Mitchells & Butlers’ Castle pubs are about to get a new addition, courtesy of a partnership between Boston-based Harpoon and Cornish St Austell Brewery.
Skipper (4.9% abv), a limited edition American Pale Ale, has been brewed in collaboration with the breweries after the Harpoon team embarked on a fact finding mission in Blighty last summer and happened upon St Austell.
Roger Ryman, St Austell Brewery’s head brewer, repaid the visit with a trip to Boston in March this year and got involved in producing a collaborative ale between the two breweries.
As well as brewing it at Harpoon Brewery, which is one of the top 10 craft breweries in the USA (don’t you know), Ryman returned from the States and brewed the same recipe in St Austell’s small batch brewery.
‘Skipper utilises all-English ingredients combined with USA flair and delivers a classic pale ale with a contemporary twist. We’re really pleased with the end result, and that it has launched in Castle pubs,’ Ryman said.
The skippy amber cask ale boasts blackcurrant and lychee aromas and the team says it has a bitter and rich fruit finish.
And the name? After the aquatic antics which took place on both sides of the Atlantic, of course. ‘When the team from Harpoon Brewery visited Cornwall, I took them racing in a traditional pilot gig along the south coast,’ Ryman explained. ‘When I visited American soil the favour was returned, and I was whisked off for some water action, Boston style, with the Harpoon guys as soon as I landed. It was only right to get the nautical link in the name to help celebrate our shared passion – and proximity – of the water.’
Skipper is being launched as part of Castle’s summer Craft Beer Festival which runs from 8 June – 15 July.