Fyne Ales Blog

New Brew News: Sunset Blvd 2017

by Iain Smith

Although separated by five thousand (ish) miles, the Fyne Ales estate and California are basically the same. Sure, they get a bit more sun than we do, and we’ve got a few more cows than they have, but both places are famous for their quality beers.

So with that in mind, we’d like to introduce you to Sunset Blvd, our new special which blends the best of both worlds – bold hoppy West Coast flavours in a delightfully cask-conditioned pint. The second entry in this year’s Boulevard series, Sunset is a proper West Coast pale ale, brimming with three of the big guns from stateside – Citra, Amarillo and Summit.

If you caught last year’s Sunset Blvd, you might remember a different hop bill to the ones mentioned above – with the Blvd Series we want to switch up recipes each year around each beer’s central theme.

The three-hop blend in Sunset is all about chunky fruit flavours – peach vs lemon, tangerine vs apricot and just the right touch of bitterness in the finish to keep it moreish, but give it an edge.

Available in cask from next week, expect to see Sunset Blvd in your local in the coming weeks, and don’t forget to let us know what you think of it on our social media or Untappd.

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New Brew News: Summer Skies (Summer Sessions)

by Iain Smith

It was 27°C in the glen on Tuesday. Skies were blue, the sun was shining and there was barely a cloud for miles. Perfect conditions for snapping some photos of our next Summer Sessions cask special. We didn’t though. We ran out of time and put it off until today. It’s raining today.

But hey, who cares if it’s raining when you can drink a pint of sunshine in the form of Summer Skies?

Part two of this year’s Summer Sessions series, Summer Skies is an ultra-pale ale featuring a combination of four hops, meaning that despite its 3.5% ABV, it’s absolutely bursting with refreshing flavour.

As with Summer Dawn, Sorachi Ace is the backbone of the hope profile – we’re super into its dry bitterness that ensures a short, refreshing finish and Centennial also returns as an aroma hop (though slightly reduced in volume). Eureka and El Dorado are the two new hop variants introduced to the series with Summer Skies, both designed to complement the super-simple malt bill that gives the beer its pale yellow colour.

Flavour-wise, expect lots of floral notes up front as well a touch of citrus that gives way to sweet tropical fruits. The finish, typical of Sorachi-bittered beers, is short and refreshing.

We’d love to hear what you think of Summer Skies, so keep an eye out for it from next week, and don’t forget that Summer Dusk will be heading your way in early September.

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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.

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