Friday, 1 January 2010

Year in Beer 2010 - 80 Shilling Ale

New look pump clips will be a feature of 2010

This year's 'Year in Beer', to be published pretty soon (already done - ed), tells me we're featuring '80 Shilling Ale' throughout January and February and, since late December in the brewery is likely to be a little unsettled (I'm installing and commissioning a total of 140 hectolitres of fermentation space - phase I of GADDS' great expanding girth), I thought I'd best stay ahead of the curve and get the first batch brewed tomorrow.

So I'm sat thinking about Rannoch Moor and sweet, mellow, heady ale (a fairly one dimensional view of Scotland I'll grant you, but it does things for me). I delved through the malt store for a half kilo of the most peated malt on earth (180 ppm) and crushed it up, the resulting aroma one of sweet smokey malt and wild, weather beaten peat. Perfect for a little background atmosphere. I'm using some crystal malt for its colour and distinctive sweet flavour, oats for their general northerliness, aroma, and enriching property, chocolate malt for colour and smoothness, melanoidin malt for aroma and some amber malt for a juxtaposing drying character and toastiness.

As for hops, well, not too many; 80 shilling isn't really about hops. They're there, and they're classic British (Fuggles and Goldings), but they're far from dominant, though the Fuggles will add some smooth grassiness to flavour and aroma.

Come January, expect the kind of ale capable of driving the dampness from your bones, warming you through with its very wholesomeness and leaving you happy and ruddy faced. A fireside ale, one to drink with haggis (quorn) and something to chase a little Islay malt with. The kind of ale winter was designed for.

Apologies for the blatant re-run of this post but there is sound reason: as you can tell, I brew our irregulars two to three weeks (sometimes more) ahead of your chance to find them in Quality East Kent Outlets and it occurred to me that there's no point in telling you about them early. In the future (and it *is* ours, all of ours) I'll write about the brewing when I do the brewing and post-date publication until you can do the drinking - subsequent posts in this category will therefore make more sense, both grammatically and chronologically .

(BTW - 80 Shilling Ale was a clear favourite at the GADDS' family New Years' Eve party last night, even out doing O's Vodka Cocktails and dodgy fizzy fermented grape juice)


Mark said...

Sounds great. Will this just be availble in selected Thanet pubs or will any make it into bottles?

Gadds Beers Hop said...

Sadly not Chunk, not this year. You'd be able to order some fresh carry-out from the casks if you ring the brewery (see the web-site).