Bourton-on-the-Water-based microbrewery Cotswold Brew Co's latest release is a rice lager aromatised with Olicana, a 'New-World-esque' British hop variety released in 2014
Dubbed Solicana (4.7% abv), the new beer is a limited edition for the summer and the brewery's first ever to be made with an adjunct ingredient, rice.
'The launch of "Solicana" is very much a continuation of what we wanted to achieve last year with the launch of our long-matured beers, and that is to challenge popular perceptions of lager,' said Jake Salter, Cotswold Brew Co's business development executive.
'This time we’ve added another dimension to that challenge with the use of rice as an adjunct grain, which is often negatively viewed as a cheap grain that adds little-to-no character and thins out the beer. We want to show people that you can make a great lager with rice. This will be a completely different style of lager to anything we have brewed before by really allowing the hop character of Olicana to shine through and give drinkers something different, full of flavour, and easy-drinking over the summer.'
The beer is pale golden, showing yeasty, lime and lemon zest aromas. This is complemented by tropical fruit notes such as mango and passionfruit coming from the use of Olicana hops, a dual-purpose variety first planted in 2009, now grown by Townend Farm (Herefordshire) and Stocks Farm (Worcestershire).
Solicana's palate is creamy, with flavours of cereals, flowers and hay, and the finish is delicately sweet.