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Published on September 5, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour

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Reflections on a glass of beer

Regular Cheers reader Ian Young writes: Northern Alchemy Brewery – based at the Cumberland Arms in Byker, Newcastle – has collaborated with Gosforth’s Hop Secret bottle shop and tasting room to create a beer that they wanted to represent the shifting boundaries of the burgeoning craft beer market.

Paul Frost from Hop Secret said the resulting Pineapple IPA reflected the sense of adventure in the beers they had sold over the years (initially at next-door Coppers) and what customers had taken home with them, plus what the business was all about.

“A pineapple-infused beer seemed to reflect that,” he said. “It had to be an IPA, it had to have bite, and it had to have a high alcohol content. The beer created by the guys from Northern Alchemy is all about what Coppers and Hop Secret has been built on and it’s exactly what the brief asked for.”

Pineapple IPA (6.7% abv) was unusual in that it was the first time Northern Alchemy brewer Andy Aitchison had achieved exactly what he wanted first time around and explained to the gathering how difficult developing a new brew is, getting the ingredients right and how long it takes. The Northern Alchemy team also gave a highly entertaining and informative talk on origins of the brewery and also answered questions on brewing (in a former shipping container) and their own brewing experiences.


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Alastair Gilmour



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