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It’s been a feature of British pubs since time immemorial; you enter your favourite local pub and the Landlord or Landlady asks “The usual?” We all have a drink we like a lot and if it’s something our local does particularly nicely, whether it’s cask ale, draught cider or a selection of good quality whisky or gin, it’s what we tend to stick to.
While this was very common in years gone by, where huge numbers of people only went to the pub at the end of their street, it’s not exactly fitting for today’s drinkers. The number of beers and styles has exploded in the last few years; it’s no longer the case that beer drinkers think it’s acceptable for a pub to stock three types of fairly indistinguishable mass produced lager, they want variety.
Whether it’s the resurgence of IPA and Pale Ales, well thought out lagers, American inspired Ambers or even traditional Pilsners, it’s increasingly less likely that people who say they’re beer fans will stick to one style, let alone one brand. There are brilliant examples of almost every beer style and variety and experimentation have become the hallmark of today’s beer aficionado.
So what can you do to make a truly modern, ‘experimental’ beer as opposed to just creating a slight variation on what’s already available – or worse, just redoing the same old thing?
Firstly, the focus has to be on quality. The phrase “That’ll probably be good enough” shouldn’t be said under any brewery roof! Every ingredient, every step, every batch needs to be as good as you can possibly make it, from the water that goes into the beer to the hops that flavour the brew to the bottle caps that seal it in.
The water that Green’s use to make beer – which brewers call liquor (water is for cleaning, liquor is for making beer) – is finely filtered and flushed with carbon dioxide to remove the oxygen. Dissolved oxygen in beer destabilises the final flavours as the oxygen reacts with compounds and oxidises, hence we remove it.
Our use of Ancient Grains as the base of our beer does a number of different things – firstly, it means that the final beer is naturally gluten free, something that’s important to our customers. Secondly, by not using malted barley, we’re creating something properly different; the use of Ancient Grains means that the flavours in the final beer are greatly different and multi-layered when compared to barley. Ancient Grains also mean that we can be more creative with our use of hops.
Beer fans will know that hops can deliver distinctive flavours – boiling hops releases alpha and beta acids that give the beer flavour and aroma. Every single batch of our hops is scientifically tested to make sure that it’s as rich and flavourful as the last, meaning that not only do we never use dull, flavourless hops, but our customers know that every batch of our beer tastes great.
The perception of beer drinkers for many years has been that they’re ‘happy as long as it comes in a pint glass’, but this isn’t true for modern beer fans. Not only do they want the best quality beer, but they also want variety, depth of flavour – and for many to know that their brewer is as passionate about what’s in their glass as they are. Green’s take our beers very, very seriously and we’re determined to make the best possible brews; maybe it’s time Britain gave up on “The Usual” and chose something a little more daring and a lot more rewarding!