XT Brewery will be back at the Great British Beer Festival this year with its own brewery bar, showcasing the core range of XT and Animal beers, plus a number of one-offs brewed just for the event.
Having seen the success of the foreign bars at last year’s show, XT is keen to prove that British brewers can easily match the competition from overseas and produce something for the visitors to get excited and talk about.
In other brewery news, the hugely popular HopCat — which has become one of the best-selling beers from XT in just a few months — is having to have a name change. Following a long legal battle with a bar company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which claims worldwide ownership of the name, XT has decided to change the name of the 3.9% ABV hyper hoppy beer to HopKitty. The beer will stay exactly the same.
To mark the name change, XT will brew two stronger limited edition versions: Bad Kitty at 5.9%, and Evil Kitty which will be as strong as the brewers can get it!
After a very successful collaboration at the German brewery of Weyermann, in April, the team are now looking to the other side of the world and will work with a New Zealand brewery, Fortune Favours, from Wellington.
The head brewer from XT organised a collaboration brew while over there earlier this year. The two brewers, despite being poles apart, will make the same beer on the same day and will communicate with live video feeds. Oyster Catcher (4.8% ABV) will be released later this year.
Another upcoming collaboration will see the XT brew team working with a speciality malting company, using new Red-X malt paired with Cryo hops. Like a crazy Heston Blumenthal recipe, a cryogenic separation process preserves all the flavour components by freezing the hop cones with liquid nitrogen.
The trial beer will be divided, with one version using more traditional dry hopping and the second batch using the new Cryo hops. This New World beer will be available around July time.
XT have been working with a yeast expert to see if it can separate its own wild yeast strain from the air in the brewery. If successful, trials will begin using the yeast strains to brew a number of mini-batch brews.
Latest Animal branded beers
Giraffe, amber 4.6% ABV
Paying homage to the giraffe’s colours, this amber beer sees the pairing of grapefruit and chocolate. Pale chocolate and wheat malt collide with high-alpha US and UK hops — Chinook, Summit, Cascade and Admiral —giving a citrus and grapefruit kick.
Wolf, pale ale 4.6% ABV
Brewed with the new Styrian Wolf hop, developed by the Slovenian Institute for Hop Research and Brewing, and used for the first time at XT Brewing Co. Expect intense floral and fruity notes of melon, mango and elderflower, with hints of violet. These are paired with European malts, Vienna and Munich, for a classic biscuity base.