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Our Aquanaut has surfaced!

Introducing Aquanaut! The first in a new series focused around new and exciting experimental hop products, we’re diving in with a full-flavoured and thirst quenching 4.6% pale ale.

Expect intense tropical aroma notes from Spectrum Galaxy and Lupomax Azacca hops, with cutting edge Incognito Centennial added to the whirlpool for a piney, resinous finish.

Chances are you’ve read the above and might be thinking – “what on earth are they are on about now?!” So what are Lupomax, Spectrum, and Incognito, and why are we so excited about them?!

Well, you’ll hopefully be aware that we’re pretty fond of hops round here, with our hop-forward pale ales forming our key house style. Hops contribute enormously to the flavour of beer, and in certain styles such as IPAs they’re the key driver behind all those delicious nuances that entice you in on the aroma and that you taste as you drink.

Hops are beautiful little plants with bags of character, but they’re also expensive, fragile, and those flavours and aromas that we love can be lost over time. On top of that, the more hops you add to beer in leaf or pellet form, the more the beer soaks into them – so for our hoppiest beers, we can lose up to a third of the brew length to those thirsty green little nuggets, which is one of the reasons why big, bold IPAs can be on the pricey side.

This has led to constant experimentation by hop producers as they try and give the freshest hop hit whilst maximising the bang for buck. One thing you may have seen us use before is Cryo hops, which we’ve been using for years now – these are cryogenically frozen hops, turned into essentially hop dust.  They’re more costly than “regular” hops, but they really deliver in flavour.

Hop oils are another option – again, they’re nothing new in the beer world, having been used for decades by large scale commercial brewers because they reduce waste and increase consistency. But until recently they couldn’t really deliver that fresh hop character that we’re after, so they’ve never been of much interest to craft and independent brewers such as ourselves. And it has to be said, it’s hard to get a beer drinker excited by phrases such as “improved maximization of raw materials”!

If only there was something that could do all that AND keep all that fresh, hoppy goodness, then we’d be talking!

The very latest hop products, those we’re showcasing in our new series, are focusing on taking out the vegetal matter in hops that the beer soaks into, and creating a super fresh yet stable flavour that does not decay over time. They’re more environmentally friendly too – with reduced storage and transportation requirements, as well as making cleaning up a little easier which means we use less water. Hop products including Spectrum, Lupomax and Incognito are currently being tried by many breweries around the world and we first used them in Incognito Heathen back in November – which you can learn more about here.

Just for a few more details on the brewing process used in our Aquanaut – the Incognito liquid version of Centennial (one of our favourite hops) is added at the whirlpool stage, as a substitute for hop pellets which means less losses and more impact. The temperature they’re added at means we don’t get too much isomerisation – which means less bitterness, more aroma and more bombastic flavour in the beer. On the brewday we were struck by the intense, piney, resinous aroma – and as an aside, it was also very sticky! The Lupomax and Spectrum hops (Azacca and Galaxy respectively) are used at the dry-hopping stage, added directly to packaging tank for extra pizazz and a final boost of flavour and aroma.

Hop suppliers are describing these products as “revolutionary”! So do they work? We’ve been impressed so far, but would definitely encourage you to drink it for yourself and find out! We’re really excited to keep trialling these products and seeing how they work for us, so Aquanaut is the first of a new “exploration” experimental series designed to do just that, with more to follow. Aquanaut is available now in cask, keg and can (including on our online shop!).


Team Abbeydale

Note: We’ve definitely gone with the short and snappy version here, but if you’re interested in more details relating to the biochemistry behind these new products, feel free to properly geek out on the Baath Haas (our suppliers of Lupomax, Spectrum and Incognito hops) website here.

  • 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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