Fuller’s Griffin Brewery is launching the 2020 iteration of its annual favourite, limited edition Vintage Ale, today.

The beer has been carefully and passionately crafted by the Fuller’s brewing team in Chiswick every year since 1997. Each time, a new recipe is created, ensuring the annual vintage has its own unique profile, distinct from the last — yet all are made to mature elegantly, with the flavours developing over time.

This year, the best of British is on show, following the New Zealand inspiration that influenced the 2019 variety. Home-grown hops and UK-produced malt form the basis for Vintage Ale 2020, alongside the brewery’s signature yeast.

Brewing manager, Guy Stewart, who had the role of creating the recipe, said: “It’s a real honour and privilege (not to mention, real pressure!) to contribute a vintage to the Vintage Ale series. This year we are championing our British-grown ingredients and have worked with our suppliers to bring a vintage we think is particularly special to the series.

“We’ve selected Herefordshire hops from Charles Faram, which bring ripe berry fruit and tangy citrus notes, alongside speciality malt from Simpsons Malt that delivers a malty sweetness, rich in caramel and raisin. It’s the balance of all these elements that makes for a great beer now, and one that will continue to develop if you can resist temptation and store them for a few years.”

The story starts with DRC, a double-roasted crystal malt from East Anglia, that promises malty sweetness, rich in caramel and raisin. Then there’s the Herefordshire hops — Jester and Godiva — adding ripe berry fruit and tangy citrus notes to the signature marmalade flavours of the Fuller’s yeast.

Bottles are available from today on the Fuller’s Brewery website, with gift sets and previous vintages available, too. It will also be available from participating Waitrose & Partners from 26th October.

Video: comparing the 2020 vintage with the 2011

Released today, a new video (below) shows Fuller’s Brewery beer ambassador, and former head brewer, John Keeling, trying the 2020 and 2011 Vintage Ales in the company of current brewng manager Guy Stewart, and, remotely, Charles Faram managing director, Paul Corbett, and Richard Simpson, of Simpsons Malt.

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