Pictured: Ian Ward, Marston's marketing manager
Burton brewer and pub company Marston's has unveiled its plans to produce 12 single-hop guest ales for 2012 using exotic hops from around the world.
The company has already featured two of the beers - Wai-iti for January, and Galaxy for February. Each of the beers will be on offer in selected Marston's, Chef and Brewer, and Taylor Walker pubs around the country. Six or seven of the beers are also scheduled to be bottled and offered in supermarkets such as Morrison's.
The move comes in response to a growing trend among customers to look for different taste experiences, encouraged by the burgeoning cask ale market and the explosion in the use of more unusual hop varieties in the craft brewing scene. Traditionally, English brewers have stuck with the more traditional English hop varieties such as Fuggles and Golding.
Each monthly beer, brewed in Marston's Wolverhampton brewery, will follow precisely the same golden pale ale recipe and each will therefore be 4% ABV, allowing the characteristics of the individual hops to stand out.
Assistant head brewer Simon Yates said: "By using the same basic recipe, with only the hop changing, we will be allowing the unique tastes and qualities of each hop to shine through. It will be a very different but intriguing taste experience that will naturally appeal to people passionate about taste and ingredients."
Two of the hops, Wai-iti and Kohatu from New Zealand, are new to the UK brewing scene.
The full range is:
January: Wai-iti (New Zealand)
February: Galaxy (Australia)
March: East Kent Golding (England)
April: Hallertau Mittelfruh (Germany)
May: Cascade (USA)
June: Marynka (Poland)
July: Styrian (Slovenia)
August: Strisselspalt (France)
September: Nelson Sauvin (New Zealand)
October: Citra (USA)
November: Kohatu (New Zealand)
December: Saaz (Czech Republic)
Mark Carter, senior drinks category manager at Marston's Inns and Taverns, the company's managed house arm, said: "This new range of single hop ales meets consumers' desire for new, authentic and different experiences - we have seen this in food and wine and can now satisfy our consumers when it comes to cask ales."
The ales will be supplied on a first come, first served basis and will be on a limited run due to the small yields of some of the more experimental hops used.
Each month, Simon Yates will blog about the beers on www.singlehopale.co.uk.
By Neil Gerrard
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