreeing that some monies should be invested now into 6 existing investees.
Chair offered best wishes to all for a safe and happy Xmas and New Year.