Couldn't be happier with the way Cob Roller has been received and also pleased that it's hit the flavour profile I was after. Lovely orangey aroma and a hop flavour working really well with the malt to make a beer that tastes fuller than its 4.1% would suggest. We just need the weather to warm up!
I was also great drinking it while eating wild mushroom and smoked cheese arancini at the Hog at Horsley over the weekend. I think it's a really food friendly beer for plates with a little bit of acidity.
But we don't rest on our laurels here and there's another little cracker approaching the end of its fermentation. This one is Sou' West which is a British interpretation of our Wild West IPA. Rather than lavishing it with exotic, rare and consequently ruinously expensive US hops we've gone with two hops developed varieties developed at Wye College.
Brewers Gold is a seedling grown at Wye from a wild hop from Manitoba in 1919. It's not really received the attention I think it deserves because despite having only moderate levels of acid I think it works really well as an aroma hop when used in large quantities.
Challenger is a far more common hop, being used extensively for bitter in English beers. It was also developed at Wye but wasn't released until 1972. I think it's the best bittering hop for English beers.
The other variation from Wild West is the strength which we've reined in from 5.3% to 4.7%. That's partly to maintain the malt/hop balance but also to make it a little less daunting on the bar! Anyhow look out for Sou' West around Easter.
** UPDATE **
Just tasted the Sou' West before casking and it's very good. It's terribly English in style - I can't quite believe how traditional it tastes. A bit like a good Best Bitter but with everything just turned up a little higher!