Drink fresh, we are constantly told with modern, hop-forward IPAs — within six months, say, or the hop ‘punch’ starts to die down.
They say KO IPA (Kegged On IPA), which will be kegged on January 31, will have a best before end (BBE) date of February 4.
With freshness now such a priority for craft brewers, Odyssey wants its heavily-hopped beers to reach customers in the best possible condition, and as quickly as possible, so the delicate hop character is preserved.
As the brewery is located in relatively remote Herefordshire, this is a challenge, but one it needs to meet to maintain its status as one of the top brewers in the country (Odyssey is rated fifth in the UK on Untappd).
The solution offered by online craft beer marketplace EeBriaTrade means the beers can be shipped on the same day they are packaged, meaning the beer can be served within 24 hours of being ready, instead of the usual distribution timeframe of several weeks.
Normally, breweries would put a best before date of several months, and pubs may take days or even weeks to sell an entire keg, so making it just four days is a big risk, but one the brewer considers worth taking.
The beer will be available for pubs to order on EeBriaTrade.com from noon on Wednesday, January 17, and will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Only one small batch of this exclusive, limited edition beer will be made.
It will be limited to one keg per customer and is expected to sell within minutes, as several other highly prized beers have done when distributed by EeBriaTrade. The demand highlights just how important pubs consider it to secure their customers better beer.
Mitchell Evans, founder of Odyssey Brew Co, said: “At Odyssey, we like to make incredibly hoppy but incredibly drinkable beers that are at their best when super fresh. To show pubs and drinkers how important to us this is and give them something a bit special, we have created KO IPA, a beer that will tell consumers exactly what date the beer was put into kegs, and what our recommended best before date is.
“Look, this beer will taste amazing long after that date has expired, but this exercise gives the consumer a chance to taste the beer exactly as we do when fresh from our tanks. In this instance we have chosen to make that date just four days after the kegging date, so pubs serve it as fresh as we want and the customers get a special experience that is limited to a couple of days.
“EeBriaTrade has allowed us to get the beer to customers all over the UK just 24 hours after kegging, enabling us to create this extra special beer and ensure it gets to as many of our far-flung fans as possible. We hope people love drinking this beer and, above all, have fun with the whole concept and experience, because ultimately enjoyment is what it should all be about.”
EeBriaTrade’s head Of trade, Matt Stokes, added: “The best breweries in the country are using more hops than ever to create incredible beers, and at EeBriaTrade we consider it a priority to make sure they arrive in peak condition to customers.
“Odyssey Brew Co are creating a beer so special we wanted to ship it as soon as possible without limiting it geographically, so we have made it available nationwide within 24 hours of packaging, and the BBE date ensures the beer is served right away, guaranteeing the customer has the best experience and the brewery knows people are tasting it as it should be.”