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Meet the brand: Sharp’s new cask hazy IPA, Solar Wave, gains vegan certification

By Sharp's Brewery

- Last updated on GMT

Sharp's hazy cask IPA Solar Wave gains vegan certification

Related tags Cask ale Social responsibility Cellar management Branding + marketing

Sharp’s Brewery, the maker of the UK’s best-selling amber ale Doom Bar[1], has followed the launch of Solar Wave, its first nationally available cask hazy IPA, with the announcement that the brew has gained vegan certification from the Vegetarian Society – the brewery’s first beer ever to do so.

Brewed at the home of Sharp’s in Rock, Cornwall, the attention-grabbing new beer hit the on-trade in April and has already seen incredible demand from drinkers across the country. 

With Solar Wave, Head Brewer Aaron McClure was on a mission to create the brewery’s first at-scale cask hazy IPA, with an ‘enormous’ flavour profile, in turn unlocking a wider, more diverse and often younger, demographic. Initially conceived and developed on the Sharp’s small scale (5bbls) pilot brewery, McClure spent 6 months experimenting with new-world hops from cutting-edge suppliers, such as Cryo from Yakima Chief, to create big, bold, tropical, juicy aromas that hit the sweet spot between fruitiness and hop bitterness.

Solar Wave logo (1)

In McClure’s words, “Our primary focus was always on the hazy style, and the bold flavours, taste, quality and consistency, however the opportunity to create our first fully Vegetarian Society certified vegan beer was also a key inspiration for all of us in the Sharp’s brewhouse. Not only does Solar Wave bring an unexpected ‘disruptor’ to our pin-sharp portfolio, it also delivers the vegan benefit and the way we brew adds major flexibility for the landlord and landlady. This flexibility is down to the hazy brewing and presentation, unlocking a huge functionality and versatility across storage, temperature and dispense for the outlet.”

The Sharp’s team has also continued to innovate, not just with the bold aesthetic of Solar Wave, purposefully developed to stand out against more traditional-looking cask ales, but also in its bespoke shaped glassware that looks and feels great in the hand, with the shape allowing the aromas to come through and the haze to display brilliantly.  For the first time the team has also added QR codes onto every cask, pump clip, bar-runner and glass. 

McClure says, “The QR codes makes information, including videos and brewing insights, immediately available to everyone in the process – the landlord or lady, the bar team and to the customer themselves.  We’re all about innovating at every step of the process from brewhouse to hand, and sharing our expertise, and Solar Wave certainly delivers this all the way.”

Sharp’s introduction of Solar Wave has been perfectly timed as the demand for hazy beers and IPAs continues to rise - by 68% since 2018[2].  Meanwhile in cask, the prominence of IPAs, pale and golden accounts for 27.5% of the overall category[3].

McClure concludes, “Solar Wave is the perfect balance between what existing ale drinkers want and the bold, exciting flavours needed to attract new, and vegan, people to cask. Cask innovation is central to what we do here in Rock. We have a dedicated pilot brewery where we have produced over fifty awesome beers since it was commissioned in 2016. Solar Wave is the perfect example of that experimentation in action and we’re so excited that we now have the full vegan certification to add to its standout qualities.”

As well as innovating with different beer styles, flavours and ingredients, Sharp’s has a long history of collaborating with quality partners. This includes Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth, world-renowned Cornwall Vineyard Camel Valley and Cornish gin maker Tarquin’s.  Sharp’s beers have already won over 150 international brewing awards.

Brand overview:

  • Solar Wave was initially conceived and developed on the Sharp’s small scale (5bbls) Pilot brewery
  • Developed to stand out from all existing cask ales, as a hazy, premium IPA, Solar Wave fits within this exciting style and category currently in serious growth
  • Bold, distinctive and disruptive, big, tropical hop aromas, low fizz and a distinctive golden haze are accompanied by a taste that’s bursting with juicy hop flavours such as zesty tangerine and zingy pineapple

3 reasons to stock:

  • The flavours and taste are top quality, bold and most importantly consistent
  • The hazy style unlocks huge functionality and versatility, across storage, temperature and dispense for the outlet
  • The bespoke glassware and pump visuals have a standout power on the bar and are highly attractive and appealing

One key piece of info bar staff need to know:

  • It’s a hazy cask IPA that has enormous flavours that appeal right across all sectors of cask and ale drinkers, plus it’s vegan

How to serve:

  • Solar Wave has a wide temperature range (2 -13oC) which adds great versatility, however McClure’s personal preference is somewhere in the middle (8oC)
  • In the bespoke glassware which looks and feels great in the hand, with the shape allowing the aromas to come through and the haze to display brilliantly


[1] CGA Data P2 2023

[2] CGA OPM P08, 52 weeks, 13/08/2022

[3] CGA OPM Data to P10 2022

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