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British beer poised to replace ‘aggressive’ New World flavour trends

The New World hopped IPA market is saturated, creating an opportunity for British beers offering balance to swoop in, says T&R Theakston.

Speaking to the drinks business, independent Yorkshire brewer T&R Theakston’s joint managing director Richard Bradbury explained that the “well-balanced hop flavours” of British IPAs have a chance to shine while “the market is potentially saturated for New World IPAs”.

Bradbury told db: “We feel there is a defined market for those seeking hop-forward beers but with less aggressive citrus flavours than in some other IPAs in the New World styles.”

He explained: “Anyone trying to predict the beer market over the last 10 years has almost certainly got it wrong. The market is potentially saturated for New World IPAs but we can see plenty of opportunity for both hazy IPAs and British IPAs with well-balanced hop flavours.”

T&R Theakston recently launched Peculier IPA, a move that signified the first ever brand extension of its iconic Old Peculier ale in the brewery’s almost 200-year history. As part of the new recipe, it opted for using progressive British-grown hops sporting New World flavours over actual New World grown hops.

Speaking of the decision, Bradbury said: “With so many IPAs on the market using new world hops we deliberately wanted to support British hop growers and bring something different to the rest of the market.”

He added: “As a business we’ve always been passionate about showcasing local produce and endeavour to use British and even Yorkshire-grown ingredients where possible in our beers, so it was clear we wanted to continue this with Peculier IPA.”

Part of the reasoning, according to Theakston’s was to tap into the balance and sessionability that naturally-irrigated British hops offered, a testament to the nation’s changing seasons and rainfall gifting Britain’s hop farms with stocks of flavour and aroma hops that deliver hop-forward brews with “balance” over citric assertiveness. Bradbury insisted: “Theakston beers are renowned for being well-balanced, sessionable and full bodied and we feel these British hop strains deliver just that.”

Explaining why Theakston’s has chosen to bottle the new beer, rather than offer it in cask, keg or can, Bradbury said: “Retailers in the off trade tell us they want more innovation in premium bottled ales” but hinted that Theakston’s has “not ruled out offering Peculier IPA in other formats in the future”.

Additionally, Bradbury admitted that, “rather than creating a beer with a specific audience in mind” Theakston’s envisage Peculier IPA “appealing to a really broad demographic” and highlighted how “a brewery doesn’t survive nearly 200 years without its beers appealing across multiple generations and demographic divides” a reasons why the brewer has said it continues “to work with a focus on producing quality beers for everyone to enjoy”.

First brewed in Masham in the early 19th century, Theakston’s Old Peculier is the brewery’s flagship brand, named as a tribute to the ‘Court of the Peculier’ which was established in medieval times.

The new 5.1% ABV Peculier IPA has been positioned to build upon the pedigree of the Peculier name and is the brewery’s first bottled IPA and has been made with 100% British ingredients, brewed using British malted barley and three new world, English grown hops, Harlequin, Jester and Olicana.

Theakston’s joint managing director Simon Theakston, added: “The huge global interest in the Indian Pale Ale style made Peculier IPA the perfect choice. The result is an IPA of outstanding smoothness, flavour and character. We hope our Peculier IPA will introduce fans of Old Peculier to something new and in turn, lead fans of IPAs to other beers in our range.”

Theakston’s Peculier IPA is already listed in Morrisons but is also available to buy directly from the brewery’s webshop.

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