Verdant Core Classics: Lightbulb Extra Pale Ale
Lightbulb may well be our most fitting beer name. Originally, its title referenced how our head brewer James described the colour he wanted the finished beer to be – the shade of a 100w light bulb to be precise. Now we’re increasingly aware that Lightbulb may well be the beer that literally keeps the lights on.
Over our short lifespan, Lightbulb has ironically been responsible for some of our darker moments. Lightbulb’s recipe is the one we have wrestled with the most, and many brewers will tell you it’s the simpler recipes that are hardest to perfect.
The extra pale ale (XPA) has been a part of our core range since the very beginning. However, it was Headband’s recipe that was dialled in much quicker. Headband is a session version of our bigger beers – overripe tropical fruit, a rich mouthfeel and a quick, smooth finish.
It’s a beer for the geeks who want to have a few. Lightbulb, meanwhile was the kind of beer we wanted to see people slinging back down on the Quay in Falmouth; the kind of beer we wanted to sling back, in fact. It was our beer for people who just wanted a pint.
Brewing a nuanced, full-bodied and consistent beer at 4.5% ABV is incredibly difficult. We wanted a thread of that signature Verdant juiciness running through it without compromising on the sessionability or approachability. We first brewed lightbulb back in 2015, and we’ve tweaked it pretty much every time we’ve brewed it. We finally believe we’re happy with it, brewing it two days in a row with different yeasts then blending them to achieve those two sides to its character. The bittering hops are turned up and the aroma hops down, using less fruit forward varieties and more of the old school "C" hops that bring both citrus and more savoury notes of pine and freshly cut grass.
At different stages throughout its life, Lightbulb has had issues. Nowadays it’s a consistent little sipper that we adore. While most drinkers focus on our bigger beers, our favourite moment is drinking Lightbulb straight from the tank. When we smash that balance between full-bodied juice and light, zingy cask ale drinkability, it’s probably our best beer.
As we look to expand, Lightbulb is a beer we’re going to continue to reply upon. There are some beers you pour into a Teku, and some that need to be in a pint glass. We will never forget that most people love the latter - particularly down here in Cornwall. We’re super proud of hailing from this part of the world, and we want to serve the community around us as much as possible. Lightbulb is how we can do that best.Follow the brewery on Instagram and sign up to our e-newsletter to keep up-to-date with the latest releases and updates.