New Brew News: Workbench Second Draft

By Iain Smith

Let’s start with a confession – we nearly killed the Workbench IPA project after First Draft. The beer was so well received that we were very tempted to make it a core range beer on the strength of the feedback alone. Not only is it our highest-rated special of the year, but in a second round of blind tastings, it almost unanimously beat every beer that we put it up against. Not bad for a first go.

However, the aim of the project wasn’t only to find a replacement for Sanda Blonde. When we started the Workbench IPA project we set out to learn more about hops - their flavour combinations and how they can be used – and with that in mind, we’re excited to drop some details for Workbench IPA Second Draft, launching on keg tonight and in bottles in a couple of weeks’ time.

Workbench #2 is the first Fyne Ales beer brewed using Cryo Hops®, concentrated lupulin of whole-leaf hops containing resins and aromatic oils. 2017 has seen a huge growth in the use of hops powders, which if used correctly can not only impart beers with stronger flavours, but also allow for higher efficiency in the brew process.

We really enjoyed the character that Mosaic imparted into Workbench #1 (and so did everyone else, apparently), so we decided on Mosaic powder for the second instalment in the series. Using our fullsize hopback, we recirculated the powder through the wort alongside whole-leaf Simcoe hops several times to ensure the powder was given ample opportunity to do its thing.

The dry-hopping combination of Columbus and Ekuanot (T90 pellets) was chosen to give Second Draft a distinctly different overall flavour profile to its predecessor. While there’s still a solid fruit profile with peach on the nose and sweet melon and grape on the taste, the Columbus and Mosaic combined give a much more resinous, dank edge to the flavours.

Once again, we want your notes on this beer – what you like and what you don’t. Please, send us a tweet, a Facebook message or check Second  Draft in on Untappd or Ratebeer so we can see what you think about the beer. The more feedback we get, the better WB3 and the final IPA will be!

It’d be remiss of us not to thank Kev Grey once more for his beautiful hand-drawn label art, this time in a lovely shade of dark red.

Keep in touch, and enjoy Workbench Second Draft.