ADJUSTING OUR BEARING AND SETTING OUR COURSE
In the past six months, we’ve been making significant changes to the way we brew and package our beer. Led by our new head brewer – Marvin Lindner – who qualified from Doemens, Munich as a Master Brewer and Brewing Technologist in 2016, we’ve approached our production from a fresh perspective and appraised our processes to identify where we could make changes to ensure our beer reaches people in its best condition.
Moving to cans was something that had been on the agenda for 2019 for quite some time for many reasons. They allow us to gently force carbonate our beers over time in tank, meaning they’re ready to drink fresh off the packaging line and their carbonation is more consistent. This process change has enabled us to significantly reduce the level of dissolved oxygen within our packaged beers, meaning the fresh hop character stays vibrant and bold for longer. We’ve also increased our tank time for all our beers, helping to create more rounded flavours.
Alongside appraising our processes, we’ve assessed our products and how they stand together. Whilst we all have a lot of fondness for Quintet, we concluded that its dynamic quality from the ever-changing hop bill no longer suited our core range, which we want to be a beacon of consistency and refinement. For this reason, we thought Quintet felt more at home as a seasonal offering, and set upon crafting a new India Pale Ale to join our core.
The thought process behind our beers has always been to brew what we enjoy drinking, and so we wanted to redefine our IPA to be a blend of the beers we all seek out at the bar. We agreed on a balance of East Coast and West Coast styles, taking the bold tropical fruit flavours of the East and pairing it with the bright, clean and bitter qualities of the West.
We decided to keep the grist to 100% Golden Promise barley, to create a simple yet distinctive malt character and bright beer. Paired with Lallemand’s New England yeast, a strain we find attenuates and flocculates well, this ensures minimal proteins and yeast cells remain in the finished beer, reducing quality degradation over time. It also imparts bold, fruity esters that amplify the juicy hop profile.
Hopped with Mosaic, Citra and Loral from the US and Olicana from the UK, this combination showcases a spectrum of flavours from mango, pineapple, passion fruit, sharp citrus to hedgerow berries and a gentle florality.
The resulting beer, Sundance, is clean yet complex, striking a balance between the hazy juices and dank bombs at either end of the IPA scale. It’s a beer that we’ve poured a huge amount of consideration, team collaboration and energy in to, and one we are very proud of. For us, it encapsulates what we’re striving to achieve in our beers; something considered, refined, well executed and, most importantly, something we hope you’d happily order time and time again at the bar.
The launch of Sundance this week marks the end of the first chapter of our canning project. It’s been a challenging and long process, relying on the good will and stoicism of the team, but we’re now up and running. Honing our core range has been a big piece of the current puzzle, and we have a range of seasonals and specials arriving in the coming weeks in both cans and bottles which we feel really complement our line up. For now, settling into our pace has allowed us a moment to reflect on where we’ve come from and where we’re heading. 2019 has been a year of adjusting our bearing, and we’re excited to see what 2020 will bring running this course.