Dom: Tasting Britain has been involved in some interesting concepts since its inception; many of which have normally ended with yours truly imbibing a healthy amount of alcohol (or unhealthy to be more accurate)…’professional glutton’ is a phrase I use often. But being involved in creating a new product idea is definitely an exciting first for us.
We recently had the pleasure of being part of an event held by Nicholson’s Pubs in preparation for their next beer festival in September. Nicholson’s invited several breweries from around the UK to each create a new beer as part of a competition for the festival. It sounds easy, right? Full creative freedom to make a winning beer.
Well, there’s always a catch. Based around the theme of the Rugby World Cup, each brewery had to select a style of beer, ABV range and a hop region, after which they were then tasked with the challenge of creating a new beer encompassing all of those elements. Cripes… not even Joey Heller could have made up a catch like that.
And how are we involved? As part of the event, we were invited to document and follow the progress of one of breweries taking part in the competition; specifically Wychwood Brewery and their head brewer, Jon Tilson – one of the masterminds behind beers like Black Wych, King Goblin and the famous Hobgoblin. From reviewing the malts and hops to watching the brewing process, we’ll be reporting the story as it progresses; and the odd libation obviously won’t go amiss either.
So now Jon has to come up with a classic amber ale (3.5% – 4.5% ABV) made with hops from Australia and New Zealand. With his mighty knowledge and a passion for his craft, it already sounds as though Jon has a winning brew, and we’ll be there to have the first couple of pints… and then some!
Watch this space and we look forward to seeing the developments over the coming months.