Ah, Bristol Crush. Let us count the ways we loved you. Originally brewed in homage to St Pauls Carnival back in 2017, you were our tribute to the always-delicious soft drink Ting. Your peppy, vibrant grapefruit flavours filled us with vim and vigour. Your soft, malty base was the ideal foil to such juicy, fresh flavours, and your gold jellyfish-adorned can always sparked joy when cracked open.
In recent batches though, as a brewery we felt that something just wasn’t quite right. Even though our drinkers were still crushing hard on Bristol Crush, internally, we just weren’t quite as smitten as we'd once been. Try as we might, we couldn’t quite put our finger on what changed for us since that first glorious batch; it was still a refreshing, tasty Pale Ale jazzed up with a good dose of fresh grapefruit, but the beer just missed a certain zesty je ne sais quoi. We made a plan to revitalise, refine and restore our own love of Bristol Crush - with a fresh new recipe.
This was back at the start of 2020. As you may have noticed, a few things came up over the next few months which needed our urgent attention. The plan to reinvent Bristol Crush began to gather dust while we were busy darting our way through the somewhat treacherous waters of the last year, swimming hard and fast to keep afloat. We were getting constant requests to re-brew Bristol Crush, but we hadn't had time to give the recipe the overhaul we really wanted to. We did release a 2020 batch with an updated recipe, brewed with Philly Sour yeast and additions of grapefruit and mango. It was a nice beer, and went down a storm with our drinkers, but we still weren't 100% satisfied.
Fast-forward to spring 2021 when we were brewing a low ABV, zingy beer called Nice Little Kettle Sour, brewed using a traditional souring method and big hop flavours from Mosaic, Ella and Loral. We were fruiting the beer with a serious amount of grapefruit when we had a revelation. This was it! The beer we now had in tank was everything that we'd always wanted Bristol Crush to be since that first brew: zesty, vibrant and tart without being eye-wateringly sour. The game was afoot - the artist formerly known as Nice Little Kettle Sour became Bristol Crush; a 3.2% Grapefruit Session Sour (yes, that's a made-up style). We're delighted to share the finished beer. It's a glorious burst of bright, sunshine-filled flavours and aromas, brought to life with a zingy twist of tartness from grapefruit. A perfectly balanced, truly crushable beer.