Pork crackling inspires new chestnut ale

Tom Parker Bowles Matthew FortLancaster Brewery has teamed up with the team behind Mr Trotter’s pork crackling to develop what is thought to be the first chestnut beer to be brewed and bottled in the UK.

Mr Trotter’s Great British Chestnut Ale, with ABV of 4%, was introduced in bottles in Selfridges and Booths supermarkets this summer but has now been launched into the on-trade in cask.

Under development by Lancaster Brewery master brewers for over a year, the ale blends roasted sweet chestnuts with malted Maris Otter barley.

The chestnuts give a nutty creaminess to the brew, and their honeyed taste balances the spiciness of the English Cascade and Bramling hops. The copper brown ale is rich and smooth, smells of sweet chestnuts and warm bread, and has a bitter sweet taste.

Elvin Willgrass, general manager at Lancaster Brewery, said: “We love experimenting with fine, natural and honest flavours, and have expertly developed some of the most innovative ales currently on the UK market. We are very excited to have developed the UK’s first chestnut ale.”

Mr Trotter’s Great British Chestnut Ale is recommended for serving at 10 to 12 degrees Celsius as fierce chilling of the chestnut will limit its honeyed aromas.

It was developed with the team behind Mr Trotter’s Great British Pork Crackling: food writers Tom Parker Bowles (pictured left) and Matthew Fort (pictured right) and beer expert and farmer Rupert Ponsonby. The brewery team helped them to source the right ingredi9ents and devise the packaging.

said: “The idea came out of a visit I made to Lancaster Brewery a year ago. Rupert had always wanted to brew a chestnut-flavoured beer, and as pigs are very fond of chestnuts, the marriage of Mr Trotter and chestnuts seemed too good an opportunity to miss. The brewing team thought so, too.”

Rupert added: “The chestnuts give a nutty creaminess to the brew and a honeyed note, which balances the spiciness of the English-grown Cascade and Bramling Cross hops. Mr Trotter’s has deep, sweet sourdough flavours, and tastes bolder than its lowly 4% ABV.

“Before hops arrived in Britain in the 1500s, brewers would have used all manner of odd-sounding ingredients to reflect the seasons and to spice up the cereals such as barley, rye, wheat or oats used in their brews. So using chestnuts feels like a wonderful nod to the past, with flavours that should appeal even to those who don’t often choose a glass of ale.”

Tom added: “This is a fine ale, with a long, languorous finish, and wonderful balance too. And it works wonders with both Mr Trotter’s Original Pork Crackling, and Mr Trotter’s new Jalapeno Chilli flavour.”

Elvin added: “We are the fastest-growing brewery in the UK, have exceptional expertise in brewing and some of the best facilities in the country. We were delighted to work in partnership with the Mr Trotter’s team to help them create a unique quality-tasting ale with great product presentation. Its taste has already been highly commended and it has had a great reception in the industry.”

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