Bedford brewer Charles Wells has unveiled a new beer that is a modern take on a traditional IPA, on draught and in bottles.
Charlie Wells Triple Hopped IPA is a blend of Galaxy, Simcoe, and Goldings hops, alongside various lighter malts, to create a traditionally bitter and hoppy IPA with a soft, modern tropical flavour.
It was launched at the weekend at the Craft Beer Rising show in London. It complements the Charlie Wells Dry Hopped Lager which has seen an encouraging first year of sales after its introduction in 2015.
Master brewer Chris Reid said: “I wanted to go back to the history books to deliver a really authentic beer, so spent a lot of time researching brewing archives, looking for traditional malt and hop recipes and working out how best to evolve them for modern tastes.
“But apart from its characteristic taste there are a couple of other things that I really love about this beer. The first is that the colour absolutely draws you in. It’s so sparklingly clear and is a beautiful light copper colour with gentle effervescence that the IPA is a seriously tempting pint.
“Secondly the beer is very drinkable. This sounds obvious but a lot of beers are so hoppy that the appeal doesn’t last beyond the first half pint or so. Charlie Wells Triple Hopped IPA is brewed with heaps of hops but its minerality ensures that you’re not over-powered by the hops.”
This comes from the natural mineral water from the artesian well sunk by the original Charles Wells who built the business in the late 19th century. The IPA has been Burtonised – a traditional method of adding sulphate to bring out the flavour of the hops.
Charlie Wells Triple Hopped IPA will initially be available in Charles Wells managed and tenanted pubs with wider distribution following. A 500ml bottle is available for off-trade stockists with a listing in Asda confirmed from April while on-trade customers can order in kegs and 330ml bottles. On-trade drinks supplier Matthew Clark has already signed up for the beer.
The branding features the character of Charlie Wells – a modern take on the brewery’s founder Charles Wells who bought a brewery in Bedford and 36 pubs in 1876. The bearded, modern character of Charlie is adorned with several tattoos that represent key aspects of Charles Wells’ 140 years of brewing heritage.