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  • Week 5 in our series of rare one-off keg launches culminated in the release of Chocolate and Tonka Bean Imperial Porter.

    Being the only dark beer in our series of 5 it seemed fitting that the launch coincided with a change in the weather - the autumnal feel in the air made the warming, rich characteristics of the beer even more appealing.

    Even though we’ve sold out, as with some of the other rare one-offs we do still have a couple of kegs which we’ll be delivering to specialist beer events later this autumn so keep your eye on beer list announcements if you’ve yet to try it.

    Although this was our final beer in the series of 5 it won’t be the end of new beer launches. Keep your eye on our Twitter or Facebook page to be the first to hear about future new releases. 

  • 25 September 2015

    Riding The Rainbow High

    As the dust settles on this year’s Trans-Atlantic Rainbow Project, we find ourselves still on a high from the sheer success and how well it has been received.

    At 10am on Saturday 19th the mixed boxes of the 7 collab beers were released for sale on Siren’s website and at various other outlets where they created such demand, never seen before in this project, liking it to a sell-out concert.

    Each launch simultaneously opened their doors at 12pm, seeing beer fans travel from all over the country tempted not only by the 7 draught Rainbow beers but by rare keg offerings from each of the US breweries, many rarely, if ever, seen in the UK. Along with the outstanding beer range, each launch had various street food vendors and live music to further entertain the crowds.

    As in previous years none of the breweries involved gave away what style of beer they had brewed until just before the launches (not even to each other) so this year saw, very on-trend, a dominance in sour style beers;

    Red - Magic Rock Brewing / Cigar City - Cigarro Roja Mágica 6.5% red IPA
    Orange - Buxton Brewery / Arizona Wilderness - Deep Rainbow Valley 8.5% soured orange juice saison aged on gorse flowers
    Yellow - Partizan / Prairie - Real Time Saison 6.5% kaffir lime, lemongrass & grapefruit saison
    Green - Hawkshead / Crooked Stave - Key Lime Tau (2π) 6.3% kettle-soured lactose infused golden ale
    Blue- Siren Craft Brew / Surly Brewing Co - Blue Sky, Blue Sea 5% seaweed and cloudberry gose
    Indigo - Beavertown / Dogfish Head - Ajna 4% oak barrel fermented wild ale
    Violet - Wild Beer Co / Firestone Walker - Violet Underground 5% cross-Atlantic wild ale

    We were blown away by the positivity around our Key Lime Tau (2π). Here are just some of the comments we received via Twitter;

    Incredible aroma on the Key Lime Tau, absolutely ronsealed and disarmingly well balanced beer for 6.3% - Hop & Barley ‏@hopandbarley

    The Key Lime Tau is like a cleansing lime kiss - Jeremy ‏@CraftbeerJeremy

    Wow. Just wow - Ian Sargent ‏@sargentian

    Well there’s now no doubt the Key Lime Tau takes the top rainbow ?? beer for me - Craig ‏@CAGarvie

    Rainbow Project was absolutely outstanding! So many great beers. The Key Lime was bonkers! The Free Trade Inn ‏@TheFreeTradeInn

    Key Lime Tau might be my favourite beer name ever. Appeals to my beer and math geek sides - Nathan Gaskin ‏@nathangaskin

    Really good beer. Can we have more?! Ladies That Beer ‏@ladiesthatbeer

    We would like to congratulate Ryan Witter and the collective of like-minded brewers on another year of amazing events and outstanding beers. We are very much looking forward to what is to come in 2016.

  • The fifth in our series of rare one-off keg beers to be released is an 8.5% imperial porter infused with tonka beans and cacao nibs.

    The beer encapsulates the flavours of both tonka beans and cacao nibs to bring a complex array of flavours like vanilla, coconut, cloves and dark chocolate with a hint of liquorice in the background. The changing flavour profile of this smooth, rich beer will bring a drinking experience unlike any other.

    Cacao nibs come from peeled, whole cacao beans (the key ingredient in chocolate) and tonka beans from the Cumaro tree that grow in Central and Southern America. Tonka beans are known for their potency and have long been used in the perfume industry but to our knowledge no one has ever made a beer using tonka beans in this country before.

    It’ll be pouring from 6pm at The Beer Hall on Friday 25th September, for as long as it lasts, served in half and third pint measures only.

  • 21 September 2015

    Key Lime Tau Sells Out

    The latest in our series of one-off beers to be launched at The Beer Hall has sold out.

    Key Lime Tau (2π), brewed in collaboration with Crooked Stave as part of the 2015 Rainbow Project, went on sale at 12pm on Saturday 19th September and by Sunday afternoon had all gone.

    The kitchen cooked up a dish to match the beer - a citrus cake with lime sorbet, sesame tuille & physalis, which one diner said "complemented the zesty lime flavours of the beer perfectly".

    If you missed out on the draught version of Key Lime Tau (2π) we do have a limited number of bottles which are available from The Beer Hall shop in Staveley and online in our beer shop.

    The next new rare beer launch is at 6pm on Friday 25th September.

  • 15 September 2015

    2015 Rainbow Project

    Caption: Head Brewers Chad (Crooked Stave) and Matt (Hawkshead)

    What started as a way of bringing brewers in the UK together in 2013 to challenge one another to push creativity to the limits has not only been successful but has since grown and developed with this year's project going trans-Atlantic - the 7 UK breweries have been teamed with 7 of the best from the USA.

    We had the great fortune of being paired with Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, specialists in the art of brewing with wild yeast. Head Brewer Chad Yakobson is one of the most respected and highly sought after experts in the field of brewing with Brettanomyces in the world.

    Drawing the colour green, together Matt and Chad decided to create a beer that nobody would expect from either head brewer. Both wanting to play to each other's strengths, thoughts of using the kettle souring technique Matt had been working on came to mind. This soon turned into a brew which would include lime, lemongrass, lactose and hops.

    Brewing together back in May, Matt and Chad created their take on Key Lime Pie - biscuity, spicy, sweet flavours with the sharp zestiness of lime. Following the success of the initial brew, it was decided that Chad would recreate the beer back at Crooked Stave, thus resulting in two ‘pies’.

    Born on both sides of the Atlantic is Key Lime Tau (2π) Tau mathematically being 2 x Pi (τ = 2π).

    Key Lime Tau (2π) and the 6 other rainbow beers will be released on draught at special launch events at Magic Rock Tap , Huddersfield and Beavertown Tap Room, London on Saturday 19th September (check out our What's On page). A limited edition mixed case of all 7 bottled beers along with a branded glass will be available to purchase too.

    Alongside the official launches we'll be showcasing Key Lime Tau (2π) at The Beer Hall on the 19th from 12pm.

    We're excited to see what the other pairings have created - there are no set boundaries to what can be brewed or how the colours are interpreted. Here's to 2015's Rainbow Project being even bigger and better than ever before!


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Hawkshead Brewery is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Hawkshead Brewery Ltd, Mill Yard, Staveley, Cumbria LA8 9LR. Registered number: 3209508
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