To say 2020 was a bit of a difficult year would be like saying that Bruce Banner got a little bit cross from time to time (he’s the guy who became the Hulk if you’re not a Marvel nerd). The entire industry has been hit hard especially the independent craft beer outlets. It may seem from the outside that the scene is booming and retailers are selling more than ever in off sales but the loss of draught beer sales is enormous. We can only speak for ourselves but in 2019 78% of our production was made up of draught sales and that impact is being felt across the industry. But some positives did come from it and the situation has especially brought the beer community closer together.
Last Autumn, Manchester craft beer legends Cloudwater gave us a shout and asked if we’d like to work with them and be showcased on their webshop (as they did with a number of UK breweries). Being listed on their webshop and promoted via their channels has been a massive opportunity for us to reach beer consumers who might not otherwise come across us or be hesitant to place an order with us directly. We’re incredibly grateful to Paul, Connor, Vilma, Adam and everyone at Cloudwater – they really are great people to work with.
This has led on to us being part of their Indie Spotlight Series. The aim of this series is to shine a light on the independent beer retailers who really underpin the UK’s craft beer scene. Indies are so important to our scene and they are where some of the nicest, most passionate craft beer lovers can be found. It’s imperative we support these guys as suppliers and as consumers as it’s really tough out there at the moment. As a result, Cloudwater have set up collaboration brews at 9 of the UK breweries they worked with last year and all of these beers will only be sold in independent retailers. More about the series on their blog here: https://cloudwaterbrew.co/blog/2021/2/2/indie-spotlight-series
The beer we brewed at Wild Horse is called Magic Hour and is a modern take on a West Coast IPA. WCIPAs are known for their piney and resinous flavours and a pronounced dry and bitter finish. We absolutely adore this style of beer and it’s one of the first styles from the US craft beer revolution that became popular over here in the UK. Think Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Stone IPA which were in part the inspiration for beers like Thornbridge Jaipur, Punk IPA and of course our Palomino Pale Ale.
Magic Hour is full of fruity, modern hop character, a little bit of haze, but with a recognisably West Coast finish. A bright, zesty hop character hits you first, giving way to a some resinous, piney notes. Upfront there’s prominent pineapple, the mouthfeel is full, bordering on juicy. As you drink through you get a bit of dank, resinous hop character, the beer starts to dry out and a lovely, grippy bitterness starts to come through.
Magic Hour is released on Friday 12th February at independent outlets only (i.e. you can’t buy it from us!). The beer will be available at local outlets first and is then being distributed further afield over the following 2 weeks. Below is a list of where it’s available locally. Cloudwater have a spreadsheet in their blog (link above) with where they will be distributing it to.
Stori Beers – Bala
Blue Sky Bach – Bangor
Londis – Bethesda
Beer Heroes - Chester
Black Cloak Brewery & Taproom – Colwyn Bay
Vinomondo – Conwy
Londis Madoc Street -Llandudno
The Bottle Shop @ TAPPS – Llandudno
Y Garreg – Llanfrothen
Mold Alehouse – Mold
Craft Beer Cave – Penrhyn Bay