As I type this the Southstar pilot plant is slowly climbing towards a boil trialing a beer that will be brewed as a collaboration with The Twisted Hop Brewery in Christchurch early next month. The beer in question is going to be in the Burton Ale Style, a type of beer that has largely passed from the earth and has whose name has most definitely passed from the lexicon of most modern drinkers. Burton Ale was one of the standard draught beers you would find in an English pub up until the Second World War. The style disappeared very quickly and now most people would associated the world Burton with IPA and pale ale beers alone. Burton Ales were rich and malty , through the first ½ of the 20th century dark, and had big hop characters. There are a few examples left today, usually lumped into the catch all styles of Old Ale or Strong Ale. Historians Martyn Cornell and Ron Pattinson have done much to raise the style’s profile. Burton was always popular in London and Fullers not only produce a year round version 1845 but also have produced two Burtons in the Past Master Series.
The Southstar/Twisted Hop interpretation of the style will be a fitting blend of the new and old world, a mixture of New Zealand and English hops will take place alongside NZ Mild Malt, English Amber, Crystal and a touch of wheat and black malts, all tied together with the yeast that originated at the Fuller’s Brewery . The beer will be available as an autumnal release both in cask conditioned form at the Woolston Hop, and in keg form in Wellington.