In late 2022, when undertaking our end of year review, we set out some challenges and improvements we wanted to make in 2023.
We decided that one of our main focus areas for the year would be our core range. In a beer landscape where it’s borderline impossible to keep track of new and limited edition beer releases, it’s often easy to overlook these fridge staples. However, they’re the foundation upon which every brewery around the world is built.
Two beers in particular that we felt needed some focus were Grunt and Underdog. While we love the stories and core concepts behind these beers (and the beers themselves!) the styles have found themselves with a foot in multiple camps. They didn’t really fall into one category or another, and as such, they were easy to get lost in a crowded and competitive space.
Making changes to core range beers is a long process, and not one to take lightly. It begins with lots of R&D (beer tastings!!), then brewing, more tasting, rebrewing, tasting again, etc, until the beer recipe is tweaked to perfection. Not only the beers themselves, but potentially changing the imagery, stories and possibly the name is both technically and psychologically challenging! After all, these beers have been with us since day one… We decided to try our best to keep these beers as close to their roots as possible in terms of both their imagery and stories, while also improving them.
What began in January 2023 has finally come to fruition. We are delighted to reveal Underdog Pilsner, and Overboard Witbier!
Our new Underdog is a traditional pilsner, balancing bready malt flavours with clean bittering, and a dry refreshing finish. We used Heidelberg pilsner malt from Bestmalz in Germany, which uses a special variety of barley, less prone to colouring during the malting process, and as such, Underdog is extremely light in colour – bright, but still has a pleasant complexity to its malt flavour.
Hallertauer Mittelfruh hops provide the clean bitterness in the kettle, with a later addition also providing slight herbal and floral flavours. Saaz, the classic pilsner hop, is in the whirlpool for this beer, which lends the beer woody and slightly spicy aromas, and the signature flavour of the old-world pilsners that are brewed with this noble hop.
Overboard is a dry and refreshing witbier, infused with orange peel and juniper berries. It’s a perfect accompaniment to a wide range of dishes, in particular, seafood and cheese.
The combination of wheat and malted barley provide the backbone for this Belgian-style witbier, which is delicately balanced with a combination of cascade and saaz hops. The addition of curacao orange peel and juniper berries provide subtle hints of citrus, as a nod to the classic Belgian style, while also providing a little extra interest on the palate. It is fermented using a traditional witbier yeast strain.