The Crafty Cow

If you are stuck with ideas for Christmas gifting this year or are yet to discover the winning combo of a good beer and delicious cheese then this weeks blog is just for you!
We’re talking to Mike and Jules from The Crafty Cow in Penn Hill, a small but perfectly formed bottle shop that has more to offer then you would first think….
What can people expect when they come to Crafty Cow?
When people come into The Crafty Cow, they will receive a friendly smile and someone always ready to help (Normally me, and my face) or one of our equally smiley crafty cow’ers. Once inside The Crafty Cow if you think Bottleshop/Deli/Bar in a cosy & relaxed atmosphere they will be on the right track.
We have a choice of ever changing craft beer from UK based small batch breweries, especially local to Dorset and the surrounding area, accompanied by a selection of Wine and what we think pairs best with both Wine and Beer is Cheese! So we have a selection of unique cheeses again from the local area and UK, but no cheese pairing would be complete without some cured meats, chutneys and crackers so we have again a section of locally produced products to build the perfect night – everything we have in shop is to be taken away, however to help people get to know their beer styles and choice we have 4 beers on tap which are here for people to drink not to be drunk… and for growler fills (1.8L glass bottles which can be refilled from our taps anytime to take to party/BBQ’s/down the beach or just to enjoy at home).
So… what can people expect… we like to think a completely different experience then your normal supermarket/convenience store.
What inspired you guys to open Crafty Cow?
We have taken inspiration from several areas of the world and our lives, we have always enjoyed a drink.. especially good quality drink… and from traveling the UK visiting different breweries, distilleries and vineyards in aid of finding interesting and different drinks for our mobile bar we have run for the last couple years and always receiving great feedback from people enjoying the different selection of drinks we provide in comparison to standard bars we always had the question “Where can I get this from?” and we always had to say sorry we just deal direct with the Brewery/Distillery/Vineyard… and we genuinely didn’t know where you could easily access what we provided…. So from there the idea sparked, from our travels we knew of various Bottleshops and bars across the UK specialising in craft beer but it wasn’t until our trip the the USA did we find a Bottleshop and Tasting Room which specialised in craft beer and cheese – from then we were hooked… what a combo!
Since then plans were put in motion to find the location we can begin our Crafty Cow journey (Crafty – for the craft beers and produce, Cow – for the Cheese…although we do have goats as well but Crafty Cow & Goat just didn’t have the same ring to it). Both me and Jules are pretty impatient, so we jumped straight in and thought the best way to learn is by “doing” so here we are learning – seeing what works and what doesn’t, listening to our customers and trying to work on the feedback and we are loving every moment of it!
As well as popping in for some great beer and wine you also host some fantastic events!
We do indeed, as you can see our Bottleshop is… cosy.. but a perfect fit for a selection of people to enjoy something a bit different! As we mentioned everything we get in we try and source those hard to find and not in the supermarket items which in turn it does mean sometimes people don’t even know what it is, let alone tastes like… especially when we start talking about pairing cheese with a beer!
We are still young so have not had chance for many events so far, but the Crafty Cow has now seen a couple of Birthday parties, a corporate event and a stag party and more booked in for next year, although we will be holding more public events too, we recently held a Craft Beer and Chocolate pairing event! Which everyone loved, we talked about the different beer styles and tastes which then followed by the hand made chocolate to pair and I mean, what more can you want then chocolate and drink!?
We will be running all different types of events so something different for everyone, from Cheese and Wine/Beer pairing through to Cured meats tasting and Artisan spirits – all of these will be advertised in shop and on our social pages so keep your eyes peeled in the next few weeks for dates!
Can you tell us more about your amazing hampers?
I can! We keep wanting to spread the knowledge of independent products and I know there are a lot of people who are like me and when it comes to gift buying I am useless!!! Let alone the wrapping side of things! So what we have offered from the day of opening is gift cards for people to then use in shop but also mixed cases for gifts but following feed back we have been asked to put together hampers for gifts.
So now we have the option for customers to come in and put together a bespoke hamper or they can choose one of our pre-packaged options, all presented in our “Crafty Cow” theme so no wicker hampers, ours are in what we like to think is a cool sleek black and white presentation box perfect as a him or her gift – with Christmas around the corner we are going to be really building our selection ready for customers to run in and collect or bespoke for their lucky someone. Our selection of hampers are available both in our shop and at “On The Green Interiors” in Ashley Cross where mulled wine and cheese will also be available on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas.
I think you’ll all agree that everyone would be delighted with one of these hampers for Christmas and when you pop in to pick yours up don’t forget to treat yourself at the same time!
Thanks for reading and happy shopping,

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