Colabs, Canning and a Quiet Charge
Collaborations A Go Go
So I write this in the midst of 'colab season'. Starting with the KCBC (Kings County Brewers Collective) brew a few weeks ago and running up to mid April there are a total of 9 collaborations taking place, 8 of which happening way down here in deepest darkest Cornwall. Last week Magic Rock were in the house brewing up an IPA with us in our grotto, this week Dry & Bitter are down doing a New Zealand hopped DIPA, then over the coming weeks we have the likes of Little Leeds, Wylam, Fuerst Wiacek, Cloudwater and Track in the house! Busy bees indeed but having much fun with it.
The first colab beer of the year, called 'As Is', was brewed with KCBC who were over from Brooklyn and it sprung from a mutual interest in producing a dry finishing juicy banger. Through various emails back and fourth we decided to build a recipe based around a pilsner style malt profile, lager yeast, untouched Cornish water and a heavy dose of Nelson in the dry hop. We left our soft source water 'as is' for this beer and used 100% German Pilsner malt. We fermented it with the dry lager strain W34/70 but at temperatures more associated with ales. It certainly isn't a pilsner and we wouldn't claim it to be, but it nods towards the style with similar esters and a cracker malt base. The Nelson dry hop brought it's own sweaty grape thing to the party without dominating the yeast character. The finish is dry and smooth with a touch of bitterness. An IPA for sure...but one with a twist.
Head Brewer Stuart from Magic Rock acted as hop mule last week bringing down a healthy quota of Cryo powder for our IPA colab 'We've...met before?'. The powder works really well in the whirlpool and we will be dry hopping it copiously further down the line with Amarillo, Citra, Simcoe and Columbus.
This week we are brewing a DIPA with Dry & Bitter with the aim to showcase some NZ varieties we've not used before and see how they express themselves at obscene hopping rates. Then we have Richard & Bryony from Little Leeds Beerhouse down to brew a Nelson Sauvin juicy banger for their birthday bash beer, can't wait to get a chunk of Nelson in a New England style beer...it's a rare beast!
The remaining collaborative recipes are still being developed but as ever the aim will be huge flavour, easy drinking nature whilst still remaining 'a beer'.
In December we took delivery of our canning line and we are very proud to say it was designed and built in the UK by Warren Stanley and his team at MicroCan UK. We are so happy to get our beer back in cans again and out in to the world. We have put so much effort in to producing our beers and have struck up great relationships with our hop suppliers and maltsters, we have also used Brewlab to isolate and bank a pure version of London Ale III yeast for us. To deliver these flavours in A1 condition in can is truly our aim and it feels great seeing people loving the results. Of course it's a learning curve and we are our own worst critics but we are proud of our canned beers.
We are adding two more tanks to our brewery next week which will take us to five brews a week and the canning line being fired up three times a week. That means three fresh beers being released in can at midday each and every Friday on our web shop. They get packed and shipped on the following Monday and hopefully drunk very soon thereafter! We are not ignoring ships and wholesalers it's just it takes a little longer for the stock to reach them. For the super special releases we release it primarily as direct sales.
Sessionable New England Beers
We love DIPA's. We love IPA's. We love Pale Ales. We also love a more sessional pale in the 4% range but that doesn't suffer from being 'thin', 'watery' or lacking hop flavour and a malt backbone. To say brewing a beer such as this is a challenge is an understatement but we love a challenge!
HÜDDLE was our first serious attempt at the style and we decided to bring some new German hop varietals to the fore along with a touch of rye malt. On the whole we found the beer to have a great mouthfeel for the abv and excellent hop presence.
Taking the lessons learned we lightened the malt bill and brought on board the hop superstars Citra and Amarillo in the beer 'Quiet Charge'. Really pleased with the fruit forward nature and mouthfeel of the beer, it feels bigger than it is and punches above its weight.
Keep an eye out for more releases in this style in the coming months.
The blog has been sorely neglected over the last year and we are going to make a point of devoting more time to it as we feel it's really important to let people know what we're up to. Watch this space, and remember...