Since we last posted on the blog things have changed a little in the outside world. Most of us are no longer locked away in our homes, some of us have even managed to grab some precious time back in the mountains. Following the Executive’s announcement this week about the reopening of much of the hospitality trade here in NI in early July, the local market looks to be changing for us once again and we’re starting to tentatively plan in the production of kegs for the first time in months.
Last month’s beer releases were all about the yeast. From essentially the same pale base beer, we took each brew in three different directions by fermenting with specialty German, Belgian and American West Coast style yeast strains to give each beer its own distinctive character. If you haven’t tried them yet, pop over to our store and order yourself a mixed pack, or call into one of our stockists and pick up a bottle or two.
This month we’re back on the hops, and we’re really happy to see the return of two old friends in the form of Ott IPA and our strong West Coast-style Double IPA, The Wall.
Ott is our 5.8%abv American IPA and this latest brew is the fifth version of the recipe. We change the hops we use each time, but always aim for a great balance of juicy, fruity hop character and a satisfying level of bitterness – this version blends the gloriously aromatic US hop varieties Amarillo, Eureka, Ekuanot, Cascade and Simcoe.
It’s Ott, not O.T.T! Ott Mountain is diminutive and understated amongst its peers in the Mournes, but it’s very accessible and the perfect spot for a short dander when time is limited, or when the weather looks like it might turn quickly and you’ll need to make a quick descent to the car.
The Wall is an 8%abv Double IPA, named for the magnificent Mourne Wall that crosses 15 of the highest peaks in the Mournes along its 22 mile length. Built entirely by hand, we take a lot of inspiration from the crafters and the grafters who created it. If you’ve enjoyed this beer before you’ll be pleased to hear it’s tasting as big as ever, helped by the largest dry hop charge we’ve added to this brew yet. We’ve kept the characteristic piney, resinous hop flavours to the fore with a blend of US Cascade, Simcoe, Azacca, Mosaic and Columbus varieties.
The can artwork for these beers has been updated with our Lockdown Livery - more stunning views of this beautiful corner of the world that we’re so lucky to have on our doorstep. The Wall label also features a local Rostrevor celebrity – bonus points if you can guess who it is!
Our final release this week is a new recipe. Balancing the higher alcohol content of Ott and The Wall, whilst not compromising on the hops, is Krammed – a 4.5%abv New England-style Pale Ale.
Pouring very hazy in the glass, Krammed is low on bitterness but high on juicy hop flavour and aroma with a dry hop blend of US Ekuanot, Mosaic, Azacca, Amarillo and Eureka. At 4.5%abv it’s quite sessionable too, and a large addition of flaked oats to the mash ensures a decent body to the beer. Continuing our theme of climbing routes in the Mournes, Krammed is a 5a grade climb that can be found on Lower Cove.
All the new beers are unfiltered so store them upright in the fridge and pour carefully to leave any sediment in the can. They will be rolling out to our usual stockists over the next few days, or visit our online shop for chilled delivery to your door.
As always, thanks so much for supporting small independent businesses during these difficult last few weeks. It does make a difference, and we really do appreciate it. Next time we’ll hopefully be able to tell you about some of our bar and restaurant customers who have been able to reopen after a long period of closure – they will certainly welcome your support when they do.