Majestic, the UK’s largest wine retailer, has teamed up with 2019 UK Brewer of the Year, Curious Brewing, to produce a new beer aimed squarely at Sauvignon Blanc drinkers – with the launch of Curious Cuvée IPA.
For over a decade, New Zealand Sauvignon has dominated the top-seller lists at retailers across Britain, which now sees the UK import over 5,597,000 Kiwi cases a year (according to Nielsen Dec 2018).
The venn diagram of India Pale Ale and Sauvignon Blanc drinkers has often been hinted at, with both drinks occupying a similar flavour profile: dry, zesty styles. But Majestic and Curious Brewing now see a huge opportunity in tempting the 70% of beer drinkers who opt for lager above all else, and may not have even considered IPA until now (Marston’s On-Trade Beer Report 2019).
A combination of minds, including former BrewDog and now Curious MD Gareth Bath, head brewer Matt Anderson and Chapel Down head winemaker Josh Donaghay-Spire, all bent to the task of really bringing the two styles firmly together. James Reed, beer buyer at Majestic, believes they got it spot on.
“At Majestic, our best-selling wines for over 10 years have been New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. However, often those customers may not be traditional ale drinkers at all – whether because they prefer lager or maybe are intimidated by the craft scene,” he explains.
The key ingredient used to really draw out the similarities is a rare Nelson Sauvin hop from New Zealand, famed for its vinous aroma qualities. Majestic believes that its use in Cuvée IPA Curious Brewing has created a style which will leave customers from both camps delighted.
“What Curious have done so brilliantly is create an expressive, citrussy style of IPA which we know the millions of people who enjoy their Sauvignon Blancs will love. It’s a beer every bit as expressive as a crisp wine. I think will be a hit; not just with craft puritans, but also with wine and lager lovers alike. We’re incredibly excited to see it on our shelves.” adds Reed.
Curious Cuvée IPA launches this month exclusively across all Majestic stores.