Beer Classification Explained !
Regular - always available .
Rotational - made on a rotational basis . It was very quickly discovered that having different beers available at any one time created better interest and sales - pubs and drinkers like to try different things .
Hibernating - made in the past and will be made again at some point in the future .
Seasonal - golden light beers sell better in the Summer , dark stronger beers in the Winter and Spicy beers at Xmas !
IBU'S - International bittering units - a measure of the bitterness of the beer . A normal traditional type of bitter would have a value of between 25-30 . Values above 110 are estimated as the beer becomes saturated with " bitterness " at this point .Additional hops do add other flavours and apparent bitterness beyond this point though ! .
EBC'S - colour estimation using the European Brewing Convention . A golden ale would have a value of about 7 , a brown bitter 25 and a Stout 250+ !
Marillo @ 3.8% ABV ( IBU's =28 EBC's = 9 ) - a burnished gold coloured beer with a strong aroma of citrus fruit and malt . The taste is tangy tart fruit with a malty- bitter finish . This is a " golden ale " style of beer , but light crystal malt has been added to give some background maltiness body and mouthfeel to balance the hop flavours . Status - Regular cask ,occasional bottle .
Hoptane @ 3.8% ABV (IBU's= 24 EBC's =4)
– a golden ale tasting of lemon , lime and tart gooseberry with a dry finish
Status - Rotational Cask
"Simmarillo " @ 3.8 % ABV ( IBU's = 28 EBC's = 9 )
A burnished gold coloured beer with an aroma of citrus and soft fruits . The taste is tangy fruit with blackberry , plum and pineapple
Status - Rotational Cask
" Kinesis " @ 3.8% ABV ( IBU's = 30 EBC's = 4)
a golden ale tasting of malt , citrus fruits , orange and passion fruit .
Status - Rotational Cask
Deeping Jack @ 4% ABV ( IBU's = 28 EBC's 9 )
- a pale amber traditional bitter , fruity ,malty with a bitter finish .
Status - Rotational cask .
Caskadia @ 4.3% ABV ( IBU's =29 EBC's = 7 )
- This is a golden beer with an strong aroma of fruit .
The taste is intense citrus fruit with background caramel and a tangy bitter finish.
Status - Rotational cask
American Pale Ale @ 4.3% ABV ( IBU's = 21 EBC's = 10)
– an amber coloured ale with a fruity zesty aroma . The taste is citrus hop with background gooseberry and lychees and a dry bitter finish
Status - Rotational Cask
Golden Armadillo @ 4.3% ABV ( IBU's = 23 EBC's = 18 )
- a burnished golden beer with a coarse white head .It tastes of malt and citrus hop with a bitter finish .
Status - Rotational cask .
“ Red Ale “ @4.3% ABV ( IBU’s = 22 EBC’s = 33)
- an amber red well balanced beer . The taste is initially malt followed by a burst of citrus hop with a dry roasted grain finish .
Status – Rotational Cask
Extra Special Bitter @ 4.8% ABV ( IBU's = 34 EBC's = 60 ) - This is a dark amber coloured bitter with an aroma full of malt and hop with a hint of liquorice in the background from the addition of black treacle ! . The taste is initially malt developing into fruit , caramel , treacle and a bitter finish . Status - Rotational cask, regular bottle .
Historic Porter @ 4.8% ABV (IBU's = 29 EBC's = 139 ) - A dark beer with deep ruby highlights and an aroma of malt, grain and fruit. The taste is malt, hops , chocolate and liquorice with a roasted bitter finish . This beer is also available in " Aniseed Porter @ 4.8% " and " Vanilla Porter @ 4.8% " versions . Status - all 3 Rotational cask , Historic only regular bottle .
Flinders @ 4.8% ABV ( IBU's = 23 EBC's = 8 ) - an amber coloured well balanced ale with a background taste of passion fruit . It is made with a single hop from Tasmania , Flinders is the largest Island between Tasmania and Australia . Status - Regular cask .
Hop And Spicey @ 5.0% ABV ( IBU's = 31 EBc's = 64 )- a dark ruby beer with a complex aroma of fruit cake and malt . The taste is bittersweet malt , orange , spices and ginger . This beer is made with the addition of hand peeled ginger , honey, orange peel and cinnamon . Status - Seasonal cask and bottle .
Hopnosis @ 5.2% ABV ( IBU's = 63 EBC's = 23 ) - as the name implies hop , hop and more hop . Inspired by some of the heavily hopped beers from the USA I have had the pleasure of trying . Intense hop and malt aroma and flavour . Status - Rotational cask .
Special No. 1 Bitter @ 5.2% ABV ( IBU's = 30 EBC's = 60 ) - A dark brown beer with a malty aroma with a hint of caramel and fruit. The taste is malt and sweet fruit with a hint of hops, caramel and roasted malt. This was the first brew ever made at the brewery on 9th. November 2006 hence the name ( well it was a special day for me !). Status - Rotational cask and bottle .
Shacklers Gold @ 5.2% ABV ( IBU's = 27 EBC's = 6 ) - This is a golden coloured beer with a strong aroma of sweet malt and fruit. The taste is of malt and grapefruit with a well balanced finish. Status - Rotational cask and bottle .
Smoked Porter @ 5.2% ABV ( IBU's = 29 EBC's = 139 ) - a dark red beer with an aroma of malt, roasted grain and smoke . The flavours are a complex mix of malt , fruit , bitter chocolate and dark treacle with a smokey finish . This beer is made by adding heavily peated whisky malt to the basic Historic Porter recipe . When I picked up the smoked malt from the maltings I was told " be careful with that it's very smoky " . Status Winter Seasonal cask .
Bohemia " Cask " 5.6% / Bohemian Lager " bottle " @ 5.8% ABV ( IBU's = 42 EBC's = 8 ) - Unpasturised , unfiltered Bohemian style lager . It is made using Saaz hops , Pilsner malt , two speciality malts ( Caravienne and Munich ) and a lager yeast from the Weihenstephen area of Munich . It is fermented at 10oC for 3-4 weeks and then racked either into casks for conditioning before release or a conditioning tank for further conditioning before bottling .The taste is initially malt giving way to a dry bitterness . Status - Winter seasonal cask , regular bottle
Historic IPA @ 5.7% ABV ( IBU's = 122 EBC's = 6 ) - based on a recipe from the 1850's this beer is gold in colour and has an aroma full of malt and strong fruit . The taste is intense hop resins balanced by background malt . Status - Rotational cask
Hibernator @ 5.8% ABV ( IBU's = 43 EBC's = 174 ) - a strong dark old ale which is conditioned for 6 weeks before release . It is black in colour with a tan head and a malty-chocolate aroma . The taste is vinous fruit , malt and bitter chocolate . Status - Winter seasonal cask .
Amber Marzen @ 5.8% ( IBU's =27 EBC's = 33) - made by special request for Ron Buchet of Cambridge Camra for the Cambridge Octoberfest in 2010 . A red amber beer with a full malty aroma and a rich malty biscuity-nutty flavour and a touch of warming alcohol ! Status - Hibernating !
Historic Ruby Mild @ 5.8% ABV ( IBU's = 29 EBC's = 118 ) - Based on a recipe from the 19th Century, this mild is a very dark ruby colour. It has a powerful malty, fruity aroma that fills the glass. The taste is strong malt, chocolate, intense fruit and a malty finish. Status - Winter seasonal cask
Baltic Porter @ 6.8% ABV ( IBU's = 44 EBC's = 182 ) - this beer tastes of rich malt , dark fruits and bitter chocolate . It is conditioned for 2 months before release to allow flavour development . Status - Winter Seasonal cask, regular bottle . In bottle it is 7.0% ABV because of additional priming .
Momentum @ 7.0% ABV ( IBU's = 80 EBC's = 6 ) - An English IPA based on a recipe from the early 1800's. It is a golden beer with an aroma of vinous fruit and malt . It has a coarse white head and a taste of malt, fruit and warming alcohol with a bitter edge. Status - Rotational cask .
Double Momentum @ 7.0% ABV ( IBU's = ~110+ EBC's = 9 ) - based on the recipe for the very popular Momentum IPA but with twice the amount of hops added at all stages - hence the name !. It is a golden beer with an aroma of vinous fruit with a hoppy edge. It has a coarse white head and an intense taste of malt, fruit and alcohol with a bitter finish. This beer is conditioned for at least one month before release to allow the complex flavours to develop. Status - Rotational cask , regular bottle .
" Black Mule " @ 7% ABV ( IBU's = 75 EBC's = 126 ) –
This beer is a hybrid between an Imperial IPA and a Imperial Porter ( a mule is a cross between a horse and a donkey ! ) . A dark ruby , black beer loaded with hop resins and roasted malt flavours .Status – Rotational Cask
Resination @ 7% ABV ( IBU's = ~110++ EBC's = 23 ) - the aroma and flavours are loaded with hop oils and resins - hence the name ! The large amount of hop additions give intense spice , herbal and citrus characters to the beer . Status - Rotational cask , regular bottle .
Shacklebock @ 7.4% ABV ( IBU's = 26 EBC's = 54) - This beer was based on a recipe for a "dopplebock", a German strong and malty, dark lager and was made as a one off for a local pub . It is dark copper in colour with a strong aroma of bread and malt. The taste is rich and malty with flavours of bread, biscuit and caramel with a strong warming alcohol finish. Status - Hibernating !
The 4 head Bottling Machine
The Bottling Process .
Beer is never bottled straight from the fermenters but transferred to conditioning tanks for a period of 3-24 weeks depending on the type of brew.
This allows further flavour development , clarification and the secondary fermentation to occur . The beer is then primed with sugar and re-seeded with an alcohol tolerant yeast strain as appropriate before bottling .
Not only does the additional yeast provide the natural carbonation in the bottle by utilising the sugar , but it also scavenges up any oxygen introduced during the bottling process which could cause oxidation .
All the bottling is carried out at the brewery and it takes 3-4 people an hour to do 200-250 bottles .
The bottles are then stored at between 25-30 oC until sufficiently carbonated and are then checked for quality . They are then labelled and stored in the chiller until required .
SPECIALIST BOTTLED BEERS
As well as the bottled beers as detailed above , some specialist bottled beers are also made .
Restoration @ between 9 -10 % ABV ( IBU's = 28 EBC's = 26 )
This beer was inspired by some of the strong ales of Belgium and contains five different malts and two hops. In early 2007, when the local church "St Guthlacs" needed to raise funds for repair work and improvements .It was agreed with the Reverend Philip Brent, the vicar of St. Guthlacs. That a competition would be run to name a new beer from the brewery and for every bottle sold a donation of 25 pence would be given to the church funds. The winning name was of course, "Restoration". It is only made once a year and the Reverend Brent blesses the beer whilst it is still in the primary fermenter.
Once the initial fermentation is over the beer is transferred into a conditioning tank, placed in the brewery cellar and aged for a period of six months. This allows the complex flavours to develop before the next stage which is bottling. The beer is reprimed with sugar and a fresh dose of alcohol tolerant yeast, bottled and then placed in a conditioning room between 25-30oC. After 4-6 weeks the beer is checked for carbonation levels, taste and other quality parameters. If all is well, then it is ready to be sold which is usually around November or December. As the beer is only made once a year there is a limited supply each year which is usually around 1600 bottles . Every bottle is numbered and marked with the month and year of production and is therefore unique. It is deep copper in colour with an aroma of rich fruit and malt with a hint of apple. The taste fills the mouth with flavours of vinous fruit, cherries, plums and malt leading to a warming finish of alcohol . This beer tastes great straight away but will improve with aging over many years .A number of cases are kept back each year and the intention is to use these for vertical tasting sessions ie. comparing different years with each other . Status - Annual
Imperial Stout @ 9 -10 % ABV ( IBU,s = 66 EBC's = ~ 250 )
This beer is dedicated to the breweries that once made this style of beer in vast quantities for export to the Baltic States . It contains five different malts and dark treacle , but only one variety of hop which is Northern Brewer .It is made in the same way as Restoration . Status - Annual
The " Vertigo " Range of beers @ 9.8% ABV ( IBU's = ~110+++ EBC's = 20 ) .
Each version of this beer uses the same base recipe but only one variety of hop is used in each . This allows the drinker to experience the unique characteristics of a single hop variety on it's own . They are made in a similar way to Restoration but only conditioned for 3 months prior to bottling and there is only 1300 numbered bottles made in a year . Trials were carried out with a number of different hop varieties and the low alpha " aroma " type hops gave some of the most interesting results . To date two versions have been made as detailed below .
Vertigo "VC" @ 9.8% ABV ( uses only Cascade hops ) - amber in colour with an aroma of spice , pine and woody oak . The flavour is sweet caramel , toffee , vanilla , pine and grapefruit leading to a resinous peppery spicy finish .Status made in 2009 only .
Vertigo "VF" @ 9.8% ABV ( uses only Fuggles hops ) - amber in colour with an aroma of toffee , malt , spice and pine . The flavour is toffee , caramel, spice and herbs with a warming spicy ,alcoholic finish .Status made in 2009 only .
* The bottled beers Hop And Spicey , Historic Porter , Double Momentum and Restoration can be found in the main section of the " Good Bottled Beer Guide " 7th. Edition by Jeff Evans ISBN 978 1 85249 262 5 - published and available from " the Campaign For Real Ale " .