German style from Suffolk: Suffolk-based brewery The Krafty Braumeister has launched Krafty’s Blondie, a blonde lager brewed using barley malts from Suffolk. Krafty’s version of the artisanal Munich Helles is rich golden in colour. It has the character of lightly toasted bread and a light sweetness.
Eureka moment: Single-hop Eureka APA is back in the St Austell Brewery web shop. First brewed in 2016, it features Eureka hops, grown in the Pacofoc North West of the United States, as well as crystal rye malt and California ale yeast. It’s great for matching with burgers, fried chicken, and pizza, says the brewer.
Young person’s discount: Alcohol-free beer brand, Freestar, has announced the launch of its unique discount offering 25% off for under 25s indefinitely as part of the brand’s pledge to champion the next generation. Under-25s need to WhatsApp Freestar a photo of their driving licence or passport to 07783216481. The instant reply will include a discount code that won’t expire until the consumer’s 26th birthday. Find out more here.
Back in business: Villages Deptford taproom has re-opened, with fresh kegs on the taps and more seating outside. There’s substantial food from Buster Mantis, who are bring their burgers, as well as other delights. Book a table here.
Festival collaboration: Verdant’s countdown to next year’s Bigfoot Festival, in Warwickshire, begins with a collaboration with the event organisers. Home From Home is a 6.5% ABV IPA bursting with Citra, Nelson, and Galaxy goodness. Dank, creamy, and with citrus, grape, &and passion fruit flavours its cans have a QR code giving exclusive access to competitions, Verdant-curated playlists, and more.
Building the estate: Black Country Ales has purchased its 40th pub, the Railway Tavern in Newport, Shropshire. The pub will re-open in the New Year.
More help for tenants: Greene King Pub Partners is to continue its rent support for tenants during the covid-19 crisis by confirming that all tied tenants in tiers two and three will receive a 90% rent concession from 2nd December. The company’s financial support for its tenants currently stands at £25m.
Christmas shop: Binary Botanical, which makes beers aimed at wine lovers, has launched an online festive shop. Among the items on offer are a festive cocktail kit, and a botanical exploration kit, which includes herbs to grow.
Chocolate collaboration: Ora Brewing has released Tentazioni, a decadent chocolate imperial stout. Ora collaborated with Audere Chocolatier lab from Piedmont to source three types of dark chocolate, including single origin Ecuador dark chocolate (85%) with raw Italian sugar, single origin Venezuelan cocoa nibs, and dark chocolate powder. The beer has seven speciality malts in the griest and 15 kg of strong bitter chocolate, including cocoa powder, chocolate bars in the boil, and rich layers of chocolate nibs in secondary fermentation.
Wellbeing support: The Drinks Trust charity has partnered with Spectrum.Life, a corporate health and wellbeing provider, to provide enhanced wellbeing support to the drinks industry across the UK. The upgraded helpline and wellness services have been introduced to provide vital mental health and wellbeing support to people working across the industry workforce, including furloughed workers or those who have lost their jobs due to the restrictions on their businesses since March 2020.
Return of the Lobster: Padstow Brewing Co’s Lobster Tale (4.5% ABV) is back. The wheat beer was developed for the National Lobster Hatchery, also based in Padstow. Ten pence from each can sale is donated to help conserve vulnerable lobster populations. Best bitter Padstow Local (4% ABV) is now available in bottles for the first time.
Make your own boilermaker: Thornbridge Brewery has worked with the White Peak Distillery to create a Boilermaker Giftpack. It features Jaipur IPA, Thornbridge’s flagship beer, and White Peak single malt, alongside a special edition stainless steel pint cup and a shot glass. £1 from each pack sold will be donated to Derby Mountain Rescue Team to support the lifesaving service it provides.
Decidedly decadant: Vocation has teamed up with Reading’s Double Barrelled Brewing on Double Maple and Pecan stout. Described as “decidedly decadant”, it’s been aged in bourbon barrels for a warm, smooth, and moreish finish, say the brewers, and comes in at 8.5% ABV. Vocation has also launched Imperial Coconut, an 11% ABV triple IPA, with natural coconuts and Sabro and HBC 472 hops.
Bedlam secures cash: Bedlam Brewery, near Brighton, has completed a third round of crowdfunding, raising £662,000 to help accelerate growth. The money was raised by 500 investors.
Stoutzilla is Unbarred: Unbarred Brewery’s imperial stout, Stoutzilla, has returned. This year’s vintage includes cold steeped coffee from Pharmacie Coffee Roasters, as well as Madagascan vanilla and bourbon whiskey, for a luxurious depth of flavour.
Eight in a row: Camden Town Brewery has released its Beer 2020, the latest in a series of annual beers, barrel aged for eight months to create an elegant lager with white wine-like characteristics. The 10% ABV brew is available in Waitrose stores.
Wetherspoon disputes lockdown advice: J D Wetherspoon has published a 23-page version of its house managaine, Wetherspoon News, to take aim against the government’s lockdown measures and how they affect the hosptality industry. Tim Martin argues that politicians from a narrow background, mostly Oxford Univeristy educated, fall victim to ‘groupthink’ when developing anti-covid policies, and cites several articles in backing up his point. He says flawed Imperial College research caused more than 100 countries to lockdown. “Had [the Wetherspoon board] made the same awful mistakes as Imperial, this surely would have resulted in the dismissal of directors and the loss of all credibility”, says Martin. Read the magazine here.
Buy ahead scheme returns: Budweiser Brewing Group, the UK arm of AB InBev, has relaunched its Sve Pub Life gift card, after rolling it out during the first lockdown. The card allows drinkers to buy cards to spend when pubs re-open to help licensees’ cashflow.
Voodoo Ranger comes to UK: New Belgium Brewing’s famous Voodoo Ranger hazy IPA is now available to pre-order in the UK. It gets its full release on 25th November. It is being brewed under contract over here by Fourpure Brewing, part of the Lion group of breweries, of which New Belgium is also a member. Voodoo Ranger has bright tropical aromas and notes of citrus fruit, juicy and unfiltered, and brewed with all-American hops, with a smooth finish.