Curious Brewery, owned by leading English winemaker, Chapel Down, has launched the first in a unique series of small-batch beers, each produced with a winemaker’s twist

The series, named Curiouser & Curiouser, sees Curious Brewery collaborate with leading brewers from around the UK to produce unique limited edition beers that each lean on winemaking influences.

Curiouser & Curiouser Chapter 1, the first beer in the collection, is a wild fermented Chardonnay and Bacchus sour ale, created in partnership with Somerset’s Wild Beer Company.

The limited edition brew, from which just 1,500 bottles have been produced, is barrel aged with Chardonnay and Bacchus wine yeast, creating a uniquely complex beer. The fresh acidity from the sour ale is balanced by the smooth and textural flavours characteristic of English wine to give intense aromas of citrus and toasted nuts with a hint of vanilla.

In homage to its winemaking influence, Chapter 1 is bottled in a 75cl wine bottle, sealed with a crown cork and the Wild Beer Company’s signature wax seal.

The name, Curiouser & Curiouser, links to Alice in Wonderland and each beer in the collection will be a different chapter number. The first release, Chapter 1, has subtle connotations to the book in the packaging, such as a neck tag around the bottle which reads ‘Drink Me: Every adventure requires a first sip!’

Unqiue and authentic

Chapel Down head winemaker, Josh Donaghay-Spire, led the collaboration with the Wild Beer Company, to create this truly unique and authentic tasting barrel-aged sour beer. He said: “Our collaboration with the Wild Beer Company was formed from a shared belief in exceptional brewing and a mutual passion for imaginative new products.

“The brewing process involved topping barrels of our Chardonnay and Bacchus lees with sour beer from the Wild Beer Company, where it then settled for six months. The beer was then blended with the best four of their summer blend and two of their sourdough barrels, resulting in a beer that confounds expectations and will push most beer drinkers out of their comfort zone, which is a good thing once in a while!”

Curious Brewery managing director, Gareth Bath, added: “Curiouser & Curiouser is going to offer beer drinkers something completely new — beer made by leading winemakers and some of the UK’s most forward-thinking brewers.

“The next beers in the series will be launched throughout 2018, each in partnership with a different brewer and each with a curious winemaking twist.”

Curiouser & Curiouser Chapter 1: Wild Fermented Chardonnay and Bacchus Sour Ale (ABV 4.9%, 75cl) retails for £20 and is available to purchase exclusively from the newly launched Curious Brewery website

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