New Beers on Menu at The Botanist by Kieran Hartley

We always have our best-sellers, but each menu change is always a great opportunity to include some of the more niche beer & cider products and see how our customers react to them.

For this menu change we are including 2 beers from the Wild Beer Co. who are based in Shepton Mallet, UK – they are known for using wild yeast (Brettanomyces) and various strains of bacteria to give the beer an intention sourness. As Warren and I were already fans of sour styles of beer, we were pleased to include two from this brewery who are creating some adventurous beers.

Historically, almost all beers were sour to some extent as brewers didn’t have the luxury of having strains of yeast cultivated in a sterile lab environment – this meant that the cultures used were often contaminated with wild strains of yeast as well as bacteria. Unlike yeast which ferment sugars into alcohol, bacteria ferment sugars into different types of acid depending on the strain.

The ‘Wild Goose Chase’ includes Brettanomyces which gives it a slight tartness, but doesn’t make it too sour – the tartness accentuates the already tart gooseberry notes which leave a very drinkable saison-influenced beer.

The ‘Millionaire’ isn’t a sour style, but this one contains Lactose – a simple sugar found in dairy, that yeast are unable to ferment. This means that the lactose remains in the finished beer, giving it a creamy sweetness. Cocoa nibs and sea salt have also been added to create a homage to the millionaire shortbread – chocolate & salted caramel!

Belgian Witbiers are a popular style for brewers all over the world to recreate and add their own twist to. Our menu already contains Belgian style Witbiers from Iceland, Japan and UK (Einstok, Hitachino and Camden Brewery). On this menu change we have included ‘UFO White’ from Harpoon Brewery in Massachusetts. Typically this style is flavoured with Orange Peel & Coriander – however, Harpoon brewery have stated it is brewed with Orange Peel and a ‘unique blend of spices which have been ground by hand’.

Also from the U.S, we have included ‘Narragansett Lager’ by Narragansett Brewing Co. from Rhode Island. This flavourful lager was once the official beer of the Boston Red Sox and has recently seen a bit of a revival as it was the highest scoring Premium US lager on BeerAdvocate.com.

Our menu has always contained some medium sparkling apple ciders which have always appealed to most people’s palettes. With the rise of craft beer a large portion of the UK market are now turning their head towards more traditional styles of cider. For the first time we are including a dry, still cider for those who something less gaseous and with a sharper tang to it. The Cotswold cider co. ‘No Brainer’ will be served in a traditional glass flagon.

Also included from the Cotswold Cider Co is “Sweet Cheeks”, a 4.0% medium-sweet cider infused with blackberries and elderberries straight from the hedgerow, we see this being one for those who like flavoured ciders and we particularly like the fact that it has used berries available from the hedgerows around the orchard as opposed to the more tropical fruits you occasionally see in flavoured ciders.

Botanist Beer & Cider menu change:

  • Pacifico Clara
    Grupo Modelo – Mexico D.F, Mexico
    Mexican Pale Lager (4.5%). Brewed on the Pacific Ocean port city of Mazatlán, Pacifico Clara is a Mexican pilsner style lager that was first brewed in 1900. With its bright, clear appearance it is named ‘Clara’ meaning clear, as opposed to ‘Oscura’ meaning dark.
  • Tank 7
    Boulevard Brewing Co. – Kansas City, U.S.A
    Farmhouse Ale/Saison (8.5%).
    Named after the ‘pernickety’ fermenter number 7 in the Boulevard brewery, this troublesome fermenting vessel ended up producing the best Belgian style farmhouse ale and as a result, the brewers named the beer after the vessel! Fruity aromas, and grapefruit hop notes lend themselves well to this peppery, straw-coloured saison.
  • Single-Wide
    Boulevard Brewing Co. – Kansas City, U.S.A
    IPA (5.7%).
    Based on the famous British IPA style from the 18
    th century, this IPA boasts a powerful combination of 6 varieties of hops – some being used to dry hop the beer after fermentation. Tropical, piney bitterness from the hops comes balanced with a slight malty sweetness.
  • Millionaire
    Wild Beer Co. – Shepton Mallet, UK
    Milk Stout – (4.7%).
    Sometimes a drink can make you feel so decadent it’s like you’re a millionaire. This beer wraps you in a velvety cocoon, dresses you in a smart suit and takes you out for a special night on the tiles. Lactose, caramel, cocoa nibs and Cornish sea salt all merge together to provide a rich, full bodied beer that is truly reminiscent of a Millionaire shortbread.
  • Wild Goose Chase
    Wild Beer Co – Shepton Mallet, UK
    Gooseberry Saison – (4.5%).
    This saison is a result of the combination of wild yeast creating their tell-tale zingy flavour along with crisp hoppy notes and the addition of gooseberrys which provide a fruity, tart flavour. A wonderful twist on the saison style.
  • UFO White
    Harpoon Brewery – Boston, U.S.A
    American White Ale (4.8%).
    A homage to the Belgian style witbier, this beer has been brewed with orange-peel and coriander seeds giving it a rich aroma of citrus & spice. This one pours a hazy orange colour, with a slightly cloudiness due to it being unfiltered. Slightly towards the sweeter side of wheat beers, this one is spicy, refreshing & clean.
  • Xingu Black Beer
    Cerveja Brasil – Jacarei, Brazil
    Schwarzbier (4.6%).
    Pronounced “shin-goo”, this beer, Brazil’s premium export beer, is named after the Xingu River in Brazil. The beer was influenced by historic records from 1557 which detailed a black beer being produced in the Amazon rainforest and fermented naturally. The beer is dedicated to raising awareness to the Amazon rainforest. Expect an easy-drinking dark lager with notes of treacle, anise and molasses.
  • Narragansett Lager
    Narragansett Brewing Co. – Rhode Island, U.S.A
    American Lager (5.0%).
    Brewed since 1890 using the same 6 row barley, Iowa corn, seedless hops and the pure water from Lakes Ontario and Hemlock. Once the official beer of the Boston Red Sox, this prized US lager has seen a bit of a revival of late – possibly due to its distinct flavour and unmatched drinkability!
  • Somerset Haze
    Thatchers – Somerset, UK
    Medium Apple Cider (4.5%).
    Discovery, Falstaff, Gala and Jonagold apples are combined to create a perfectly balanced, crisp/sweet flavour. It is the juice of the Jonagold apples which provides a cloudy appearance to this medium-sweet apple cider.
  • Farmhouse Cider
    Cornish Orchards – Liskeard, UK
    Medium Apple Cider (5.0%).
    Pouring a rich gold colour, with a slight head, rich fruity aromas arise from the autumnal windfall apples used to produce this traditional cider. Excellently paired with a ploughman’s lunch or cheeseboard. Served in a traditional glass flagon, looking as good as it tastes, this is the producers best-seller!
  • Harry Masters Jersey
    Hoxton Cidersmiths – London, UK
    Medium Apple Cider (4.5%).
    Made from the vintage bittersweet apples made famous by Harry Masters in the 1800s. This distinctive cider goes down equally well on a day in the sunshine or a crisps winters night. Expect this one to be towards the sweeter end of the scale, with enough character to be different but not too challenging.
  • No Brainer
    The Cotswold Cider Co. – Oxfordshire, UK
    Dry Apple Cider (6.0%).
    If sweet and sparkling ciders are not to your taste this tangy, still cider this may be the one for you. A dry, still, hazy cider, renowned for its rich, fruity and distinctive quality. Served in an authentic glass flagon, you cannot get more traditional than this!
  • Sweet Cheeks
    The Cotswold Cider Co. – Oxfordshire, UK
    Medium Fruit Cider (4.0%).
    This traditional apple cider has been generously infused with hedgerow fruits – blackberrys and elderberrys. Giving it a lipsmacking fruity punch and a crimson red-tinted hue, this medium-sweet cider will surely tickle your fancy.

All beers can be sampled at The Botanist, 14-16 Temple St, Birmingham B2 5BG. Phone: 0121 600 7430

By Kieran Hartley
Assistant Beer Guru for NWTC

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