Taste Guide: A smooth complex red ale with a well balanced malt and orange/strawberry hop profile, warming mouthfeel.

AWARD WINNER Already – silver medal winner in SIBA EASTERN Region keg awards

This year we wanted to ring the changes with our winter beer offering – and we have always hankered after brewing a red ale – inspired by some of the great Belgian and German beers.

What tipped the balance was our red cask ale last year – Witch Hare – which was such a big hit; lush, red and moreish.

So, we have taken the base of that red ale and added a few twists to give it a bit more complexity for winter which includes some blood orange to accentuate the fruitiness.

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?

We wanted Snowshoes to be a deep red ale –for a nice 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.

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.  Add in the blood orange tea for a bit more fruitiness and complexity.

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

A big shout out to H the landlord of the Earle Arms for coming up with the name – often used to describe the mountain hare in America and indeed Scotland – cheers.

Also available in bottles.