How Far We Have Come

Let's go back to the start.

As a new brewery in the UK in 2015 we kept our heads down for our first nine months as we found our feet, but we managed to bring our versions of Grisettes, Hopfenweisse, low strength kettle sours, and West Coast style IPAs and Pale Ales to the market. We pushed a few boundaries as we got started by not making a core range of beer, making styles not brewed in the UK before, and centring our output on seasonal, evolving recipes.

Our trajectory changed after a road trip from Seattle to San Diego in August 2015. I came back to the brewery after a month on the road, having visited over 50 breweries, and with 3 suitcases of beer for the team. We sat round a table, in the fading sun, and took notes on the incredible West Coast IPAs and Imperial IPAs I'd brought back. Whilst our notes became less and less useful and intelligible over the course of that evening, our resolve to make a version of the beers we enjoyed  the most that evening grew with every sip.

In September that year, shortly after our tasting, I experimented with steeping hops at different temperatures, to figure out how we could get maximum impact from our whirlpool hop addition, without losing aroma through excessive evaporation, and without picking up too much extra bitterness. In November 2015, to celebrate a year since we got the keys to the warehouse we'd make our brewery in, we released DIPA, followed by DIPA v2 early 2016 to mark our first year of brewing.

Our first big festival was BrewDog’s 2016 AGM, and our aim was to brew the best hoppy beer at the festival - a fine excuse to push ourselves, and one heck of a gamble too. DIPA v3, brewed with a Vermont yeast strain, with a hefty whirlpool addition, whole cone hops in our hop back, and a (big for the time) 9g/L dry hop worked out perfectly, and lives on as something of a legend in our short brewing history.

Since early 2016, and our release of v3 a lot has changed. From annual, infrequent IIPA/DIPA releases, derision from some UK brewers and the consumers alike (for making what were incorrectly labelled as lazy, technically incompetent beers), from conversations about beer quality that focused on shelf life rather than freshness, from dry hopping rates in most IPAs unchanged for years on end, and from a time when few other breweries outside the US making hazy IPAs, the UK has come a long way. There is now more variety in UK brewed hoppy beers than ever before, hazy IPAs are becoming a more staple offering, and the feedback loop between customers and brewers is now so short that many brewers are not just making hoppy beers they're proud to produce, but also working on new and innovative hoppy beers that customers really want to drink. Freshness is becoming king.

We have been asked regularly since its release in April 2016 to brew v3 again, and I'm delighted to say we have finally made the space in our production plan to do just that. We aren't only releasing v3 2018 this week, but also v3.1 - a modern remake of our 2016 v3 recipe, complete with our now customary 24g/L dry hop charge, and made with all the technical and process tweaks we've developed in these past two years. Below you'll find a link to a spreadsheet outlining the subtle differences between v3 and v3 2018, as well as the further differences we've made in brewing v3.1.

v3, v3 2018, and v3.1 comparison sheet.

Without a doubt v3 was an excellent beer, but more than that it was a brand new experience, and caught so many by surprise that it's lived on in people's memory as a beer that hasn't been matched since. It's going to be great to hear from you all later this week after you've had the chance to try these beers side by side, and see for yourselves just how far we've come!

We're also releasing another batch of Chubbles this week, our much asked for collaboration with The Veil.

Please note that all three beers will start shipping on Thursday this week once we've finished canning all three beers, fresh from our cold store. We intend to retail as much of these batches as we can direct from our cold store, to get you these beers as fresh and as full flavoured as they come, but we may find we have a little to spare to distribute in the coming couple of weeks. Please keep an eye out for a feedback form we'll be running to collect responses from you all.

Lastly, we are coming up to a year's anniversary of running our online shop, a year of you being able to get our beer next day, to your door step, fresh off our canning line, and still cold out of our cold store. To celebrate we are running a promo offer of free shipping for the rest of the month. Please note that in order to make financial sense of such an offer we have to set a minimum order of 6 cans or 3 bottles (our average order is closer to 12 cans, so we're confident this ought to work well for the vast majority of you lovely people).


Paul Jones