Trio of dark beers re-released by Beavertown
Craft beer specialist Beavertown has re-released its 8Ball Rye IPA, Black Betty Black IPA and Smog Rocket Smoked Porter in time for autumn.
The core classics are said to be “perfect for the colder weather and darkening nights with their wonderfully rich and comforting notes of nuts, spices, liquorice and smoky flavours”.
Beavertown said 8Ball Rye, with an ABV of 6.2%, has a “wild blend of tropical, malt and spicy aromas flawlessly finished with a hint of bitterness”.
Meanwhile, Smog Rocket, which was one of the first beers Beavertown brewed and served at Dukes Brew & Que, the brewery’s birthplace, is said to be inspired by industrial old London. The 5.4% porter is said to use nine different malts with a “big-hitting taste” of molasses, smoked hickory wood, raisins and caramel.
Finally, Black Betty Black IPA is Beavertown’s take on a black IPA that’s not for the faint hearted at 7.2% ABV. Its flavour profile is claimed to include “the tropical flavours of Fruit Salads and the liquorice of Black Jacks”.
8Ball launched at the end of last month while Black Betty and Smog Rocket were released earlier this week.
US east coast-influenced Boston Bakers Irish Whisky launches
The Boston Bakers Irish Whiskey – a blend of three single-malted whiskies from three cask finishes – has been launched.
Created with a nod to the Irish neighbourhood communities across Boston and the US east coast during the 20th century, The Boston Bakers is said to be “a celebration of friendships forged over traditional Irish whiskey” and will be available to on and off-trade sectors in the UK, with a focus on whisky specialists and cocktail bars, with an RRP of £29.99 (70cl).
The brand said the launch comes at a time of significant growth for the category because the UK was the fourth largest market for Irish whiskey in 2020 and the spirit was the fastest growing spirits category in the world during the past decade, according to the Irish Whiskey Association’s trade report 2021.
The Boston Bakers has been created by Carl Stephenson of The Bloomsbury Club in homage to his great uncle, William T Compston II, an Irish emigrant who founded a successful chain of Boston-based bakers in the 1950s, who was also claimed to responsible for the neighbourhood speakeasy.
The whiskey is triple barrel oaked, which involves single malted whiskey from stout oak casks; single malted whiskey from sherry oak casks; and the final blend spends three years in American oak bourbon barrels and is bottled at 40% ABV and aged at the Great Northern Distillery, Dundalk County Louth.
The company added that triple-distilled, malted peat is distilled into the whiskey, as a ‘seasoning’ but unlike an Islay malt, it does not impart an earthy, peaty or smoky flavour on the palate. It claimed the peat bonds the whiskey’s elements together, resulting in an “ultra-smooth, complex style”, and, as a handcrafted product, each batch will be slightly different, which is reflected in the individual numbering of each bottle.
First new product from Celtic Whisky Distillery in 20 years
French whisky distillery – Celtic Whisky Distillery – has announced the launch of its first new product in 20 years called Gwalarn.
The Brittany distillery said it benefits from the northerly winds, ocean climes and mild weather, which give the whiskies “the perfect conditions” for the ageing process, and will release Gwalarn this month.
Gwarlarn is blended whisky, which the distillery said has “a rich and opulent nose with powerful notes of grain and slight peat that give way to an aromatic palate combining the sweetness of vanilla, the complexity of leather and smoky tobacco and some honey”.
Gwalarn is priced £35.99 and will be available from The Whisky Exchange from mid-October.
Belgian beer brand Voodoo Ranger brew to launch for Back 4 Blood video game
Belgian craft beer brand Voodoo Ranger has partnered with new Warner Brothers video game, Back 4 Blood, to launch limited-edition beer Ridden IPA.
The brew takes its name from characters in the game and will launch at the same time as the game’s release on Tuesday (12 October).
As part of the limited edition launch of Ridden IPA, Voodoo Ranger will be working with Dalston’s Loading Bar this weekend (7 October to 10 October) to give gamers the chance to play the game before it’s released while enjoying Ridden IPA on draught.
Voodoo Ranger brand developer Chris MacRae said: “Left 4 Dead is iconic and to have the chance to create a collab beer for its spiritual successor, Back 4 Blood, has been awesome and a very natural fit for the Voodoo Ranger brand. Our marketing strategy is all about giving something back to brand fans and that’s the whole idea behind the partnership with Dalston’s Loading Bar and giving gamers a pre-release chance to play.”
The Busker to add four whiskeys to the market
Another whiskey brand is set to add a portfolio of variants to the market.
The Busker, which described itself as a “new-to-world Irish whiskey that is born out of a modern Ireland”, will introduce its Single Grain, Single Pot Still, Single Malt and Blend variants to the market.
The Busker Blend (Triple Cask Triple Smooth) combines the Single Grain with a high percentage of the Single Malt and Single Pot whiskeys. Matured and finished in three different casks (bourbon, sherry and marsala), this innovative process brings out a unique smoothness and intense flavour within the spirit.
The Busker Single Collection, represented by the three traditional Irish whiskeys (Single Grain, Single Pot Still and Single Malt), is produced under one roof, each boasting a taste profile that ranges from vanilla and oak, to rich spicy notes.
The Busker is distilled on an 18th century estate in County Carlow at the world class Royal Oak Distillery. The Irish whiskey is then decanted into bottles featuring a sleek and simple design, showcasing its rich golden colour.
The Busker country director Marc Richardson said: “At The Busker we honour Irish heritage and whiskey-making traditions, which allows us to produce an end-product that is of the highest quality and flavour.
“Data from the Irish Whiskey Association recently revealed that Irish whiskey was the fastest growing spirits category in the world over the past decade, with 140% growth in sales from 2010 to 2020. We expect to see interest in Irish whiskey continue to grow and can’t wait to be part of its journey.”
The Busker Blend Triple Cask will launch on 22 November 2021 at an RRP of £24.50 while the full Busker range including the Single collection will be available at an RRP of £29.
Kingsland Drinks to offer Romanian wine range
Kingsland Drinks has signed a partnership with the second largest Romanian wine producer – The Iconic Estate, member of the Alexandrion Group – in a move to further broaden its offering and fly the flag for central eastern European wines in the UK.
The wine importer and distributor will add a comprehensive Romanian range to the portfolio at three price points – entry, mid and premium – available to the UK hospitality sector.
From the end of this month, Kingsland Drinks will be offering four entry level wines from the Rhea range (Feteasca Neagra blend, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir). These will be available to pub and bar operators, groups, restaurant chains, independent wine bars and wider on-trade customers.
In the mid-range tier, the Prahova Valley collection joins the portfolio showcasing Dealu Mare regionality – along with Blanc, Rosé and Rosso as tri-varietal blends from the Byzantium branded range.
The Hyperion range enters at the higher end of the price bracket.
Kingsland Drinks said eastern European wines are becoming much more prevalent in the UK, and Romania comes in fifth position for areas under vine in the EU (after Spain, France, Italy and Portugal).
Kingsland Drinks buyer and educator Kathryn Glass said: “Their wines are authentic, distinctive, credible, well made and really demonstrate the breadth of wines available from Romania at various price points, using native grapes and globally recognised varietals.
“This part of the world is often overlooked when it comes to wine production but huge strides have been made among winemakers striving to elevate the quality credentials of their wines and become internationally recognised, appreciated and celebrated.”
Bombay Sapphire variant using Murcian lemons out now
Gin giant Bombay Sapphire has tapped into the Murcia region of Spain for its new release of Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru Murcian Lemon.
The variant uses Fino lemons and is supported by mandarins and Navel oranges that the brand claimed are “known for their bright, bold notes and intensity of flavour, delivering an elegant and refined taste”.
Bombay Sapphire master of botanicals Ivano Tonutti said: “I am delighted to showcase the work of our suppliers and farmers in Murcia, many of whom I’ve known personally for over 20 years, in a truly remarkable gin. Each lemon has been hand-picked at its ripest moment in small quantities during the late Fino harvest season, using skilful techniques passed down from generation to generation.
“Murcian citrus is particularly special due to the exact region where
it is grown. Sitting in a basin between mountain and sea, it is the perfect micro-climate for growing citrus that slowly ripens in the winter months for the best tasting fruit and impactful flavour.”
The gin has been bottled at 47% ABV and has a RRP of £30.
Butcombe Brewery debuts in low and no beer category
Butcombe Brewing Co (part of Liberation Group) has entered the low and no alcohol market with the launch of its first draught and bottled beer – Goram IPA Zero – which is less than 0.5% ABV.
Mirroring the company’s original Goram IPA recipe, Goram IPA Zero is claimed to be “easy to drink and refreshing” made with a blend of English, US and New Zealand hops that are said to balance stone fruit, citrus and bitter notes.
Named after Bristol’s legendary giant, Goram IPA Zero “has all the strong, big flavours of a normal IPA but without the alcohol”.
Marc McGuigan, group managing director, brewing and distribution, Liberation Group, said: “Very often, low-alcohol ales can lack substance but our Goram IPA Zero packs a real punch. We’ve developed and tweaked the recipe and brewing process to ensure those wishing not to consume alcohol are able to enjoy a draught or bottled beer which is authentically produced and flavoured.”
Butcombe said that, according to IWSR Data, the low and no market is predicted to grow by 34% by 2024 and it is expected that overall alcohol volume consumption in the UK will decline by 10% in the coming year.
McGuigan added: “The low and no market is only going to grow in popularity as consumers demand more choice. It’s important for us as an award-winning brewery to ensure we’re part of this growing trend and create innovative products we know our customers are going to love. Goram IPA Zero fits into our drinks portfolio perfectly and adds a new dimension to our offering.”
University graduates launch craft lager brand Hockley post-cocktail bar success
Former Nottingham Trent University students and business partners, Al Squires and Will Barratt have launched a lager in a bid to take on the big brands.
After trialling the product while running a cocktail bar project, the duo are launching Hockley Brew Co’s first product, Hockley Helles 4% Lager.
While finishing their final year of university, Barratt and Squires completed their first major project, which they said was a “successful transformation” of Wolf Italian Street Food restaurant on Market Street into a cocktail bar called Code 34.
It was during this project when seeking a truly local beer offering, the pair recognised there was plenty of independent craft ale, but no Nottingham brewery offered a lager. They initially trialled Hockley Helles at Code 34 in April and said it was a success. The team has now begun pushing the lager across Nottingham’s independents and Hockley Helles is already available in close to 20 venues across the city.
Squires said: “After such a successful launch of Code 34, we are excited to continue our entrepreneurial endeavours with this new brand. Nottingham is a fantastic city with some of the best independent and creative businesses and our mission with Hockley Brew Co is to champion that creative spirit with a unique new product.
“We were tired of seeing the same lagers in every bar and wanted to develop a brand that we could relate to. The lager market is dominated by big brands that are owned by some of the biggest global companies. We’re entering a tough market but we know consumers want something different and independent.”
Barratt added: “Hockley is currently being contract brewed but the ambition is to raise funds and invest in our own purpose-built lager brewery and tap, with key fundamentals of being sustainable, creating local jobs and keeping out the big boys.”
The lager is currently available on draught to the on-trade in 50-litre kegs, with the view to rolling out cans and bottles imminently.
No alcohol lager from Innis & Gunn
Scottish brewer and taproom operator Innis & Gunn has unveiled a 0.0% ABV version of its award-winning Innis & Gunn Lager Beer.
It has been brewed at 0.0% "without producing or removing any alcohol from the process" via what the brewer called an "innovative new method", which is "rarely used and helps create a beer that’s as close as possible to its 4.6% ABV parent".
It will be initially available in 4x440ml can format from mid-November at its taprooms and in the off-trade. It uses Styrian Goldings and Super Styrian hops that are added at slightly different rates to the alcoholic version meaning the zero percent lager is lighter bodied.
However, the malts vary from the 4.6% recipe by using only pale ale malt as its base, instead of a blend of lager malt and ale malt. The ale malt in the zero percent product is said to "promote a reassuring maltiness, which is often hard to achieve in alcohol-free drink products".
It has also substituted flaked oats for the golden naked oats of the 4.6% ABV variant because "the flaked oats bring smoothness to the zero percent lager while giving some additional body to the beverage".
A final element of the recipe was a small amount of roasted barley for adding some golden highlights to the beer, which allows for a more similar look to the original version.
Innis & Gunn Founder and Master Brewer Dougal Gunn Sharp said: “We have once again used pioneering innovation and the skill of our talented brew team to create this premium non-alcoholic Lager, which does not compromise on flavour or refreshment and which is totally Innis & Gunn.
“This is a much-anticipated release from Innis & Gunn and is part of our strategy to grow the brand and to offer consumers more choice on more drinking occasions in different categories.”
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