We were well chuffed last year when we scooped 2 golds in the Eastern Region of the Society of Independent Brewers awards. Now we have brewed them again as they are entered into next month’s national finals where they compete against the other 6 regional winners to crown the national champion in their category.
In a time when competition and innovation is fierce it was reassuring in a way that two such ‘traditional’ brews stood out from the crowd.
So, we thought we’d share a bit more about the 2 brews so you can gain an insight into what makes them winners, not just in competitions but as regulars on bars across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Moon Gazer Nibbler – Ruby Ale 4% abv
A regular in the Moon Gazer core beer range since we first started back in 2012, this ruby beer has steadily grown a loyal following. In fairness back then people had to wait for the ruby ale to be added to the range. You see Mr Moon Gazer is not a dark beer drinker so prioritised Jumper, Jigfoot, Stubblestag – but pester power for something dark soon won the day and our ruby ale arrived.
At 4% it was important to us to add plenty of complexity and flavour into the beer – complexity usually afforded to stronger beers. To achieve this we use a combination of 6 hops and 4 malts.
We also wanted the beer to be unashamedly traditional – just a good session ale. The hops are a mix of 3 UK and 3 Eastern European varieties. Soft orange, citrus, spicy and herbal notes from the hops – but nothing too dominant as we want the malt to do a lot of the flavour work here. The hops include Admiral, Ernest, Bobek and Hersbrucker.
As to the malts Maris Otter shines through but is supported by chocolate malt, Crystal 400 and some wheat.
Taste profile: malty overtones, rich, spicy aroma and full bodied.
Moon Gazer Triskele – smoked porter 4.5% abv
A seasonal special and a winter favourite, Triskele is a twist on an old-style porter.
Originally co-created with Jon from Charles Faram hops, when he was brewer at Gadd’s Ramsgate Brewery this is another beer which has a band of merry followers.
A very complex malt recipe – with 6 varieties supporting Norfolk Maris Otter. The dark colour comes from 2 German specially malts, which usually are de-husked to avoid the bitterness which can come from darker roasted malts – adding instead just colour and flavour. The light smoked flavour comes form beech smoked barley – not loads of it , just enough. Finally orange and coriander are added to bring some more citrus overtones.
Hops are traditional with UK Goldings – a very traditional hop for porters – adding just enough hop so as not to distract from the malts.
A veritable smorgasbord of flavours but none of which dominate – but take one of them out and you change the beer – it all just works to create a warming, comforting beer.
Taste profile: Rich, complex ale with liquorice and blackcurrant overtones with a lightly smoked orange and coriander finish.
Both beers are firm favourites, and while the award recognition is lovely – more so is the pubs insisting on having them in their line up. That’s the best accolade you can get.
Look out for news how we do next month, we will keep you posted.
Available in cask, key keg and bottle