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Founder Dick Palmer: brewery renamed in honour of his daughters but Dick's branding will remain where it suits customers


Dick’s goes PC: renamed Three Sister’s Brewing

Dick’s Brewery has rebranded after some pubs refused to stock its beer fearing plays on the name might upset bar staff.

Now known as Three Sisters Brewing Company, the Yorkshire firm will continue to sell its Big Head Bitter to pubs where regulars still find it amusing, said founder Dick Palmer, but for new customers the same beer will be called, simply, Session Ale.

Dick’s Turpin’s Golden Ale will also remain in the portfolio for drinkers who like to order “a pint of Turps.”

Palmer, who has cuckoo-brewed at the Crafty Little Brewery in Brough for the last four years, said the change had come at a cost, for the redesign and new pump clips, but “we had to get into line.”

“Dick happens to be my name. I’ve used it all my life. And it’s the kind of name people remember, so I, perhaps foolishly it now seems, decided it would be a good name for the brewery.

“I wanted to produce a beer with a good head that keeps in the glass and thought it would be funny to call it Big Head Bitter. But some pubs won’t take the beer specifically because of the name. Strangely, it’s the guys who are more cautious. They think it might upset female bar staff.

“This year that’s been holding the business back and, because I have three daughters, we’re now called Three Sisters, though we’re still using the Dick’s Brewery name where it suits.”

Pump clips have been redesigned by artist Becky Hart and a new website will be live by December.

Palmer will use the rebrand as a platform to expand distribution – and focus Three Sisters’ sales strategy on freshness and quality. He has invested in 200 36-pint casks, or pins, to make it easier for pubs to dispense his beers within the optimum three days.

“Even better if it’s two days, and if they can sell it in one night that’s great,” he said. “We need to push sales and the fresh element will set us apart.

“I despair when I see eight or 10 real ales on the bar in a pub. It’s not possible they’re all fresh, and that’s where quality falls down, I believe, rather than temperature.”

Pins are “relatively expensive,” he added. “They’re not much cheaper than a regular nine-gallon cask, but I think they’re worth the investment.

“There’s been a little bit of push-back from pubs because, they say, it means twice the wastage, but I’m not charging any more per pint for beer in a pin, as some brewers do, and what’s most important is that pubs have a saleable product.

“So after a couple of weeks the response has been generally positive. It’s not really been a hard sell for us.”

Phil Mellows
28th November 2018

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