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Sparkling Hop Water

Introducing our new Sparkling Hop Water – 0% alcohol, 100% refreshing.

AVAILABLE NOW IN CAN AND KEG!

Yorkshire water makes the best tea, fact. And we’re pretty confident it makes the best beer too. It’s amongst the finest in the world, with a balance of minerals which with minimal adjustment allows for the creation of stunning pale ales, as we’ve been evidencing for over a quarter of a century. In our beers, we love to highlight the amazing variety of nuanced flavours one can extract from hops. And for our first alcohol free offering, we’re taking this one step further.

More people than ever are embracing no and low alcohol alternatives to their usual tipple, and this trend looks set to continue. Whilst we have absolutely no plans to stop making our beers, we do want to make sure we’re adapting to what our drinkers want to drink, so that means adding something completely new to our range! There are a number of ways in which alcohol-free beer can be produced – none of which are right for us at the moment. Either there is a huge amount of capital expenditure involved, or we aren’t completely confident that we could create a product as consistent, or indeed as tasty as our “regular” beers. There are some fantastic alcohol-free beers out there but these tend to be produced by breweries that are either set up specifically to create them, or those that are large enough to invest in the additional equipment required (and the space to put it in!). So we decided that the best thing to do was to play to our strengths – and our hop store is very much one of these!

What we have created therefore is NOT beer, but IS the very finest Yorkshire water, infused with some of our favourite hops, lightly carbonated to create a refreshing, relaxing soft drink. No booze, no artificial flavourings, no caffeine, and naturally low in sugar and carbohydrates – a true elixir of spritzy, zesty, mindful drinking! 

We start with that very same water we use for our award-winning beers. We’ve been at the prototype stage for a while, experimenting with numerous hop varieties, starting with those most familiar to us – so we’ve already quite literally tested the waters with Mosaic (which you may know from Heathen) and Willamette (the key hop in Moonshine) on a nano-batch level, before scaling up a little with Nelson Sauvin (one the Deception fans out there will be familiar with!). The hops are steeped at 76°C to allow the flavours to infuse – this provides just the right level of bitterness to satisfy, whilst keeping the temperature below boiling point to prevent too much isomerisation. We’ve added just a dash of lemon juice to provide a little lift… and that’s it!

We like to think of this process as a fresh take on tradition and showing off our ingredients in a whole new way. Snapping open a can gives the same heady rush of aroma exactly like opening the bag of hops in the brewhouse, and you can really consider the complexities and nuances of the hop itself when there is no malt backbone to cloak it. This version of Hop Water is incredibly refreshing, aromatic, clean and grassy, with the beautiful and delicate vinous qualities for which Nelson Sauvin is known. Absolutely delicious over ice with a slice!

The benefits of hops and their biochemical compounds when used and infused in this way (i.e without fermentation, and alcohol free) can be numerous. Studies have shown that the polyphenols and flavonoids found in hops work with other vitamins such as vitamin C to have antioxidant properties, which helps your body ward off every day toxins. This can help you to stay healthy, even potentially reducing the risk of certain chronic health conditions including cancer and coronary heart disease. Hops also have mild sedative effects which can help improve your sleep quality, as well as helping to enhance the natural levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (a clever little chemical messenger) found in the brain, which can lower anxiety and help you to feel calmer.

In our research for hop water we’ve also come across some really interesting local history and the heritage behind our hometown’s temperance movement. Loxley Silver Band, who are always a favourite at the Rising Sun at Christmas time, were previously a temperance band. And in the late 1800s, Wheatley & Bates based just down the road from us on Napier Street were producers of “hop bitters”, intended to be a refreshing, non-alcoholic drink made of hops with other botanicals including dandelions. This was a hugely popular drink in the late nineteenth century. So we’re bringing back a bit of a Sheffield institution, in our own fashion!

We recommend drinking our Hop Water as a healthy soft drink in its own right – it’s great for daytime rehydration, as a tasty alternative for a designated driver, and is incredibly refreshing after exercise too. It even comes with the approval of Dr Morton himself! It also just so happens to be absolutely delicious as a mixer (we’ve had lots of fun trying it with our Locksley Distilling collaboration gin, and Locksley’s have experimented with it in a cocktail too with great results!).

Hop Water is AVAILABLE NOW in 440ml can, from our online shop and independent retailers, and on tap in selected venues too. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Cheers!

Team Abbeydale

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Wanderer – Transatlantic IPA

The latest in our Wanderer series is out now! It’s an IPA packed with experimental hops from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, created in collaboration with Leith’s Campervan Brewery. This was the return leg of our partnership – some of you may remember Trinity which we brewed up in Scotland last year, a delicious mandarin, black lime and ginger gose! For our second brew together, we decided to go for something completely different, and were aiming for a mix of new and old – reviving a historical base malt, paired with up-and-coming hop varietals from around the globe, for a beer that’s bursting with character.

The key ingredient of the grist was heritage grain Plumage Archer barley, combined with caramalt, wheat and oats for a complex malt character to complement the hops we had chosen to use. Plumage Archer is one of our brewer Jim’s favourite base malts to use – “it has a wonderful graininess, almost biscuit character… plus it’s a lot easier to mash with than some of the other malts on the market!”

UK grown whole cone hops from our suppliers Charles Faram were added to our hop back on the hot side of the brew, along with a sprinkling of pellet hops from Yakima Chief’s programme. This is mainly to extract some balanced bitterness as well as some of the heady aromas that we wanted to form the character of this beer.

The UK hops we chose were CF161and CF162. Both of these hops come advertised as having grapefruit and lemon characteristics, and on the rub this citrus was abundant, with a little grassiness (but not in spades, as you may expect from British grown hops). CF161 is a great grand-daughter of Nugget, and in the hop back we found it helped to give some complex bitterness and interesting piney notes. CF162 is from the British Hop collection, and although it was originally grown in 1978 it has never reached the stage of being named. This batch came from Stocks Farm, which some of our team have had the pleasure of visiting on one of Charles Farams’ annual hop walks!

The collaboration brewteam!

Towards the end of fermentation, we added a couple of experimental American varieties from Yakima Chief’s development programme – HBC638 and HBC586 (which was also used in Cryo hop form). Together these give a sweet aromatic top note to the beer, with an abundance of citrus and tropical character too. The US hops were mainly used as aroma additions at the dry hop stage. We weren’t aiming for loads of biotransformation (like a New England beer has) as they can end up more cloying and a bit stickier than the intention for this beer. We wanted a crisp refreshing finish with loads of hop influence.

Wanderer – Transatlantic IPA (6.3% ABV) is available in cask, keg and can, and is vegan friendly and gluten free (brewed using Brewers Clarex).

And in keeping with the collaborative theme, the artwork for this release just had to be inspired by the view from a campervan! Incorporating an ocean view to back up the transatlantic element of the beer’s ingredient, it evokes being relaxed and comfy, spending time in the outdoors with a refreshing sea breeze. See if you can spot the “trinity” logo from last year’s collaboration hidden within the design too. Summery, rounded and refreshing with a clean bitterness and a vibrant tropicality – we reckon it’s the perfect beer to take with you on your next road trip!

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Swifty

Look to the skies on a peaceful summer’s evening and if you’re lucky you might catch sight of a swift – an iconic bird, which was added to the red list of species of conservation concern in December 2021. We’re working in partnership with Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust throughout 2023 (more on that in this blog post), and one of their key campaigns is raising awareness of the plight of this beautiful bird and aiming to help the recovery of the local population. Our brew date also fell within Swift Awareness Week, so it was a clear source of inspiration for this year’s charity beer!

Introducing Swifty – a 4.2% pale ale, and our charity beer for 2023. In recognition of the amazing migratory journey that swifts make from Africa to the UK to breed every year, we’ve combined UK hops Fuggles and Keyworth Early with African grains of paradise for a unique and aromatic beer with an gentle yet enticing botanical spice.

We were joined on the brewday by not only the Wildlife Trust but also some of Sheffield Swift Network, who also helped us to identify some spaces on our brewery buildings where we could have swift bricks installed, or nesting boxes added – something all households can look into to help address the declining numbers of the swift. Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust aim to make Sheffield a ‘Swift City’, using our urban landscape to help our swifts to rebuild their population. You can find out more about the Sheffield Swift City campaign here.

The beer is available in cask only, so be sure to look out for it on the bar of your local pub! 10p from every pint sold will be donated to the charity. Our wonderful pub, The Rising Sun, is also hosting an extra special charity quiz on Wednesday 19th July, where you can enjoy a pint of Swifty alongside showing off your knowledge – we hear there might even be a specially themed bonus round, so get swotting up! Please tag #SheffSwiftCity in your social media posts too and help to raise awareness of this beautiful bird.

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Funk Dungeon… in bottles!

After 12 chapters of our Funk Dungeon barrel ageing and mixed fermentation programme being released in can, we’re turning the final page (at least for now!) on this particular evolution of the project – and opening a whole new book by making the exciting move into 750ml bottles! The vision for the project has always been to eventually transition from can to bottle, inspired by the iconic producers of lambic and similar styles from European breweries and producers of revered American sour beer – and it’s finally here!

The first bottle release is Foraged Fruits. A barrel aged tart saison, made up of two batches of wort brewed in 2020 and 2021 that were fermented entirely in barrel with local blackberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries before blending. The fruits are a mixture of those carefully plucked from hedgerows by the brewery team, and some lovingly grown on Rising Sun regular Les’s allotment – Sunfest goers of years gone by are likely to be familiar with Les, often found volunteering behind the bar in one of his trademark Hawaiian shirts! This release been a long time coming with not only patiently waiting for the beer to be ready in barrel, but also resting in bottle for a number of months prior to release to ensure the complex flavours found within are beautifully amalgamated, presented in their own natural harmony.

The resulting beer is light and refreshing, with a soft fruit acidity accompanied by a delicate oak character and a gentle spritz. 5.2% ABV and relatively low on the IGU (international goat unit) scale, ensuring it’s an accessible introduction to this new beginning for our Funk Dungeon project. Carefully crafted, bottled and labelled by hand.

This transition to bottling widens the scope for what these particular styles of beer can be (especially in contrast to our “clean” beers). Allowing for refermentation in bottle encourages ever more interesting flavour development, separate to anything that’s already happened in the barrel. This traditional method allows brett character to come forward and shine, including those classic farmyard funk aromas and flavours. For those beers on the more acidic side, the acidity can develop further over time too.

Saisons and complex mixed fermentation beers can be perfect partners to food, and we are enthusiastic about the prospect that presenting them in beautifully designed 750ml bottles enables them to be seen as more “at home” as a sharer bottle on the dining table – who says wine gets to have all the fun?!

Talking of the design – with the move to releasing our Funk Dungeon range in 750ml bottles, we saw an opportunity to evolve the artwork whilst maintaining the unique identity that our award-winning can range has developed, including the tactile finish on the labels. There was a need for the bottles to stand out on bottle-shop shelves and also look at home next to other special releases and wine. We wanted these new bottle designs to focus on the individual skellie character in more simplified situations that help explain the beer found within, in contrast to the can range which makes use of layered, detailed scenes that tell a story as well as often a pun. Each design in the new range will aim to incorporate the ingredients or process within the focus of the image. Overall, a more refined and sophisticated look which reflects the developments made in our in-house processes.

These releases are exceptionally limited (there are only 60 bottles of Foraged Fruits available), but the move from cans to bottles allows for more frequent, smaller batches, which in turn gives us more space for experimentation. To give you a small flavour of what else is to come, look out for news on beers made with our friends at Balance Brewing, one making use of surplus blood oranges from Locksley Distilling, and a collaboration with the fantastic DuckChicken Cider. So there’s plenty in the pipeline, and we’re really excited to see the potential that these beers have.

Foraged Fruits will launch on our online shop on Friday May 19th, and will be available in bottle shops from this date too.  

Mind your head.

Cheers,

Jim Rangeley, Funk Dungeon Lead Brewer

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Prague Craft Beer Festival

What do you do when you get asked to go pour your beers at a well respected craft beer festival in one of the beer capitals of the world?! A few months back we were approached by Prague Craft Beer Festival, with support from the Department of International Trade, to pour our beers alongside a couple of other UK breweries.  Well, it would have been rude to say no, and last weekend Jamie and myself (Robin) popped over on the plane to let the lovely people of the Czech Republic try our beers for the first time.

Arriving on Thursday evening, we had a mad dash through a torrential downpour to get to the festival site in time to prep the cask of Moonshine. CASK BEER! IN PRAGUE!!!! We got there just in time and we were indebted to Millie from Pivovar Thrills to lending us a beer engine to serve through. It turns out she lived in Yorkshire for over 10 years and worked at pubs we supply!

Another mad dash across town was needed to get to Badflash for the pre-festival party.  A lot of the other breweries were in attendance, which was great to get to know some people. Our host, Libor, was absolutely delightful, their dark lager and the gammon on the buffet being notable highlights! Armed with a large bottle of Badflash lager each, we headed back to the hotel with Gregg and Brody from Siren Craft and *might* have stayed up ‘til the small hours to sample the beers (quality control obviously) 😉

The festival itself ran midday-midnight on the Friday and Saturday, and there were 50 breweries in attendance from across the Czech Republic, the rest of Europe and the wonderful Wild East from Brooklyn, New York.  The early hit of the festival which had people coming to our stall was always going to be the Moonshine, with cask beer being such a rarity anywhere outside the British Isles. At one point we were fearful that it would run out on the Friday, but thankfully it did last until midway through the Saturday session. 

Moonshine – sold out!

We were able to sample the beer from the other breweries in attendance, and particularly memorable ones were Wild East’s Dark Mild (Brett was desperate for some English brewers to tell him it was a good Dark Mild, it was excellent!), tVerzet’s Oud Bruin with Strawberries, Zichovec’s Lichtenhainer, and then some unusual beers, Andersen’s Tomato and Basil Gose, plus Psychovar’s Kimchi Beer! As you’d expect the standard of the Czech Pilsner on offer was incredibly high.  Also had lovely beers from Hop Hooligans, Totenhopfen, Madcat, Gorilla and Mad Scientist.

As we’d received support from the DiT and British Embassy, the Ambassador himself, Matt Field came down to have a cheeky beer with us, Siren and Cloudwater, in what we called our ‘Brexit Corner’ as we were located in the side room all together.  We kept the energy going all through the weekend, and the camaraderie meant the long, long sessions were made just that little bit shorter. A big shout out to Natalie and Kat from Cloudwater, plus Gregg and Brody, it was great fun to share the weekend with you. Even another mad dash across town post festival to watch the boxing to arrive at the bar as the winner was announced didn’t matter, as we did what most Brits abroad do, and had a few pints of Guinness 😉

A nice leisurely day seeing the sights of Prague was the order of the day for Sunday, a walk over Charles Bridge, a trek up to the castle, lunch by the old square washed down with a litre of Staropramen straight from the tank.

A whirlwind of a weekend, over far too quickly, but another big thank you to Miroslav for inviting us to pour, Katerina from the Embassy for all her support, Millie for the loan of the beer engine and translation services, all the breweries for their company and great beers, and lastly the people of Prague who came down and made us feel so welcome in their wonderful country. 

Until next time, Na zdraví!

  • 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
    Sheffield
    S8 0YX
    Telephone: 0114 281 2712
    Email: [email protected]

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