The East Suffolk brewery will produce a number of limited-run seasonal keg beers this year, including an Earl Grey tea-infused lager, a cucumber sour, and its own interpretation of the controversial New England IPA (NEIPA) style.
Unveiling its 2018 brewing schedule, the brewery said: “2018 will welcome the arrival of some brand new Adnams beers. We can’t tell you too much about all of them yet, as some are little glints in the brewer’s eyes, but first out of the FV room will be Cucumelon Sour.
“This is an exciting new ‘kettle sour’ beer made with cucumber extract, lager malt, huell melon hops and lactic acid bacteria. Sound intriguing?! It will be, and we can’t wait to make it.
“Next will be Arabella, a fab new collaboration beer made with Harpoon Brewery in Boston, Massachusetts. New England IPA, Bicycle Kick, Jasmine Tea and White Grape will follow.”
The cucumber sour ‘Cucumelon’ will be available throughout February and March, while the NEIPA will debut in April and be available until the end of May.
Repaying brewers faith
Speaking about the decision to produce the limited run beers, Adnams head brewer Fergus Fitzgerald said: "Looking into 2018 there’s lots of things to do! Alongside the new beers we also have an opportunity with the new equipment to really dial up the quality and flavour of what we do.
"Adnams has shown a huge amount of confidence in supporting the beers the brewers want to make and has invested in making us one of the most modern breweries in the UK so this next year is partly about repaying that faith; making beer that people enjoy and containing to grow. It’s really a continuation of what we’ve been doing for a few years but with the culmination of last years’ brewery expansion it means we can try even more styles.”
“On the New England IPA it’s a style of beer that I’ve really enjoyed, particularly from brewers in the US like The Alchemist and more recently from brewers like Cloudwater," he continued. "Before we could start brewing our own unfiltered style of beer we needed to establish our on-site kegging facility which is now in place.”
“I’ve loved sour beers for a long time, but they have been a niche style and I needed a bit of confidence that I could make it work at the scale I’d want to brew it at. I’m pretty sure we’ll be brewing the largest batch of kettle sour in the UK!”
Adnams is not the first traditional brewery in the UK to produce a NEIPA. Last year, Fuller’s produced it’s own version of the style in a collaboration with Manchester’s Cloudwater Brew Co.
A controversial style?
The New England IPA, sometimes known as a Vermont IPA, is a style of beer that originates from the East Coast of the United States. The style is known for its fruity, juicy flavour and cloudy appearance, and has become increasingly popular among craft brewers in the UK in recent months.
In November 2017, Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster, and beer author Garrett Oliver criticised the style, describing it as a fad that was “based around Instagram culture”.
On whether Brooklyn would seek to produce a NEIPA, Oliver said: “It's not something we are really interested in. We don't do bandwagon. We start things and then we wait for other people to come behind it. I've had great versions of the style, and it can be fun to drink, but I've also had a lot of bad ones.”
Alongside new, limited-edition keg beers, Adnams will continue to brew fan favourites Broadside, Ghost Ship and Southwold Bitter, as well as cask seasonals such as Fat Sprat and Tally Ho.
The brewery’s full brewing schedule for 2018 can be viewed and downloaded online here.