It looks like the latest collaboration over at Brains Craft Brewery is with Melissa Cole. The recently opened, on-site micro-brewery is currently collaborating with beer writers to produce a variety of India Pale Ales. The other collaborators include Martyn Cornell, Tim Hampson and Simon Martin.
Melissa Cole was the creative force behind Ilkley Brewery’s Siberia, a rhubarb saison, an absolute cracker of a beer – sometimes divisive, but guaranteed to get people talking. Chris Hall described it as “rich, juicy, creamy, sweet, spicy, and does that great Saison trick of being smooth, sharp and super-refreshing. Off-the-wall and to be savoured if encountered”. For my part, I felt I had been exploded back in time by the slightly sour, slightly aggressive, entirely excellent rhubarb saison.
So, I was almost foaming at the mouth on the morning drive to work after I had read that Melissa Cole was working on an IPA with Brains. Annoyingly, my Twitter access was down all day, so productivity was up but it wasn’t until the evening I found out some more about the brew.
Titled ‘Fruits of our Labour’, it is (according to Melissa Cole’s own tweets) an American West Coast style IPA made with fruit. Simcoe and Citra hops are added early, and later on Cascade and Summit pellets are added, along with a whole Amarillo cone “for company”. Then the whole thing takes a mad twist with the addition of pineapple, mango, peach and passion fruit puree. That’s got to be your five-a-day right there.
It sounds pretty bold for Brains, but this is what the Craft Brewery needs to be doing. I’m hoping it’s so hoppy and fruity that after one pint everything looks like a Dali painting for the rest of the day. I’m unsure when it will be out – if precedent is anything to go by, it should be on cask in Cardiff first, and if it proves popular (like their Barry Island IPA) then it will be bottled later on.