Words by Michael Wiper
We’ve always enjoyed creating something unique and Bristol-centric for Bristol Beer week. This year we turned to a feature of the city that has drawn many of us here, inspired us, and makes Bristol a brilliant place to run a business: creativity. We decided that we wanted to work with some of the city’s creative institutions and brew a set of beers to celebrate creativity as a concept.
Aardman are synonymous with Bristol, they are fiercely independent and their style is unmistakable – much like the city we both call home.
Their hand-crafted approach, where the finger prints are still visible on each animated model, has parallels to our brewing style. Each of our beer recipes is unique – even our core range is refined with every brew, constantly evolving and yet always familiar.
As part of our Brewed in Bristol series we have developed a collaboration beer with Aardman’s Co-Founder and Creative Director Peter Lord. Over a few beers with Peter we were discussing, of course, beer - and specifically what each of us thought was the perfect pint. Peter recounted to us a daydream he’d had on a long, hot train journey. As he looked out the window on to a dusty field, Peter had imagined walking along the tracks in the field and to a country pub where a thirst-quenching pint would be awaiting his arrival. What was the pint? A Bitter, Peter’s beer style of choice during his days establishing Aardman here in Bristol.
This got us excited, we’d been keen to brew a Best Bitter for a long while – as a team it’s a style we go to on handpumps, and Fuller’s English Style Bitter is one of the most revered beers in the UK. We wanted to develop a modern interpretation of this traditional style, one that would hopefully fulfil Peter’s daydream.
We chose to animate a traditional Best Bitter recipe with the addition of bold yeast esters and the use of Cryo hops. Historically hops would be added in the boil process of brewing a Bitter, used for their bittering properties and to add a touch of aroma. We did the same in our Animated Best Bitter but also added a product called Cryo hops during the beer’s fermentation. These are a modern development in the processing of hops – the hops are cryogenically processed in order to separate the oils and resin in the flowers and greatly reduce the amount of vegetative material. The resultant powder provides intense flavour and aroma, in our chosen hops this translates as bold citrus notes.
These bright citrus flavours marry with the sweet toffee of the traditional Bitter malt base and are brought to life by the fruitiness of the yeast used. We think the resulting brew is the perfect thirst-quencher after a long day.
Brewed in Bristol Beer Week 2018, Stop Frame Animated Best Bitter is now available in cask across Bristol and the UK. We’ll be celebrating the launch of Stop Frame at The Nettle and Rye in Bristol on Friday 26th October.