Drinking a beer, or enjoying an orange Solero on the beach? You’re definitely drinking a beer, but with Open House, we have collaborated with Basqueland Brewery on a fresh and fruity pale ale delight. Double dry hopped with spectacular and spanking new hop Sabro, paired with Amarillo for a light citrussy pale. Hops are only one half of the story, however, and yeast has its part to play in this pan-european party.
It never hurts to know your history. We love the soft fruitiness of a hazy pale, and with this beer we wanted to raise a glass to the European O.Gs of Haze. Rather than the now-traditional New England yeast, we used WLP400 to ferment, to showcase this fruity Belgian yeast wonder in a modern DDH pale.
Let us hand you over to Pressure Drop’s head brewer and forklift speed racer, Ben Freeman, for the science bit:
“For this collaboration with Basqueland Brewery, we wanted to make a hazy, double dry-hopped pale ale with a bit of a difference to the usual beer in this style. After some success making pale ales with Belgian yeast strains last year, we decided to use a classic Belgian Witbier yeast, originating from the Flanders region and used to produce the traditional Belgian white beers.
The yeast has a high ester and phenol profile, meaning it produces a range of organic flavour compounds as it ferments, providing extra layers of flavour to compliment the grist, hops and fruit additions. There are a huge variety of Belgian yeasts available to brewers, each providing different flavour profiles and behaving differently to manipulation by the brewer. It is these subtle differences in Belgian yeast characteristics that excite us. Finding new ways to compliment them with grist design, hop varieties and secondary additions such as fruits and spices is a great creative outlet for us.
With our Basqueland collab, we paired the citrus notes of Amarillo and Sabro hops with the pithy bitterness of orange zest and the banana, spice and clove provided by the yeast. The result, intense overripe fruit balanced with sharp tangy bitterness and a dry finish. A real favourite in the brewery, and a concept we will continue to explore.”
The artwork is designed in-(open)house, by Sienna, our high-kicker-in-chief, who you may remember from previous hit labels like All Else Fails and Tamborine Mountain. It nods to the mountain ranges that appear thematically on many other Pressure Drop labels.
In these times of international reflection, here’s to a collaboration with a Basque Country brewery owned by three Americans, with a brewery in Tottenham founded by two Londoners and a Cornishman. The beer was made by a Scotsman and a Northerner, with a Canadian, an Aussie and an Irishwoman looking on. Here’s to Open House!