Steel City celebrated their tenth anniversary with a ‘Decade of Bitterness’ event at the Crow featuring beer and cake (cheers Sue!). The anniversary brew Hop Manifesto Reloaded was launched at the event and is now doing the rounds in the usual suspects, and some one-off beers were also available including a tonka version of Stout Wars. Hop Manifesto Reloaded is brewed to the ‘Transatlantic Pale Ale’ style Dave and Gazza made their name with all those years ago, with a UK-style pale malt base and American-style hop additions, when IPAs still had bitterness rather than being brewed to taste like fruit juice #makeIPAbitteragain.
For winter rather than brewing a beer for the season Dave opened three barrels that had been maturing between six and nine months. Firstly, the final instalment of the Burn the Kirsch series is Holmenkollen, this started life in the same way as the Fantoft Edition, a cherrywood-smoked rauchbier with cherries, but then aged nine months in a Bordeaux red wine barrel with more cherries. The result is a deep red brew with soft fruity smokiness cut by sour cherry and wine. Next up is Corvus Corone – the Crow from Bordeaux, this is the sour brut IPA brewed with Kate, Chris and Adam from the Crow and aged in a Bordeaux wine barrel with grapes. The end result is almost like a sour wine, with the sharp acidity complimented by the tart grapes. Finally, The Rum Thieves is the megacollab Lactose the Intolerant chocolate coconut milk stout aged in a 21-year-old [REDACTED] rum barrel, the rum going perfectly with the chocolate and coconut.
The latest brew is a collaboration, who’d have thought it, this time with one of Germany’s most innovative breweries, namely Freigeist. Dave met Sebastian several years ago and a collab has been mooted ever since, and has finally happened. Mein Herz Brennt (German for ‘My Heart Burns’ but also a track by German metallers Rammstein) resurrects a near-extinct style, Berliner Braunbier. As well as being darker than the better-known Berliner Weisse, the Braunbier was historically more sour and had more hops (or indeed, had hops). Being Steel City, this was interpreted liberally to mean lots of Wai-iti and Lemondrop. Part of the batch had blackcurrant added, and some has been hidden away in a wine barrel with goji berries for a few months