Today's the day we announce the three national collaboration beers we have been brewing up behind the scenes for our big inaugural Indie Beer Shop Day celebrations. After polling our group of indie beer shop owners and looking to showcase great independent breweries, who have really supported the sector, across the UK by North, Midlands and South representation - we're extremely thrilled to be working with Pilot, Abbeydale and Double-Barrelled in 2021.
These beers will be shipping into the 101 stores signed up here: https://www.indiebeershopday.uk/beer-shop-locator
and on on sale from Friday 2nd July. SO you lovely customers have a two week build-up to purchase the beers ready for the virtual beer tasting hosted by broadcaster and beer writer Pete Brown, 8pm Saturday July 17th. Live on our Instagram:
Then on the day of Saturday 17th July find your local beer shop hosting events and more, in addition to releasing further local collaboration beers sourced from around the UK, in store and exclusive to the day. Check your local beer shop socials for all updates on these.
If you can't make it to a local beer shop or don't have one on your doorstep, beers will be made available online at many of the shops signed up who offer mail order from Monday July 19th (stock will vary depending on what is available after the launch day). You can then watch the Pete Brown tasting at your leisure from our Instagram TV feed.
Now, let us tell you about the beers and share a few words from the breweries....
Pilot (Leith, Scotland)
Isle of Independents 5.3% 330ml can (vegan friendly) Totally tropical sour packed full of refreshing passionfruit and smooth pink guava.
"We were delighted to have been asked to take part in Indie Beer Shop Day 2021. Since we launched Pilot in 2013, we’ve only ever sold our beer through independent outlets, so it’s safe to say that indie beer shops (and bars) have been integral to the growth of our business. The personal touch, customer service and expertise you receive from staff at a beer shop is clearly vastly superior to that of the supermarkets and it’s these independent outlets that have helped countless craft breweries such as ourselves develop an outlet for beer styles which, when we first started out at least, needed a bit of extra help to garner the acceptance of the general public. It’s very likely that without independent beer outlets championing craft beer, educating customers and encouraging them to try new things, the beer styles so widely enjoyed today from hazy IPAs, to fruited sours and huge pastry stouts, would have struggled to be so successful.
In celebration of Indie Beer Shop Day, we wanted to brew a beer fit for a summer Saturday. Lynsey, one of the event organisers from Edinburgh’s Beer Cave came down to join us on the day, and our brewer, Jez particularly enjoyed having someone else digging out the mash tun for a change.
The beer itself was designed to be a crowd-pleaser. We used a Scottish pale malt base, oats and wheat to give us a subtly biscuity and fairly neutral starting point. After kettle souring we fermented it out with US05 yeast before adding a shedload of passionfruit and pink guava puree for a secondary fermentation. As with all our beers, no finings or filtration were used, just plenty of time after fermentation at zero degrees to allow the beer to settle naturally.
The result is a gently soured beer (we wanted it to be smashable rather than turn-your-face-inside-out sour) with a blast of tropical fruit on the nose and more of the same on the palate. We reckon it’ll be the perfect accompaniment to your summer barbecues - we certainly look forward to trying it out ourselves.
And as for the name… apart from working with the whole tropical fruit theme, if you say it enough times it also kind of sounds like you’re saying ‘I love independents’. Go on, give it a try - ISLE OF INDEPENDENTS, ISLE OF INDEPENDENTS, ISLE OF INDEPENDENTS…"
Abbeydale Brewery (Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
Independence 4% 440ml can (vegan friendly, gluten free) Accessible and flavoursome pale ale, single hopped with Idaho 7. Stone fruits, tropical notes, hints of pine and gentle bitterness.
"Established in 1996, Abbeydale Brewery is a true Sheffield institution which blends creativity and innovation with heritage and tradition. They have grown steadily throughout their 25 years’ existence and are now capable of producing over 220 brewers’ barrels per week, employing over 25 members of staff from the local area.
In recent years, the brewery has evolved dramatically and the team’s love of experimentation has really shone through, with the launch of their Brewers' Emporium range and a move into canning establishing them firmly as part of the UK’s flourishing craft beer market. Collaborating with like-minded independent businesses is, and has been, a key part of the brewery’s identity since their foundation (from creating beers with fellow Sheffield independents such as beer shop Hop Hideout and tea company Birdhouse, to buying their coffee from local suppliers Cafeology!), and the team hold the power of beer as a mechanism to bring people together at the heart of everything they produce. Working with independent beer shops was a critical part of the brewery’s survival during the 2020-21 pandemic, with relationships in this vibrant and flourishing sector being built upon and strengthened throughout."
Double-Barrelled (Reading, Berkshire)
In My Neighbourhood 6% 440ml can (vegan friendly) A juicy and hop forward New Zealand hopped IPA with vivid notes of white wine and passionfruit from Nelson Savin, Kohatu and Rakau.
"We love independent bottle shops - a hub of specialist knowledge, customer service and community, all surrounding our favourite thing, beer! Whether you are dipping your toe into beer for the first time, or well versed in all things hops there is always something new and exciting to explore.
For us, bottle shops were our big introduction in to great craft beer – the first time browsing the shelves, reading the labels, all became part of the treat of beer shopping, and a completely different experience to the grab and go nature of supermarket beer consumption. We felt lucky in Reading to have our neighbourhood beer shop, The Grumpy Goat, who provided us with accessible craft beer from all around the country and further afield – they offer a carefully curated selection, introducing us to many of the breweries that we so love today. The Grumpy Goat celebrate their 8th year of trading this year, and recently moved into a new, brighter and more accessible space. The breadth of beer they make available adds so much value to the local beer landscape here in Reading, bringing cheese into the mix elevates the shop even further. They are a credit to the indie beer shop scene, as are so many other local bottle shops around the country. These shops should be treasured and enjoyed as frequently as is possible, especially when seeking out new options in our ever changing industry.
So to celebrate Indie Beer Shop Day UK 2021 we were delighted to be asked to brew a beer that would champion the ever growing network of indie retailers across the country, shouting about the ingredients we love the most.
For this, we’ve brewed, In My Neighbourhood a 6% New Zealand hopped IPA - full of vivid passionfruit and vinous white wine notes from a hop charge of Nelson Sauvin, Kohatu and Rakau. We love having the opportunity to delve into the South Hemisphere hop harvest and In My Neighbourhood is the perfect beer to showcase these amazing, tropical fruit forward varieties. The NZ hops take the forefront in this one, but sit atop a base IPA malt bill that relies heavily on lager malt for a higher protein grist, plenty of wheat and oats to aid head retention. The grain and hop bill are of course layered with our house water profile and yeast boosting all those juicy stone fruit flavours and super soft but full body.
Over the last year, we’ve focused on dialling in our IPA recipes, particularly spending time on our water treatment and yeast profiles. We hope that In My Neighbourhood helps celebrate IPA in a time where the direction of the style couldn’t have more avenues to explore.
The artwork, created by our designers at Kingdom & Sparrow in Falmouth, designed around that warm feeling you get when you see your local indie beer shop on the horizon – knowing that inside there will be surely something to delight and satisfy you! The name, In my Neighbourhood, relates to the subtly smug feeling you may have knowing you have a great indie beer shop that you can rely on, ready to pop into, in your Neighbourhood."