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Double DIPA

Double DIPA

Double IPA (DIPA)… a hop-forward, high ABV pale ale, intense in both aroma and flavour and an immensely popular beer style in today’s beer market.

The DIPA has become more and more prolific in recent years, and despite us being well-known for creating an entire plethora of hoppy pale ales, we’d NEVER, yes that’s never, in 22 years made one. We’ve come close with strong IPAs such as 2016’s much acclaimed Hop Smash, brewed in collaboration with Michigan’s Kuhnhenn Brewery, and have experimented on our pilot kit brewing up 10%+ behemoths for one-off releases for our own festivals, but none have before gone on general release.

Well, now we’ve made two! 

First up we created Deliverance, a new addition to our Brewers Emporium range. As with other beers within the range, the plan is for this to be a constantly rotating and evolving brew. For the first iteration we decided to go for a somewhat traditional DIPA (now there’s a juxtaposition for you), with a high bitterness and in keeping with the West Coast style. The malt grist was comprised of primarily low colour Maris Otter pale ale malt, but with additions of Munich and Caramalt. These slightly sweeter biscuit malts worked well to balance with the hops – Mosaic, Galaxy, Citra and Vic Secret, which were selected to achieve maximum juiciness! Different dry hops were added at two separate points to provide a platform for them all to stand alongside each other in harmony rather than fighting for the foreground to allow for a balanced and full bodied final flavour.

Completing this season’s double DIPA action here at Abbeydale, we invited Kev from Vibrant Forest to collaborate with us using one of our absolute favourite hops and one which Kev was keen to experiment with – the honourable Nelson Sauvin. This one doesn’t fit particularly neatly within a particular category box – whilst the West Coast style is still apparent, we’ve also included a New England influence. The malt bill in this case included 15% oats and 8% rye, giving a silken and slightly spicy backdrop for the grape notes provided by the hops to really get their sunglasses on. We dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin at two different points so as to ensure full dispersion of the hops and a more intense flavour.

Aside from the mashtun being VERY full for both of the above brews, we also modified our mash temperature and process to allow for the production of additional fermentable sugars to allow us to achieve the high ABVs required. As such, mash in temperature was 63°C as opposed to our usual 66.5°C to provide optimum conditions for enzyme action.

In both beers, we used a US 05 yeast strain which provides a clean flavour and has a higher alcohol tolerance than our house yeast (which is perfect for our core range, but not quite robust enough for boozier beasts!).

In a beer with a high ABV, it’s especially important to ensure that careful consideration is given to balancing the beer, and make sure that the flavour palette can stand up to the stronger alcohol flavour so that the beer does not become overwhelming, but retains a refreshing and overall tasty character. Although the finished beers came in at the same ABV, a hefty 9.0%, the diverse hops used and different finishing gravities (Deliverance came in at 12.1 and Nelson Sauvin at 8.8) ensured that each distinct beer has its own individual vibe – the Deliverance is bold and bitter yet balanced, whereas the Nelson Sauvin has a slightly softer, juicy mouthfeel.

We recommend storing these beauties at refrigerator temperature and drinking them fresh to allow those glorious hops to shine their very brightest.

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Sunfest 2018

Sunfest 2018

Consider this your advance warning… the eleventh Sunfest will be taking place at the Rising Sun this year from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th July!

Over 100 beers will be featured across cask and keg, with a wide selection of cider and other goodies too. Plus a range of food stalls, an eclectic mix of entertainment, and the usual incredible atmosphere.

More details to be confirmed in due course, do feel free to get in touch if you have any beers or breweries you would love to see included.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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Agent of Change

Agent of Change

We are pleased to introduce our fourth annual collaboration with the Festival of Debate team – Agent of Change, a sessionable 4.0% pale ale perfect to ponder over. 

Founded in 2015, the Festival of Debate explores politics, economics and society in 2018 through a series of panel discussions, debates, Q&As, artistic responses, keynote speeches and other public events in Sheffield.

The eye-catching pump clip for the beer was created by illustrator Lisa O’Hara, who told us about her inspiration for the artwork… “At the time of receiving this brief, I had been actively adding to a matchbox label collection – which made for a great source of inspiration, in their size and simplified content. I am particularly inspired by the aesthetic of Scandinavian designers like Olle Eksell and Marianne Westman. Since Festival of Debate encompasses people and politics I tried to incorporate a strong and empowered looking figure. Merging this with the beer pump format; simple geometric compositions, and a limited palette – I had a lot of fun getting to the final design. Opus are an excellent bunch to work with and trusted me a great deal, which was refreshing!”

Festival of Debate is coordinated by not-for-profit company Opus Independents in collaboration with over 40 partner organisations across the city. This year’s programme takes place in April, May and June and features over 70 events of all shapes and sizes – the biggest programme yet.

This year’s Festival strands are Culture, Self & Identity, Democracy & Activism, Fairness & Equality, Futures, and Science & Environment. As well as having produced Agent of Change in support of the festival, this year we are also very proud to be sponsoring the Democracy and Activism strand… so keep your eyes peeled for the Abbeydale team at some of the events!

Festival founder James Lock said: “Our chance for a better world comes from facing issues head on, learning new points of view, making the effort to listen and being empathetic with one another. We believe this is everyone’s responsibility and hope that this year’s Festival programme goes some way to furthering that ideal.”

The Festival of Debate starts on 18th April and runs through until 29th June. For a full list of events, to purchase tickets for paid events, and to find out more information about the festival, please visit the Festival of Debate website.

There’s absolutely tons going on and something for everyone, so do get out there, enjoy the events, get involved in the debates, try our collaboration beer and let yourself be an agent of change!

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GUEST POST: Beer and food with Ros Ayres

GUEST POST: Beer and food with Ros Ayres

In the first of a new series, we’ve invited Ros Ayres, a local blogger and food expert, to share her thoughts on our beers and come up with a special food pairing. Ros is a Sheffield based food blogger at Nibbly Pig and is also the food editor for Now Then Magazine.

Here’s what Ros made of her trip to the brewery…

“I love hearing the stories behind food and drink businesses and learning more about what drives people’s passion and creativity. It makes me truly appreciate the hard work and heart that’s gone into creating a product.

With over 20 breweries in Sheffield and such a choice of types of beers available from pales, IPAs, stouts to sours – there is much to say about beer. Abbeydale Brewery are producing some interesting new ales and I chatted to Sales and Marketing Director, Dan to find out more… as well as giving myself the challenge to come up with a food pairing for one of their beers.

Over the last year, the brewery have been working with different ingredients, developing recipes and considering tasting notes to bring a little bit of something extra. The whole team work collaboratively to come up with beers, the brewers get experimenting to check it will work and most importantly that it will taste good.

You might have seen their cans featuring ranges including Unbeliever, a sour, Salvation, a stout and Voyager, an IPA. For these specific beers, the recipe is varied at intervals to mix up the flavours and give us punters another beer to sample. For example, there’s been a rice pudding, coconut and rocky road version of the Salvation stout amongst others.  

Dan explained it’s all about learning, and working on collaboration brews is another great way the brewery share knowledge on both sides.  The latest is A + B, a double dry hopped pale made with Bad Seed Brewing, which uses Lemondrop, Centennial and Cascade hops.

Abbeydale make a new beer every week, each brewer shares their expertise and ideas, then a lot of groundwork goes into formulate new recipes and then the brewing proper happens.  50% of the beer produced is distributed within 5 miles of the brewery and is available to buy in local shops and in pubs, including Abbeydale’s own, The Rising Sun, Fulwood Road and Devonshire Cat, Wellington Street.

There are longer term ‘experimenting’ projects happening too and Abbeydale brewer Jim is currently working on the Funk Dungeon. These are a range of slow-fermented barrel-aged beer which will take on average between 6 months and 2 years to produce.  The aging process gives more in-depth characteristics to the beer which you don’t get in quicker brewing. They don’t taste like a traditional ale and will appeal to different audiences who may not like mainstream beer.

New flavours to explore and making beer more accessible to more people can only be a good thing.

A sweet and sour pairing

I’m a fan of sour beers and they’re getting back on trend with breweries, although it’s actually one of the oldest beer styles. I decided to match Abbeydale’s sour, Unbeliever #4 (made using hibiscus and grapefruit) with a dessert, working on the contrasting principles of sour and sweet.

I used a recipe from Sophie Grigson’s book Spices to make Shrikhand, a traditional Indian sweet yoghurt flavoured with saffron and cardamom and topped with nuts.

For me, recipes are all about combining flavours, textures and colours and here I got to tick all of those boxes. The Unbeliever is bright pink from the hibiscus which provided a vibrant contrast to the saffron yellow dessert decorated with green pistachios. Flavour-wise, the beer was refreshing with a zesty zing which worked well with the earthy spiced shrikhand.



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Stoneworks Tap Takeover

Stoneworks Tap Takeover

It all started back at Salford Beer Festival in October last year, when festival founder and all round top bloke Jim Cullen introduced our brewer Jim to Steve – owner of Bexar County Brewery and co-owner of Peterborough’s premier craft beer bar, The Stoneworks. Steve came along to a bottle tasting of our then brand new Funk Dungeon releases, and to our surprise and absolute privilege, instantly invited us down to host a twenty-two line tap takeover at his bar – the largest event of this sort for us to date. We managed to wrangle ourselves a collaboration brew into the bargain and so last week we hopped on the train down south ready to create something truly unique.

Bexar County Brewery is a 7.5 BBL plant located on the outskirts of Peterborough city centre. Steve, who originally hails from Texas, is well known for his experimental brews with a massive emphasis on creating weird and wonderful flavour combinations. The idea we’d jointly agreed on was a beer based on the classic cocktail Dark and Stormy, usually a rum based beverage with generous flavours of lime and ginger. To recreate this in beer form, Steve’s approach was to close down the rest of his brewery production for an entire fortnight and rustle up a large batch of lime kombucha, essentially a tea which is fermented by a scoby – a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast – which grows to suit its environment (“a bit like a goldfish, then” being Laura’s key observation here). The result was a deliciously refreshing drink with a great hit of lime in there, and a giant scoby destined to be fed to Steve’s lucky chickens!

With the kombucha already made, all that was left for us to do on our brewday was get this hybrid beverage ready to make some alcohol! We were aiming for a dark beer, with chocolate and black malts added to the malt grist. 1kg of Perle hops went in at the start of the boil, just to add a gentle bitterness as well as stabilise the beer, along with 20kg of dark sugars and jaggery for that classic rich sweetness, reminiscent of the rum usually used in a dark and stormy cocktail. At the end of the boil, the wort was transferred through the under back, which was packed full of ginger tea to add a spicy element to our finished brew.

Once the beer, to be named “Death of Tomorrow”, was safely in the fermenter and the yeast pitched, it was off to the Stoneworks for our Tap Takeover and Meet the Brewer event. The Stoneworks is Peterborough’s only dedicated craft beer bar, with 22 keg lines giving scope for an interesting and progressive range of beers, alongside a carefully curated cocktail selection (the Mezcal Margarita was a big hit!) and enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, some of whom we were particularly pleased to see drinking there with us on their night off! It was also great to meet the team from other local breweries including Oakham, 3 Blind Mice and Baker’s Dozen. The bar was buzzing with a lively atmosphere all night and the beers seemed to go down really well. A special keg version of Deception was the first to kick on the evening, with the only keg of Absolution ever made (to date!) and Voyager 7 and 8 not far behind.

Before we left Peterborough, we also popped over to the Hand & Heart, a cask only bar out in the suburbs that’s had over 200 of our beers on over the years. Run by the charismatic Bram and Sue, they had also decided to dedicate all of their lines to our brews for Easter week to coincide with the Stoneworks event.

And a quick final note – we hope to get Steve back up to Sheffield for a return collaboration in late November… just round about the time of this year’s Salford Beer Festival! Look out for news on tickets and more on twitter @salfordbeerfest.

  • About Us

    A true Sheffield institution founded in 1996 and based in the heart of the Antiques Quarter, Abbeydale Brewery blends heritage and tradition with creativity and innovation.

    Abbeydale Brewery brochure

  • Contact Us

    Abbeydale Brewery Ltd
    Unit 8, Aizlewood Road
    S8 0YX
    Telephone: 0114 281 2712
    Email: [email protected]


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