Brews in brief …

Camden Town Brewery has collaborated with London restaurant group Hoppers to celebrate the launch of its new King’s Cross site. Brewed to pair perfectly with the Sri Lankan menu, the Camden x Hoppers Tropical Lager is light and hazy in look, and a refreshing tropical palate cleanser to taste. The brew uses a mixture of Citra hops, lemon peel, and Amchur — a type of dried mango not often used in brewing, but inspired by tastes found in the Hoppers menu. The citrus flavours create a crisp tropical brew with a slight apple aroma and a tangy spice finish.

Camerons Brewery’s Old Sea Dog (4.3% ABV) has been named best beer in County Durham in the RateBeer Best Awards 2019. The beer is a modern take on a classic North East brown ale, was introduced by the brewery in 2019. It forms part of Camerons’ Anchor range of beers, which celebrates the brewer’s coastal heritage.

Stringers Brewery team

Cumbria-based Stringers Brewery has gained SIBA accreditation which it intends to use to target markets such as JD Wetherspoon and Greene King. Stringers’ operation director, Scott Mackenzie (pictured above with the brewery team), said: “The SIBA accreditation is huge for Stringers, because it validates our production process and is a requirement for most of the large pub chains when it comes to working with them as a supplier. Of course, we had full confidence in the way we brew our beer and already meet a very high bar when it comes to health, hygiene, and safety, due to the regulations which govern us.”

UnBarred Brewery has collaborated with Portsmouth’s Staggeringly Good Brewery on Dip Le Donut, a coffee, chocolate and doughnut white stout. The 5.6% ABV brew will only be available in cans.

Fallen Brewing is launching Oyster Stout, brewed with real oysters, on February 26. The 5.5% ABV beer is based on the salted caramel milk stout recipe for Chew Chew, but brewed using oysters, in collaboration with the Bow Bar, Edinburgh. The oysters were shucked, shells added early in the boiling process with the meat, and brine added late. The shells and liquid inside the oysters add a briny, sea water character, while the proteins in the meat add to the soft, full texture of the beer. It has a sweet but clean aroma on the nose, with a rich dark colour and a firm white head, delivering a fresh, sweet and rich malty flavour, with a clean, ever-so-slightly briny finish.

West Berkshire Brewery is fundraising again as it targets further growth. Managing director, Tom Lucas, told industry publisher Propel: “This is basically a working capital requirement and has been on the horizon for some time. We have delivered a massive infrastructure project in the shape of our brewery plant, which has enabled us to double our revenues in this financial period. Now it’s about accelerating that ongoing growth and we need to fund that journey. It’s about getting our beers into more hands in more markets, and hitting that magical £8m revenue mark.”

Fresh from its relaunch of Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, the Danish brewer is launching a new marketing campaign in the UK for Carlsberg Export. Underpinned by the slogan ‘Probably the most modest beer in the world’, the ads see Carlsberg UK emphasise the Danes’ philosophy on modesty, and subtly communicate that consumers say they prefer its premium lager, Carlsberg Expørt, to competitors.

St Peter’s Brewery has launched Gatekeeper Golden Ale for spring. The light golden ale (4.7% ABV) has tempting caramel aromas, pleasant toffee apple flavours, and a slight bitterness. It is available in Morrisons, The Co-Op, and Iceland, and from Ocado.

Yonder Brewing & Blending, based in Somerset, is to launch two seasonal beers on February 27. Raspberry Gose (4.5% ABV) uses British raspberries and Cornish sea salt to create a tart, full-bodied brew. There is also a Rosehip Saison (5.2% ABV).

Lacons’ Audit Ale took bronze in the barley wines and strong ale category in this week’s Champion Winter Beer of Britain contest, in Birmingham. Brewed at Lacons’ Falcon Brewery in Great Yarmouth, Audit is an 8.0% ABV barley wine, copper in colour, with prominent flavours of berry fruits and spice. Deceptively smooth to drink, the finish is satisfyingly warming and sweet.

Rooster’s is relcoating its brewery and taproom to Harrogate, where the business launched 27 years ago. The new site is three times as big as the current one, in Knaresborough, and has cost £850,000 to get up and running. The brewery includes a pilot plant for small-batch beers.

St Austell Andrew Turner

St Austell Brewery has announced the appointment of Andrew Turner to the newly created role of managing director, Beer and Brands. Andrew (pictured above) is currently trading director with Heineken UK.

The second of Thornbridge’s Year of Beer collaborations — marking the brewery’s 15th anniversary — is Fortress, a collaboration with Rooster’s. It’s a straw blonde, classically hoppy extra pale ale, with strong citrus notes from Sabro and Cascade hops.

Arkell’s 3Bs bitter is to be temporarily renamed Bittersweet for Valentine’s Day. Head brewer, Alex Arkell, said: “As a business run by close family members, for us Valentine’s Day has a broader meaning. It is not just about celebrating love for your partner, but is a date to appreciate others in your life too; your family, friends, and even colleagues.” The ale has a fruity and malty nose, and a lingering bittersweet flavour of balanced Maris Otter malt and traditional Fuggles and Goldings hops.

Ora Brewing has collaborated with Blackbook, an urban winery in Battersea, to create Vendemmia, an Italian grape ale. Ora took some of Blackbook’s Pinot Noir grape pomace to make the beer, a sour grape ale whose name means ‘harvest’ in Italian.

Kendal-based tea and coffee merchant John Farrer & Co has teamed up with Handsome Brewery, of Bowston, to create a second brew of Hare, a beer infused with a tea called Lakeland Special. Co-founder of the Handsome Brewery, Marcin Serwatka, said: ‘”The original batch of Hare in kegs sold really quickly. We all realised that we’d hit on something really pretty special and that people loved the flavour. Tea allows brewers to craft some really interesting brews, with subtle flavour notes and a real depth to them. We obviously got it right as we sold out in no time, so, after spending a bit of time perfecting the recipe even more, we’ve gone ahead and bottled Hare. We’ve also started to tinker about with some other tea-based ideas, so watch this space…”

More than a quarter of UK drinkers (27%) reduced, or completely stopped, drinking in January, new research from independent alcohol education charity Drinkaware reveals. The study found that almost three-quarters (72%) of those people who said they drank less or stopped drinking last month, plan to continue doing so in the long term. In this group, 59% said they plan to continue to reduce their drinking in the long term, while 12% said they plan to stop drinking completely.

Phil Whitehead, managing director of Molson Coors Western Europe, has been appointed chairman of the British Beer & Pub Association, following a vote at the trade association’s general meeting. He will succeed Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller’s, who was chairman of the BBPA for two years.

St Austell Conversion

St Austell Brewery is celebrating the Six Nations rugby with Conversion (4% ABV). It’s a robust, yet sessionable, amber pale ale that provides a nuanced balance of malt and hops, with delicate notes of toffee and grapefruit, and a refreshing finish.

Innis & Gunn has hits a £3m crowdfunding target as it looks to build a brewery in Edinburgh. The brewery will be constructed at Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park, with the company looking to get it operational in 2021.

Brick Brewery has added gluten-free Peckham Helles (4.2% ABV) to its Foundation range. Fermented and conditioned slowly to develop a subdued floral yeast character, and filtered for crystal clarity, the beer has a soft bitterness with light, fruity yeast esters and herbal spice. “Refreshing and moreish with a clean and crisp finish,” says the brewer.

The Hofmeister Brewing Company, revived in 2017 by Richard Longhurst and Spencer Chambers, has raised £720,000 to grow the business further.

Scotland’s Wooha Brewing Co has hit its £600,000 crowdfunding target. The money will to build its sales team, support and grow its international customer base, and fund promotional activity. It will also go towards the production of new 500ml cans for the Chinese market.

Old School Try'd Harder

Old School Brewery’s Six Nations special is Try’d Harder, a 4% ABV beer first brewed in 2015. It’s a refreshingly zesty English pale ale, packed with citrus, mango, pine, lemon, and floral character.

Skinner’s has brought back its seasonal Splendid Tackle (4.2% ABV) for the lead-up to and duration of the Six Nations tournament. Brewhouse manager, Mike Job, says it is a “refreshingly zesty beer, made with the best malted barley and wheat. Tropical fruits with lemon notes really sing out — rugby fans will be in fine voice after a pint or two!”

Padstow Brewing Co has collaborated with Brasserie Bon Poison, from Metz, in France, and Bare Brewing, from Luxembourg. The beers will be launched in February. Available now is Negroni Sour, a collaboration with Stewart Brewing, inspired by the Negroni cocktail.

Duration cans January 2020

Norfolk’s Duration Brewing has launched three new beers. Doses (5.1% ABV) is a floral Pilsner, Sweeping Coast is a 4.8% ‘Westie’, and Dripping Pitch is a West Coast IPA coming in at 6.7%. The brewery has also collaborated with Cloudwater on Petrichor, a 6% IPA using Norfolk beetroots. This has been brewed for the Manchester brewery’s Friends & Family & Beer festival next month.

Production of Sadler’s beers is to move from the West Midlands to Cumbria. The brewery is majority owned by Halewood Wines and Spirits, which is transferring production to its Hawskhead Brewery site.

Black Sheep Brewery is bringing back its rugby-inspired beer, Ram Tackle, for the Six Nations tournament. Available in cask throughout February, the 4.1% ABV ruby beer is brewed with brewed eight different English hops. The hop blend offers rich and fruity characters.

Incipio Group has signed a line-up of beer partnerships across its sites. This includes two years with both Camden Town Brewery and Budweiser Brewing Group, as well as further partnerships with Wolfpack and Molson Coors. The group will be one of the first of its kind to have fresh Camden Hells Lager in tank beer, and Corona on tap. They will supply to existing and new sites, including Pergola Paddington, Pergola Olympia, The Prince, Bloom, W12 Studios, and Lost in Brixton. 

Midlands brewer and pub owner Daniel Batham has reported a rise in turnover from £6m to £6.2m in the year to June 30, 2019. Pre-tax profit was up from £1.6m to £1.7m.

Shepherd Neame’s first Cask Club beer of 2020 will be Crossfire (4.2% ABV), an English IPA bursting with apricot and citrus notes. Crossfire has been brewed using the Ernest hop, which is renowned for its heady hints of tropical fruit and New World characteristics. It is the first time that Shepherd Neame has used the distinctive Kentish variety, named after Professor Ernest Salmon, who oversaw its cultivation back in the 1950s.

Black Isle Brewery has launched its new seasonal beer, 2020 Vision, and will donate £3 from every pint sold to Australian bush fire relief. Marketing manager, Aidy Fenwick, said: “At Black Isle we’ve been brewing organic beer for 21 years, and have always looked for ways we can use our beer to make a positive environmental impact. Right now, Australia is burning and the results are devastating, so we want to do everything we can to help.”

Beavertown One of Or Own

Beavertown Brewery — in which Heineken has a minority stake — saw turnover rise 53%to £19.6m in the year ending March 31, 2019. Pre-tax profit fell to £702,000 from £1.2m in the previous year. Meanwhile, it has teamed up with Tottenham Hotspur FC to create One of Our Own, a 4.9% IPA. The beer was brewed on the Beavertown kit, which was installed at Tottenham’s new stadium last year.

Glasgow-based folk band Kinnaris Quintet have been announced as winners of the Belhaven Bursary. Belhaven Brewery, Scotland’s oldest working brewery, has been supporting Scottish artists through the bursary, for innovation in Scottish music, since its inception in 2017.

Unity Brewing has opened a new base in Southampton, following a successful crowdfunding campaign. New equipment doubles capacity, and there is also a taproom.

Arran Brewery is to begin production of sour beers at its Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, facility in the new year. Head brewer, Jose Bravo, said: “Sour beers are trending right now and have a wide appeal, especially with the craft beer connoisseurs. I will be doing a full range of beers in all the sour style formats in the coming year. These will be hand crafted, specialty beers, coming in cask, keg, 750ml sharing bottles, and 330ml bottles.”

Brewhouse & Kitchen has launched a new lager, Icon Craft Pilsner. Golden, crisp, and refreshing, the beer has been brewed in conjunction with Shepherd Neame and will form a core part of the brewpub group’s existing own brewed beer portfolio.

Everards has begun installing vessels in its new Leicester brewery. The new facility will have a brewing capacity of 4.3m pints per year.

Flying Firkin Distribution has launched a new website, aimed at beer festival organisers and publicans. It enables them to order a broad range of quality beers from different breweries, all delivered in one drop, and with the empty casks collected afterwards. It showcases more than 1,500 beers from 200 brewers from across the UK.

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