Lancaster Brewery – the multi-award winning and fastest growing brewery in the country – claims to have created the first chestnut beer to be brewed and bottled in the UK. This August, Mr Trotters Great British Chestnut Ale 4% abv was launched in a bottle in Selfridges and Booths, and is now available to pubs in cask.
Under development by Lancaster Brewery master brewers for over a year, Mr Trotters Great British Chestnut Ale blends roasted sweet chestnuts with malted Maris Otter barley to produce a happy harmony. The chestnuts give a nutty creaminess to the brew, and their honied taste balances the alluring spiciness of the English Cascade and Bramling hops. Ideal as an accompaniment to quiches, pies, patés and roasts, the copper brown ale is rich and smooth, smells of sweet chestnuts and warm bread, and has a bitter sweet taste.
“We’ve a passion, drive and knowledge of ale that is hard to beat,” said Elvin Willgrass, general manager at Lancaster Brewery.
“We love experimenting with fine, natural and honest flavours, and have expertly developed some of the most innovative ales currently on the UK market. We are very excited to have developed the UK’s first chestnut ale.”
Lancaster Brewery developed the unique beer for the team behind Mr Trotters Great British Pork Crackling; food writers Tom Parker Bowles and Matthew Fort, and beer guru Rupert Ponsonby. The Mr Trotters team sought a partnership with Lancaster Brewery on account of the company’s depth of brewing knowledge, state of the art brewing facilities, brewing capacity and sales infrastructure.
Over 12 months, Lancaster Brewery guided the Mr Trotters team to bring the ale to market. The brewery sourced the finest ingredients, including chestnut flour from France, and premium grade English Cascade and Bramling hops. Three test brews were then carefully conducted to get a unique and finely balanced flavour. Lancaster Brewery then meticulously developed retail ready packaging for the product and identified relevant product stockists.
Willgrass said: “We are the fastest growing brewery in the UK, have exceptional expertise in brewing and some of the best facilities in the country. We were delighted to work in partnership with the Mr Trotters team to help them create a unique quality tasting ale with great product presentation. Its taste has already been highly commended and it has had a great reception in the industry.”
Fort said: “The idea came out of a visit I made to Lancaster Brewery a year ago. Rupert had always wanted to brew a chestnut flavoured beer, and as pigs are very fond of chestnuts, the marriage of Mr Trotter and chestnuts seemed too good an opportunity to miss. The brewing team thought so, too.”
Ponsonby said: “The chestnuts give a nutty creaminess to the brew and a honeyed note, which balances the spiciness of the English-grown Cascade and Bramling Cross hops. Mr Trotter’s has deep, sweet sourdough flavours, and tastes bolder than its lowly 4%abv.”
“Before hops arrived in Britain in the 1500s, brewers would have used all manner of odd sounding ingredients to reflect the seasons and to spice up the cereals such as barley/rye/wheat/oats used in their brews. So using chestnuts feels like a wonderful nod to the past, with flavours that should appeal even to those who don’t often choose a glass of ale.”
Food writer Parker Bowles adds: “This is a fine ale, with a long, languorous finish, and wonderful balance too. And it works wonders with both Mr Trotter’s Original Pork Crackling, and Mr Trotter’s new Jalapeno Chilli flavour.”
Mr Trotter’s Great British Chestnut Ale was launched in Selfridges, with a new listing in Booths Supermarkets in the North West; and will be made available to garden centres, farm shops and delis at an RRP of £2.45 per 50cl bottle; and by the case from www.mrtrotter.co.uk at £26.10 per case of 8, delivered mainland UK.
Mr Trotter has used the Cyclops system of see/smell/taste for his back label to allow beer shoppers to understand more about the style, colour, aroma, flavour and food pairing of the beer.
Serving temperature: Mr Trotter’s Great British Chestnut Ale is best served at 10-12 degrees, i.e. only very lightly cooled. Fierce chilling of the chestnut will limit its honeyed aromas.