There’s nothing like a shiny new craft beer to breathe life back into our stuffy, hayfever-ridden lives, and a few brave breweries have stepped up to the challenge...
Big Drop Brewing Co
For years, low-abv beers were relegated to the back of the fridge, only reached for when a rare, downtrodden designated driver of a rowdy group stepped up to the bar to place their order.
Low alcohol brewer Big Drop Brewing Co is working to change that with lower-abv beers that don’t skimp on flavour. Their latest launch is the Big Drop sour, which weighs in at less than 0.5% abv.
‘[Sours] can be quite difficult,’ Johnny Clayton, Big Drop’s master brewer, told Imbibe. ‘The Big Drop sour is quite delicate and light, which leaves nowhere to hide as far as off flavours are concerned, meaning our recipe and quality assurance has to be spot on.’
Said to have a citrus aroma and a tart, but smooth finish, Big Drop’s latest product promises to be unlike any sour on the market – in its alcohol content, at the very least. Designated drivers, rejoice!
0.5% abv, £22.50/24x33cl, Borough Wines, 020 8988 3157
Bath Ales Brewery
It seems that Bath Ales is abiding by the age-old tradition of going big, or going home. Their opening of Hare Brewery in Warmley coincides with the launch of Sulis, a new English lager, available to the on-trade on draught.
Bath Ales crafted Sulis with the goal of creating the ‘ultimate English lager’. The addition of new hop varieties is meant to add clean flavour and a bit of fruitiness – think melon, with notes of lemony zing.
Will Bath Ales’ new offering become the nation’s go-to lager? Only time will tell. But with a namesake like Sulis, the Roman goddess of Bath, the brew is off to a pretty powerful start.
4.2-4.4% abv, POA/30l keg; POA/50l keg, Bath Ales, 0117 947 4797
After launching in its home market of Amsterdam just two years ago, Lowlander Beer has set its sights on going global – and that includes making moves to Germany, China and, of course, the UK.
Lowlander’s four beers – a white ale at 5% abv, a pale ale at 4.5%, an IPA at 6% and a porter at 6% – are influenced by gin and genever distilling, leaning heavily on herbs and spices to bring flavour to its products. Its self-styled ‘botanical brewing’ uses ingredients like sumac, liquorice root and coriander.
In a country with marvellous innovations such as roast lamb and mint crisps, we’re clearly all for inspiration and creativity. Lowlander, bring on your botanical beers.
4.5-6% abv, POA, 10 Degrees C, 01442 863 661