The beverage called Graff joins Hawkes’ core range and is produced by fermenting Braeburn and Bramley apples with beer wort using American ale and Sauvignon Blanc yeasts. It is also hopped using Amarillo and Cascade varieties in what the producer describes as “a unique, improbable marriage of beer and cider that defies all conventions and parameters”.
The drink was inspired by trips to cider makers and breweries in the US, and will be officially unveiled to the trade and drinkers at this year’s Craft Beer Rising festival in east London on 22 February. Some 100 cans of Graff will also be given away to customers at Hawkes’ taproom on 24 February.
It will be available both on draught and 330ml cans, and has an ABV of 5.4%.
Speaking about the launch of Graff, ‘chief hawker’ Simon Wright said: “I’m extremely proud to unveil our Graff today, the latest addition to our family. I believe this is a landmark day for cider, and proof of what the industry can achieve when we push ourselves to innovate."
'A new genre of cidermaker'
Wright continued: “The Graff defines the very purpose of Hawkes, which is to challenge ourselves to create industry leading liquids then take it to the masses, defining a new genre of cider maker.
“This year is going to be hugely exciting for the whole team at Hawkes and this is the first step of our mission to save the UK cider market from itself.”
On what drinkers can expect from Graff, Hawkes chief cider maker Roberto Basilico said: “The blend of hops gently opens the nose to the aroma of crusty bread. Combining the maltiness of grains with the sharpness of fruit, it delivers an intense mouthfeel evoking memories of continental beer, against the subtle sweetness of pure apple juice.”