Our new red ale – WITCH-HARE – is inspired by the legends of witches shapeshifting into hares at night, allowing them to roam freely amongst us, foraging for food without arousing suspicion. Although some do say the shapeshifting was to perform Devilish deeds

We too decided to do some shape-shifting when developing the recipe for our red ale.

Not for us a transformation into a hare – but we did turn away from Norfolk to Europe for some inspiration.

In a move from our tradition and passion of brewing with Norfolk Maris Otter malted barley we have turned – on this occasion – to some rather special German malt.

But why so?

Well for starters we wanted to launch this beer during Oktober Fest – and we figured to be genuine we should use German ingredients. We also wanted WITCH-HARE to be a deep red ale – with a nod to a devilish Halloween but also for a nice autumnal fireside ale.

The malt in question is crafted from the finest quality German brewing barley, using a special malting process to intensify the colour into a deep orange-red shine. The malt we used also helps to bring fantastic aromas to the beer. Indeed, so famed for its use in red ales the malt is actually called red!

To achieve those aromas we decided to stick with the German theme – using hops grown there; Huell Melon. This hop is actually a daughter hop of Cascade and imparts lovely notes of apricot, melon, strawberry. We have paired this hop with Belma – a robust American hop we used to use a lot of and are bringing it back to Moon Gazer to add more melon, pineapple and strawberry characteristics.

So, you have an intensely malty ale, with some lovely fruity hops to create a balanced, warming beer – one to be savoured.

Oh, and by the way, our passion for Norfolk Maris Otter remains – but we thought we would ring the changes for WITCH-HARE.

You will also be able to enjoy the new ale at The Norwich CAMRA Beer Festival week commencing 24th October.