Friday, 15 February 2008

All Tomorrow's IPA's

In October every year we take stock of our annual supply of Kentish hops. Their's is a long journey from field to picking shed to packing shed to pocket. Then sampled and shipped to merchants, repacked (in handy, air tight mini-bales for year round freshness) and reshipped to GADDS'. We pay up front and store the lot cold just to ensure we get what we need, and get what we want.

And to celebrate this little stashing we take our pick from the two remaining olde English varieties, Fuggles & East Kent Goldings, and shove exuberant armfuls into a strong pale ale. The idea is to create a fairly extreme ale whose flavour is almost entirely formed from the hops, all the better to assess the season with. Hops go in the copper (early, late & last), the fermenter (shhh) and the maturation tank. After two months it is bottled (with a little saved for cask) and further matured until March whilst names are dreamt up and labels designed and printed. It's our very best vintage ale.

The 2007 Vintage is crafted from Goldings and tops 8% abv, with a gorgeous hop'n'alcohol aroma, powerful bitterness, delicate flavour and a light sweetness that will dry over the coming year - hoptastic in a thoroughly classy English way.

It's the kind of ale you'd drink while dining on venison, quail or pheasant (quorn versions, obviously) and I'm going to sell it to fine restaurants in the hope of reversing the current trend for wine. Back in the 19th century most fine ale was even fuller, more powerful and aged for far longer than today and there was little need for much wine.

..Yesterday's beer today because there is No Tomorrow..

I'm going to make a Burton Ale next year I think.


Ale Louse said...

We have your IPA coming soon (cask) at the Grove here in Huddersfield but unfortunately no game for it to accompany - just dried locusts & mealworms (a real speciality here honest!) or maybe a slice of local pork pie if we're lucky. Looking forward to trying it though and will let you know how it went after the weekend.

Gadds Beers Hop said...

Swifty - great prolific blogger - I'm a bit nervous about the cask version this year. It's interesting but I'm sort of beginning to think 8% is tooo much for cask. It's certainly different from the bottled version. Ian Grove Inn tried before he buyed and he liked. So I sold. Can't wait to hear how it goes. And I keep promising to make it up there sometime.

Anonymous said...

I love the label you created! I'm a home-brewer myself over in the States and have such a hard time designing labels that match how delicious (I think) my beer is!

Who do you guys use for your label printing? I use an American company in the US called, they print amazing labels and do all the design work for me.

Do you print your labels in-house or order them from a company? I'm trying to figure out if I should start doing these on my own or stick with this site...