Cask a new light from Hobgoblin IPA
Wychwood Brewery’s premium ale brand Hobgoblin is celebrating Cask Ale Week (23 September to 3 October) by launching its award-winning IPA into cask.
The release also includes a new marketing campaign to raise awareness for the Hobgoblin brand following the beer’s “phenomenal growth over the past year”.
Initially launched in bottle and keg formats, the 4.5% ABV craft cask ale recipe uses Fuggles, Goldings and Styrian hops and the addition of some American hops.
The business said that prior to the pandemic, the cask ale sector was worth £577million and contributed to 72,500 jobs in the UK, with one in nine pints sold in pubs being a cask ale. It has taken a huge hit since, with estimates suggesting volumes were down by 70% in the 12 months to February 2021.
Joanne Wyke, brand manager for Wychwood brewery and Hobgoblin at Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, said: “Market trends show consumers are willing to upgrade and premiumise their drinking choices.
“We’re incredibly excited to be launching Hobgoblin IPA in cask – and Cask Ale Week is the perfect occasion for Hobgoblin to stay true to its brand values, cause a bit of mischief and shake things up for everyone.”
Triple vodka release from Masons of Yorkshire
Masons of Yorkshire has unveiled a trio of vodkas, targeting the on-trade specifically before its retail release.
The three vodkas – Classic, Citrus and Espresso – will sit alongside the distillery’s award-winning gins.
After a recent rebrand, this marks the first time the distillery has created a range of vodkas. The new variants have been slowly distilled to “ensure a smooth liquid of the highest quality”.
The business said the Classic flavour has a fresh and clean flavour, making it an ideal base in long drinks and cocktails, or simply over ice.
Meanwhile, Masons said its Espresso vodka has been vapour-infused with coffee beans sourced from El Salvador and supplied by neighbouring Yorkshire roaster Rounton Coffee. As well having the potential to be an innovative base for cocktails, it can also be served neat.
Masons Citrus Vodka is “delicately infused” with fresh lemon and grapefruit, with the result being a crisp and punchy vodka.
Masons vodkas are the latest development from the distillery following a £1m investment, which included implementation of a flavour development lab.
“We were the first distillery in Yorkshire to start making gin and this spirit of innovation has been our driving force ever since,” said Karl Mason, who co-founded Masons with wife Cathy on World Gin Day 2013. “We wanted to create a range of vodkas with versatility, perfect for a simple serve or for whipping up into cocktails.
“With the on-trade back open after a difficult 18 months, we’re proud to be giving them an exclusive first look at our new range of vodkas. With a hopefully busy autumn on the horizon, followed by a return to a festive party season, we think these new vodkas will prove popular with cocktail-loving consumers.”
Limited-edition collab lager from Budweiser Budvar and Pivovar Clock
Budweiser Budvar and Czech brewery Pivovar Clock are set to release a collaboration lager called Bohemian Idols.
Bottled at 5.2% ABV, the lager will feature at a series of “Tap Takeovers” around the UK for the on-trade from October via a limited run of 20-litre kegs, as well as a small number of 500ml cans.
Budweiser Budvar said the name Bohemian Idols is a link to the No Idols beer range brewed by Pivovar Clock and “reflects both breweries’ place in the beer culture of Bohemia”.
Bohemian Idols is said to bring together tradition and innovation in two Czech hop varieties. The recipe uses Saaz Late, a variation on the ancient Czech Saaz hop, bringing a balance of bitterness and aroma, and the newly developed Kazbek, which has a citrus flavour, often used in IPAs, as well as the spice of a classic noble hop.
The lager has been brewed in the Pivovar Clock brewery in Potštejn, eastern Bohemia, by brewmaster Jakub Sychra and Aleš Dvořák of Budvar. Together with Budvar’s traditional malts, sourced from the Hana region of Moravia, the double decoction mashing process was followed by six weeks of cold conditioning in Pivovar Clock’s cellars.
Jitka Vlčková, managing director of Budweiser Budvar UK, said: “The UK is one of the most important markets for Budvar outside the Czech Republic, so we’re delighted to be launching Bohemian Idols at a series of Tap Takeovers hosted by some of our closest on-trade partners.
Speaking about the collaboration, Jakub Sychra of Pivovar Clock added: “A collaboration between what is the biggest craft brewery and one of the smallest was a logical step for us. Our aim was to make a classic Czech beer, but one that will have that extra zest of new raw materials, new hops, and a new world kind of taste.”
Tap Takeovers will be held during October and November at venues in London, Brighton, Manchester, Bristol, Worcester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Pink grapefruit in the mix for Goldberg & Sons
Goldberg & Sons has launched Pink Grapefruit Soda mixer in partnership with experienced bartender Lana Shemonaeva.
The premium mixer has come to light following Goldberg’s successful co-operation with Zuma’s star barkeeper Jimmy Barrat, who co-developed the Japanese Yuzu Tonic for the brand.
The company claimed Pink Grapefruit Soda is “a unique composition between fruity and tangy” and tastes excellent in a tequila-based Paloma cocktail, but also works in vodka, rum and whiskey concoctions, and as a light drink with low-proof spirits such as prosecco or Aperol, or simply served pure, on ice with a squeeze of lime.
“I wanted to add deeper flavours and did some research on the citrus range. Apart from pink grapefruit, there are touches of bergamot and Meyer’s lemon (a cross between a citron and a mandarin-pomelo hybrid),” said Shemonaeva.
“Theoretically, there are five different citruses involved, with pink grapefruit obviously being the dominant flavour. Bergamot peels and Meyer’s lemon juice helping to round it out and provide balance.”
When life gives lemons, Ophir uses them in a gin
Premium spiced gin brand Opihr has launched its latest expression – Opihr Black Lemon Gin.
Inspired by the flavours of the Middle East, the gin is available now to customers in the on-trade.
Opihr said the variant “draws from some of the rich flavours associated with the Arabian Peninsula, with black lemons – which are, in fact, dried limes, known locally as ‘loomi’ – adding an earthy, tangy flavour”.
The company added the black lemon blends well with the classic juniper character of London dry gin and while black lemon is predominant, “this new expression also includes notes of timut peppers, creating the perfect balance of citrus and spice”.
Cheryl Gordon, UK on-trade business unit director for brand owner, Quintessential Brands, said: “Opihr is a brand that catches the eye on the back bar thanks to its distinctive design, but its stand-out appeal also extends to its taste, with the innovative and on-trend flavour propositions the brand prides itself on bringing to the consumer.
“We’re delighted to be introducing Opihr Black Lemon to the on-trade this autumn and helping customers in the channel to give their guests new and exciting ways to enjoy quality gin and keep the category thriving.”
Fuller’s famed Vintage Ale hit 25th year milestone
Fuller’s brewery has unveiled the latest serve to its Vintage Ale series, which is bottled at 8.5% ABV and is available in 500ml bottles from selected pubs across the country.
First brewed in 1997, every Vintage Ale recipe is unique from the previous one, using the most interesting hops and barley available and are made to mature, allowing the flavours to deepen and develop over time.
Fuller’s Vintage Ale 2021, has at its heart Pale Ale and Caragold malts combined with DRC, a Double Roasted Crystal malt, to deliver toffee and raisin sweetness. Its hops include Endeavour, which brings plummy tones, while Olicana and the as-yet-unnamed experimental hop CF182 add tropical and orange notes. Of course, the ‘zesty marmalade character’ of Fuller’s yeast has been used too.
Each of the collectable Vintage Ale bottles has a unique number printed on its label to signify the limited production run.
Guy Stewart, brewing manager at Fuller’s Griffin Brewery said: “Of course, every Vintage Ale is special, but marking the series’ 25th edition with this brew has been a real privilege. It’s a fantastic celebration of all we do at the brewery and we can’t wait for people to enjoy the complexity and depth of this iteration both this year and as it ages and develops in the years ahead.”
The latest Fuller’s Vintage Ale launch also coincides with the Fuller’s Brewery x Craft Beer Channel Keep Cask Alive video series. The series champions the cask category and launches a campaign for UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage status to be applied to British cask ale.
Eight Scottish distilleries combine for Legends Untold
Diageo has announced the annual special releases single malt Scotch whisky collection called Legends Untold is due for release this autumn.
The drinks giant claimed the collection is “the pinnacle of the whisky lover’s calendar”, and said its collection includes the darkly robust and rich Mortlach 13-year-old from the Speyside Dufftown distillery; a briny, bold fire-breathing sea-monster of a malt with smoky undertones in the
Talisker 8-year-old; a rare 16-year-old Highland expression of the Royal Lochnagar with a nimble springtime freshness; two unique and enchanting expressions of the Lagavulin, ‘The King of Islay’ – a fiercely
intense, yet perfectly balanced sweet and salty 12-year-old and a 26-year-old, finished in first-fill Pedro Ximenez/Oloroso casks.
The other three single malts are a 19-year-old Singleton of Glendullan from Speyside using American oak casks and finished in cognac casks; Cardhu 14-year-old, again from Speyside, that in finished in red wine casks; and from the Coastal Highland, a 12-year-old Oban using freshly charred American oak casks.
Master Blender Dr Craig Wilson hand-picked each of the whiskies to create the Legends Untold. He said: “We have delved into the core characteristics of several classic distilleries, exploring the elements and reimagining the liquids for the Legends Untold collection.
“The mythical creatures of this year’s collection represent the true expressions of the distilleries. Taking inspiration from them, we have revealed new depths of flavour and embraced the essence of each of the whiskies unique flavour profiles revealing the legend it brings to life.”
Sweet smell of success from perfume expert's RTD range
To celebrate the launch of The Bottled Cocktail Company (TBCC), the business has released a range of RTD cocktails under the leadership of drinks expert Keivan Nemati.
Nemati’s experience in the worlds of perfumery and culinary arts has helped guide the mixology “with the quality and creativity of a bar”.
The range includes Silver Fir Negroni El President, Dry Gin Martni Elderflower High Ball and Passionfruit Spritz, with more to be released in the coming months.
TBCC said all are bottled at “sipping strength” and designed to be drunk either straight up, served from the freezer, or stirred over ice.
“About 80% of a human's perception of flavour actually comes from the sense of smell,” says Nemati. “We create our own aromatic essences and tinctures to tweak the flavour profile of classic cocktails. It opens up a world of possibility in terms of flavour combinations and manipulation, while at the same time keeping their integrity in terms of structure.”
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