Hogs Back Brewery
Mitchells & Butlers has listed Hogs Back Brewery’s Montezuma’s Chocolate Lager across 110 of its ‘Castle’ concept pubs, the first operator to take the beer in keg.
Montezuma’s is the world’s first authentic chocolate lager, a 4.5% ABV light, refreshing beer with a well-balanced chocolate and hop flavour and won a Gold award at the International Beer Challenge 2014.
It was developed in association with Sussex-based Montezuma’s Chocolate using a natural essence from their ‘Lordy Lord’ dark chocolate bar.
The lager itself is based on the recipe for Hogs Back’s Hogstar English Lager, which is brewed with five different hops and special botanicals, and matured for over a month.
Rupert Thompson, Hogs Back Brewery managing director, said: “Montezuma’s appeals both to beer ‘geeks’ looking to try something genuinely different, and to more mainstream drinkers who are intrigued by the idea of ‘chocolate in a glass’.
“We’re pleased to be putting this new, kegged version into more than 100 pubs at the peak time of year for consumer interest in all things chocolate.”
Oakham Ales will release a new range of kegs as part of ‘Oakham Craftworks’ at the Craft Beer Rising Festival on 26 – 27 February, held at The Old Truman Brewery in London.
The Peterborough-based brewery will showcase two of the seven new Craftworks keg beers – a 4.5% ABV Blonde and 6.5% ABV Export Stout.
Adrian Posnett, managing director of Oakham Ales, said: “The demand for craft keg, particularly in London, continues to increase, demonstrated by the ongoing success of our craft keg Green Devil IPA.
“With the recent appointment of a dedicated London based Area Sales Manager, complementing our current distribution routes into London, it makes sense to extend our bespoke keg range to ensure that we can meet this demand and offer our customers a wider choice of beer styles.
“We have a reputation for producing Ales that are second to none and we aim to do the same with our Oakham Craftworks range.”
Robinsons Brewery has produced a premium ruby ale inspired by the Harlequin jester of Medieval history for the first of five limited edition ales due to be released by the Stockport brewer in 2016.
The 3.9% ABV Red Jester is described as having a distinct blackcurrant flavour thanks to a new UK hop variety also called Jester, as well as a bold citrus punch balanced by bitter hops.
Gill Yates, brands manager for Robinsons Brewery, said: “We’re really proud of this ale and our entire 2016 range – we’ve listened to our drinkers and worked hard on creating a series of seasonal beers that will capture the imagination as well as the taste buds.
“Red Jester is testament to that. Don’t be fooled by the 3.9% ABV, Red Jester seriously delivers when it comes to flavour.”
It is available nationally throughout February and March via listings with Heineken, Enterprise Inns Carlsberg and Molson Coors and regionally via select Robinsons pubs.
Hambleton Ales has produced a gluten-free cask ale for the first time as it aims to capitalise on the growing trend for gluten-free beer.
The North Yorkshire brewery claim their first foray into cask conditioning gluten-free beer is “indistinguishable from beer containing gluten”.
Rather than brew a new beer, the brewery researched how to remove the gluten from their existing Stud Blonde beer in order to appeal to a more universal audience.
Nick Stafford, owner of Hambleton Ales, said: “Stud Blonde has been a staple of our range for many years now, and is a very popular beer across Yorkshire and the North East.
“With many pubs and restaurants now offering gluten-free options on their menus, this innovation means that they can complement these with a proper Yorkshire cask ale that can be enjoyed by all customers equally.”
Each batch is independently tested and certified as containing less than 20ppm gluten, meeting the UK’s definition of ‘Gluten Free’, before it is conditioned in cask to meet the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA’s) definition of cask ale.
AB InBev UK has plans to add Beck’s Blue Lemon to its on-trade portfolio of non-alcoholic beers as the brewer seeks to fulfil its Global Smart Drinking Goals that 20% of its global beer volumes are low-to-no alcohol by 2020.
Beck’s Blue Lemon is brewed using the same methods as traditional Beck’s and produces “a full bodied and refreshing flavour with a splash of natural lemon” without the alcohol.
Aina Fuller, senior brand manager at AB InBev, said: “Launching Beck’s Blue Lemon is about encouraging consumers to make smart drinking choices by providing further choice.
“The Beck’s brand is all about its German heritage and being progressive — so we are motivating our consumers to twist it up, drinking Beck’s Blue Lemon as an alternative when they are looking to stay sharp and moderate their drinking.
“Lots of consumer’s don’t realise that Beck’s Blue and Beck’s Blue Lemon are beers in every sense of the word, just alcohol free. They still use the same key ingredients — barley, hops, yeast and water, and go through a traditional brewing process. The only difference is they undergo de-alcoholisation.”