Features Cheers70BenWilkinson

Published on May 2, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour

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007 in hop and beer bonding

Wylam Brewery brewers turned out in force for a meet the brewer event at the Crown Posada in Newcastle to highlight some of its hop-heady range. Head brewer Ben Wilkinson was in demand by beer lovers curious to discover how some of the flavour profiles came about.

Ben said: “Vic Secret 007 (4.7% abv) is the seventh beer in our single hop cask series, the idea being to give the cask drinker a chance to enjoy the New World hops generally used in keg, can and bottle. Vic Secret is an Australian crossbreed variety when blended with others provides pungent notes of peach/stone fruit alongside deep floral/perfume qualities. We added 7.0% acid malt to the grist for a slight gooseberry sourness which we feel balances well.

“The Upside Down (6.4% abv) is our collab with Simply Hops, our number one hop supplier. It’s an experimental New World IPA using a blend of US and southern hemisphere hop varieties, including AU035 – so new it hasn’t got a name yet. Its a heady amalgam. We use a heavy volume of rolled oats, wheat and golden naked oats in the grist with a base malt of Weyermann low colour pilsner malt letting us go big on mouthfeel while keeping the colour pale, dank and hazy. “Sticky Bud DIPA (8.7% abv) is our second double IPA (Double Jakehead being the first). Again lots of rolled and pinhead oats present in the grist alongside freshly baked bread produced for us by our good friends at Pink Lane Bakery using varied grains and their unique sourdough starter without any salt or oil content which adds to the rich, dense sticky mouthfeel. High volumes of cold side hopping with Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic T90 pellets and the addition of Yakima Chief Lupulin powder delivers massive blasts of mango, pineapple and papaya.

“This month we are a year into the new site and brewhall at Exhibition Park in Newcastle and after a hard but rewarding 12 months we are nicely dialled into the kit, enjoying fine-tuning, experimenting and producing ever-more new products. The extra capacity gives us the capability to reach out to our national demand as well as beginning our journey into export.”


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Alastair Gilmour



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