The Cask Project

Fire power launch from Shepherd Neame

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Shepherd Neame launches second Cask Club beer of 2023

Related tags Cask ale Beer Brewing Shepherd neame

Shepherd Neame has released a sequel beer for its returning Cask Club initiative called Dragonfire (4.5% ABV).

The Kent brewer and pub operator’s new cask ale is an English ale that is said to offer well-balanced fruitiness from Challenger and East Kent Goldings hops, with subtle herbal notes of spearmint and cedar courtesy of the Pioneer hops used during dry hopping.

The Pioneer hop, which is a Kentish variety, was originally released in 1996 after it was bred by the team at Horticulture Research International, Wye College.

The aim of Shepherd Neame’s Cask Club is to bring to life the original stories of Britain’s oldest brewer and its unique Kentish roots through ‘dynamic’ new designs.

Steam power

Dragonfire’s design pays homage to Shepherd Neame being the first brewery outside of London – and the second brewery anywhere in the world – to incorporate steam power into the brewing process. The Sun and Planet steam engines, created by engineers Matthew Boulton and James Watt, were installed at the Faversham brewery in 1789.

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Shepherd Neame technical brewer Danielle Whelan (pictured above) said: “We decided to use the Pioneer hop alongside the well-loved Challenger and East Kent Goldings hops in this brew to offer an innovative flavour and aroma profile, which we hope will entice real ale fans and new cask drinkers alike to try Dragonfire. 

“It’s been a rewarding experience creating this recipe, and we are excited for drinkers to enjoy a pint of this flavoursome beer throughout April.”

Modern styles

The Cask Club was launched in 2019 with the brewer stating its range of limited-edition cask beers incorporate modern styles and flavours while also celebrating some seasonal classics.

Drinkers are able to get involved with Cask Club by picking up a passport at participating pubs, collecting a bespoke crook stamp for each new Cask Club ale tried. Those who complete the passport will be eligible for an exclusive Cask Club T-shirt and will be entered into a prize draw for a weekend getaway.

Future ales in the Cask Club programme during the next few months include Citra Smack (3.8% ABV), Cobnut (3.8% ABV) and Session IPA Creekside (3.4% ABV).

Last month, director of brewing Mike Unsworth talked about Cask Club 2023 and its first launch – Maverick. Click here to read the article​.

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