Steel City started the year with a collab, a ‘home’ three-way with Lost Industry and Boutilliers. The base beer is Burn the Kirsch, a cherry-smoked pale with cherries and cherry blossom. Cherry-smoked malt gives a sweet fruity smoke flavour, rather than the unpleasant phenolic flavours of beechwood or peat. There will also be a wine-barrel aged version later in the year, as well as a braggot (beer/mead hybrid).
The launch of the special Stout Wars box sets of bottles went incredibly well, with Hop Hideout and Beer Central selling out before the beers even went on the shelf, and the online launch through Hoptimism selling out in under two minutes.
The barrel aging of the third Stout Wars trilogy is almost complete, and there will be a launch event in the spring. The main brew started at 12%, some of the barrels have fermented quite a bit further! The trilogy is in fact a Douglas Adams-esque trilogy of four:
- Episode VII: The Brett Awakens – aged in a red wine barrel with raisins and brettanomyces. Thanks to the brett this episode has fully fermented out so is 15.8%.
- Episode VIII: The Last Berry – aged in a bourbon barrel with blackberries and blackcurrants.
- Episode IX – aged in a sherry barrel with damsons.
- Solo – second runnings, soured and bretted in a red wine barrel with cherries.
All four will be available at the launch, the Solo will be on keg and the other three will all be cask. The exact date is still TBC, as it depends on the opening of the venue…