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GBBF round-up: new beers and images from Caledonian, Hogs Back and Chiltern

Added: Friday, August 10th 2012

Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh is paying tribute to a great icon of the age of steam with a new beer called Flying Scotsman. The beer was launched on the eve of the Great British Beer Festival to coincide with the train being completely restored at the National Railway Museum in York. The brewery says the beer offers “first class refreshment from Scotland to London”.

Caledonian, famous for its Deuchars IPA, called on Peter Scholey, the former head brewer at Brakspear in Henley-on-Thames, to help formulate the beer. Caledonian was keen to make Flying Scotsman its first attempt at an English rather than a Scottish beer. The brewing water in Edinburgh, from the “charmed circle” of mineral-rich rock and soil below the city, is similar to the revered waters of Burton-on-Trent, the home of pale ale. Peter says he didn’t need to “Burtonise” the water by adding minerals but instead “Londonised” it to give a softer mouthfeel: “It will be competing with the likes of London Pride, Bombardier and Young’s Bitter in London and the south,” he says.

The 4% beer is brewed with malting barley grown in the north and is a blend of Golden Promise and Optic: pale malt is joined by amber and black. The hops are Goldings, Whitbread Goldings Variety (which, despite the name, is a type of Fuggle) and Styrian Goldings from Slovenia. The units of bitterness are 27.

Flying Scotsman has a glowing copper colour with hop resins on the nose, raisin fruit, biscuit malt, caramel notes from the copper boil – the brewery has direct-flame coppers – and dry chocolate from the dark malt. Chocolate, burnt fruit, tangy hop resins and rich malt fill the mouth while the finish is dry, bittersweet with dark fruit, chocolate, roasted grain and tart hop resins. The beer is available in cask and bottle.

Hogs Back Brewery in Tongham, Surrey, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a new range of modern pumpclips for its beers. They were unveiled at GBBF and will come into use at the end of August. The clips are both ancient and modern, incorporating elements of the original clip for TEA – Traditional English Ale – with a new background showing the gently rolling hills of Surrey.

Chiltern Brewery in Buckinghamshire launched WheelPower Ale at the festival to show its support for the Paralympics and the work of Stoke Mandeville Hospital’s work for the disabled – the hospital is just a few miles from the brewery. The beer was launched by Tom Jenkinson, Chiltern’s brewer, and Martin McElhatton, ex-paralympian and chief executive of WheelPower, which owns Stoke Mandeville Stadium, birthplace of the Paralympics.

Tom said the beer will help raise awareness of the work of WheelPower. A minimum donation of 5p a pint will go the charity. He said: “This a gold medal beer that’s crisp and sunny on the palate.”

Martin added: “The funds will help WheelPower inspire a generation of young and newly-disabled people to play sport.”

The beer is available from Chiltern’s brewery shop at Terrick and at its pub, the Farmer’s Bar, in Aylesbury.

Photo shows Tom Jenkinson (left) with Martin McElhatton. Below, the new Hogs Back pump clips.

tom chiltern
Hogs Back