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Gothic Country

Gothic Country

It’s time for Chapter 10 to be released from our Funk Dungeon small batch barrel ageing project, and this time we’re showcasing a blend of European seasonal brewing and American style dry hopping techniques. Introducing Gothic Country: dry hopped heritage saison!

The base beer is formed of specialty malts from Crisp Malt, using Plumage Archer (a heritage floor malted grain) and toasted malted oats. Both of these grains are new to us in the mixed fermentation side of the brewery so we were really excited to see the outcome of the flavours after extended ageing in barrel. 

Plumage Archer is a heritage grain and was the world’s first commercially produced crossbred grain in 1905, but had fallen out of trend by the 60s as developments in grain crossbreeding led to others being preferred by brewers and farmers alike. However it didn’t do so until it had passed on its genes to some of these newer varieties – it’s the grandparent to our house malt, Maris Otter! It’s said to work well in hop forward styles, so was a great choice for this release which is the hoppiest yet to come out of the Funk Dungeon. (And if you want to know more about the history of this lovely little grain, Crisp have written all about it here.) The toasted oats are a small batch release again from Crisp, and were chosen for this recipe as they offer a pleasantly deep nuttiness similar to toasted almonds or hazelnuts and in this beer work really nicely with the toasted character of the barrels the beer was aged in. 

After mashing and boiling as we normally would a pale ale, we cast through the hop back with Mosaic and chilled through the heat exchange, before barrel fermenting in 8 barrels, keeping a little bit to one side in stainless steel to enable us to top up the barrels after primary fermentation. This avoids making a mess of the brew house with krausening beer during primary and gives us the ability to limit too much oxygen in the head space of the barrel. After brimming the barrels in September last year, we set them to one side to sit with our house brett blend and the residual barrel bacteria. The full blend has been aged in a mixture of neutral American oak casks and some slightly punchier second use Rioja barrels.

Towards the end of fermentation, around 2 weeks before blending into brite tank for canning, we dry hopped with some aged Amarillo T90s pellets. The aroma of these hops was really interesting, still punchy and strong, but with less of the fresh orange characteristic we would expect initially when the hops are fresh, more dried peel and a touch of fresh grass, which works really well alongside the Plumage Archer backbone.

The inspiration for the Gothic Country design should hopefully be recognisable to many. Grant Wood’s famous 1930’s painting; American Gothic portrays "the kind of people [he] fancied should live in that house". It depicts a farmer standing beside his daughter – often mistakenly assumed to be his wife. The image has been reimagined numerous times over the last century and as Gothic Country was aged in American Oak barrels and is hopped with Amarillo, this archetypal American farmland scene felt appropriate to ape for our Heritage Saison. Our two characters and skele-goat are posing out in front of their expansive property, unaware of the ghosts that also appear in the image – a nod to the literary aesthetic American Gothic that features ghosts and monsters in many of its tales.

The finished beer is 5.6% and has a refreshing clementine like acidity and pithiness, amplified by both the brett fermentation character and the Amarillo dry hop, all balanced with the tannic barrel character. Light and spritzy, relatively low on our “goaty” funk scale but with a pleasant tartness in the flavour and with a crisp finish. It’s available now in can and keg, so look out for it on bars and on the shelves of independent retailers (or you can pick some up direct from our online shop) – we would love to hear your thoughts!



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Obsession – Simcoe IPA

Obsession - Simcoe IPA

Meet your new Obsession!

We’re well known for our hoppy pale ales and IPAs here at Abbeydale Brewery, and are extremely fortunate to have built up good relationships with some magnificent hop suppliers during the 26 years we’ve been making beer.

Our brewers love playing around with different combinations of hops, but we identified a bit of a gap in our extensive range of beers centring around single hopped beers… And so we’ve created Obsession! A new series, using the same hops in each of the different formats they’re available and adding them throughout the brewing process to really get the most out of them, allowing their character to stand out and discover what makes each of these wonderful varieties unique.

For the first in the series, our brewer Jamie has selected Simcoe – a popular and punchy American hop which works well for both bittering and aroma.

The malt base has been kept straightforward (predominantly our house malt, low colour Maris Otter, with just a little added Vienna malt for sweetness and a shimmer of golden colour) which provides a clean backbone to allow the hops to shine. We used our house yeast too, again for a nice clean flavour, and as is usual for the majority of our Brewers’ Emporium beers we have added Brewers Clarex, resulting in a gluten free beer (more info on that here).

Simcoe has been added in leaf, T90 pellets and Cryo form at different stages of the brewing process, to allow this dual purpose hop to truly shine. T90s were added towards the end of the boil for added aroma and a hint of bitterness, with the leaf being the predominant format used at the hop back stage, allowing it to infuse more gently, a little like a massive cup of tea! More polyphenols are extracted when using whole cones, which gives depth and body as well as hop complexity in the finished beer. The Cryo hops were added on day 2 during active fermentation (whilst the beer was still on the yeast) – this allows complex chemical interactions between the hop oils and the yeast, causing biotransformation of the hops and resulting in bold flavour compounds having the opportunity to emerge. A further dry hop with more T90s was added on day 3 of fermentation.

As a new series of beers, our designer James was briefed to come up with something which reflected the inspiration for this series – our love of hops! And the artwork has evolved substantially since its conception. James’ original idea, a dagger through a heart, was subsequently deemed a “crap tattoo” style (James’ words!!) which it was felt wasn’t befitting of our range in 2022! Thus the idea was developed to more closely reflect the craft of hop growing itself, and now features a bill hook (a tool used to cut down the hop bines when harvesting) and an oasthouse (a building designed for kilning/drying the freshly picked hops – on this label, a North American style of oasthouse is shown to go alongside our American Simcoe hops). You can see a bill hook in action in the photograph below – with thanks to Paul at Charles Faram for the permission to use this image.

Expect a clean and refreshing IPA with juicy fruit sweetness and zesty grapefruit on the aroma, and flavours encompassing resinous pine, plenty more citrus (particularly reminiscent of clementine), and just a hint of summer berries, followed by a hearty, bitter finish weighing in at 85 IBU and 5.8% ABV. Bold, well balanced, and bittersweet, truly capturing the essence of Simcoe. Available from Friday 15th April in keg and 440ml can (including via our online shop) while stocks last! 


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Hopback CF247

Hopback CF247

Introducing the newest release from our hop forward, cask led, pale ale series: Hopback CF247!

An experimental British hop from our wonderful suppliers Charles Faram, CF247 comes from the same family as Jester®, Olicana® and Harlequin®. It’s a sticky, oily hop with low bitterness, coming in at 7-8% alpha and promising notes of tropical fruits, red berries and a bit of dank! This is a hugely exciting time in the world of British hops as the scope of flavour and aroma continues to expand harvest after harvest. There’s absolutely loads to develop and discover and we feel very honoured to be joining in on the journey.

We were lucky enough to host a collaboration brewday with the incredibly lovely Beth from Charles Faram – our first “home” collaboration in over two years! After the all important first mashing in of the day (Yorkshire Tea for us, Earl Grey for Beth), we were ready to go.

It’s a single malt beer as well as being single hopped – the only grain we’ve used is our house malt, low colour Maris Otter, which gives a good clean pale ale base allowing the character of the hop to be the superstar in the glass.

Using a hop for the first time takes the brewer on a journey, learning about their nature and with different elements of their flavour profile coming out at each new stage of the brewing process. As we prepared the hops ready to be added into our hopback we gave them a good rub to see what characteristics we could pick out. We found an absolute cornucopia of fruit on the nose, with wafts of juicy pineapple sitting alongside homely and comforting raspberry jam. Once in the hopback and infusing into the hot wort, spicier elements came through alongside that jamminess, with a fresh wave of citrus fruit – almost reminiscent of lime pickle! And in the finished beer, there’s a grassiness in the aroma and a real lip smacking flavour, with greengage sweetness and berry fruits (we’re really pleased that those lovely jammy notes have made it all the way through to the final beer). This is all rounded off by a zesty freshness and a gentle bitterness in the finish, at a sessionable 4.2% ABV.

Watch out for it popping up on a bar near you.


  • About Us

    A true Sheffield institution founded in 1996, Abbeydale Brewery blends heritage and tradition with creativity and innovation, showcasing these values across an unparalleled range of beers.

    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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