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Simple Things Fermentations

Big Ideas Series 10.2 - Pale Ale



A hazy Pale Ale brewed with powerfully fruity hops, but not quite as we know it. The hop varieties are German and distinctly different to the New World varieties usually deployed for this style, offering perhaps a more delicate contribution, but with the easy drinking, upfront fruity fun still present and correct.

Tasting Notes

We have low bitterness here, a soft mouthfeel courtesy of Glasgow’s trademark Loch Katrine water and a healthy dose of oats in the grist and, of course, a full and flavoursome hop profile. The combination of the three German varieties, together with the estery LAIII yeast, present a cocktail of orange zest, grapefruit, melon, passionfruit and vinous gooseberry, while allowing the sweetness of the malt to shine too. It’s familiar but different, and dangerously easy drinking.

What The Hell Was I Thinking?

Good question! Brewing a new school, hazy, hoppy pale ale on an old school brewing kit with open fermenters is not an easy task. This type of beer has huge potential for spoilage through exposure to oxygen and as such it feels like tending a delicate flower through a thunderstorm. So why not ramp up the challenge a bit further and avoid the hop varieties that have become synonymous with this style; your Citras, Mosaics, Simcoes, Ekuanots, Galaxies and whatnot? These guys aren’t known as the ‘cheat hops’ for nothing. But no, me and my ‘Big Ideas’ mean it’s a quest for the most assertive European hops, and with this beer style we can rule most of the options out straight away because any significant amount of spiciness just won’t work. So after extensive trials it’s the German hops that fit the bill, and three from the same family and bred at the Huell Institute around the same time. The result isn’t the same as a pale brewed with more sophisticated kit and using the hops mentioned above, but it is a cousin, perhaps, and that’s sort of the point. Taste the difference, celebrate variety.

Bottle conditioned, vegan friendly


Malts: Maris Otter, Oats, Wheat, Munich

Hops: Magnum, Hallertau Blanc, Mandarina Bavaria, Huell Melon

Yeast: London Ale III

Big Ideas Series 10.2 - Pale Ale