Leading North Yorkshire craft brewers and distillers have teamed up to create an innovative new beer-based spirit.
Brass Castle Brewery in Malton and Hooting Owl Distillery at Barmby Moor near York have teamed up to produce Heart Of Brass, which is made at the distillery using one of the brewery’s beers as a base.
Brass Castle is calling the new spirit a bierbrand, and it is akin to a beer brandy or American-style beer schnapps.
The first batch has been made with Brass Castle’s Disruptor beer, a New England style IPA, and further variants will be launched using different beers. The spirit has an ABV of 48% so is served in small measures or used as a mixer.
Both companies hope it will encourage increased appreciation among beer and gin drinkers of the quality of Yorkshire’s drink producers.
Brass Castle has won numerous awards for its beers since launching ten years ago, and Hooting Owl has won several Great Taste Awards in the past two years for its gins.
Enjoy it neat or in a cocktail
Phil Saltonstall, owner of Brass Castle, said: “People should think of it as a beer lover’s alternative in any classic cocktail, or enjoy it neat – perhaps with ice.
“Distilling a beer is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I began brewing in the States, where this expertise crossover has become more common, and we’ve been keen to try it.
“We’ve had to be very flexible and reactive for the past year, to continue to brew beer that fits with the evolving Covid situation and rule changes. It’s been lovely to be able to run a longer-term innovative project alongside the chaos!
“We chose Hooting Owl to work with as they can do the complete distilling process from start to finish, and are particularly skilled at getting maximum flavour from small-batch production.”
Dominic M’Benga, owner of Hooting Owl, said: “There is more crossover nowadays between brewers and distillers and we’re very excited about this new partnership. We were interested to see how well the hop flavours would come through the distilling process, and we’re very pleased with the result.
“We look forward to seeing how well other beer styles distil and hope to also team up with Brass Castle on a genuine ‘made-in-Yorkshire’ rum”
The first version of Heart Of Brass is available on the Brass Castle website (www.brasscastle.co.uk). The next variant will be made with Bad Kitty, the brewery’s vanilla porter, and will be on sale later this year.
The Heart Of Brass name reflects the different elements of the distilling process, as well as being an obvious nod to the distilled base being a Brass Castle beer.
In spirit production, the first and last liquids produced in the distillation run are known as the heads and tails, while the desirable liquid captured in the middle of the process is known as the heart.