Lignum Vitae, Grain
Added: Thursday, October 1st 2015
Grain Lignum Vitae IPA (6.5%)
On 26 September, Grain Brewery from Harleston in Norfolk won the top Gold award in SIBA’s East of England beer competition for its India Pale Ale – and promptly changed the name of the beer to Lignum Vitae, the strongest wood known to personkind.
The brewery was set up by Geoff Wright and Phil Halls in 2006 in a converted dairy in the Waveney Valley. They upgraded to a 15-barrel kit in 2012 and own two pubs, the Plough in Norwich and the Corn Hall Bar in Diss.
The success of the beer is timely as it’s brewed with Norfolk-grown Maris Otter barley, which is celebrating 50 years in 2015 since it was first grown in the county. A touch of wheat is added and the hop recipe is extensive: Fuggles and Brewers Gold for bittering with Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Citra for flavour and aroma.
It has a bright gold colour, a chunky head of foam, followed by a massive hit of fruit on the nose: orange, lemon and lime with a woody note from the hops and cracker wheat malt. The bittersweet palate is a fine balance of ripe citrus fruit and lightly toasted malt with herbal and spicy notes from the hops. The finish is long and complex, ending dry but preceded by rich fruit, juicy malt and bitter hops.
The beer costs £3.60 for a 500ml bottle, £9.50 for three or £40 for a case of 12 from the brewery: www.grainbrewery.co.uk