NORTH EAST brewers went single hop crazy, creating four versions of some of their signature beers for Tynemouth Beer Festival.
Cullercoats, Jarrow, Mordue, Three Kings and Tyne Bank all took part in the dry hopping experiment after being asked by festival manager Neil Harvey to create something new and unusual for the annual seaside shindig.
And once again Northumberland Brewery created a beer in honour of the organiser’s birthday – as the event usually falls on the nearest weekend to it.
“Tynemouth Beer Festival has a reputation for unusual beers, but I’d been asked by several people to put on some more local brews,” said Neil.
“The point of the festival is not usually to showcase local beers, as if people want a local beer, they should ask for it in their local pub and Tynemouth traditionally sources beers from around the country.
“However, this year, I wondered if I could combine local beers with new beers, and asked five local breweries to each create four dry hopped versions of one of their ales to have alongside our selection of West Yorkshire beers, which were collected together at Saltaire Brewery and then brought up by Marstons.”
The experiement saw Cullercoats dry hop its Rocket Brigade IPA with Bramling Cross, Cascade, Chinook and Pacific Jade, Jarrow hop Rivet Catcher with Apollo, First Gold, Goldings and Mount Hood, and Mordue adapt Five Bridges with Apollo, Belmer, Chinook and Galaxy.
North Shelds based Three Kings dry hopped its Ring of Fire with Cascade, First Gold, Progress and Willamette, and Tyne Bank – who’s MD Julia Austin is set to visit Sweden as part of a UK Trade and Investment fact finding trip – use Amarillo, Citra, Nelson Sauvin and Summit on its Single Blonde.
“We were asked by Neil to create something a bit different using different hops,” said Julia. “And we chose to use Single Blonde as its our ‘simplest beer’, providing a good base that’s not too hoppy in the first instance.”
2013 marks the seventh consecutive year that the festival has been held, and in that time it has grown from 40 beers to 80, with 20 of this year’s offerings the dry hop specials, and now attracts around 2,000 drinkers.
It is usually held on or around September 18 – Neil Harvey’s birthday – and this year, like the others, Northumberland Brewery have made a beer to commemorate the anniversary. The title of this year’s is 58 Not Out, and it features a photo of Neil on the pump clip.
The 2013 festival also has for the first time what Neil described as “craft keg” – showcasing main sponsor Marston’s new dispense methods and beers.
“It’s extra choice for customers,” said Neil, though personally I can’t deal with it, as even the slightest bit of gas doesn’t sit well on my palette, but obviously a lot of people do enjoy it, so that’s why we’ve got it.”
Tynemouth Beer Festival continues today, until midnight. For more information click here.