Aussie real ale wins gold in the UK
The JD Wetherspoons’ Spring 2014 International Real Ale Festival kicked off last week with a competition judged by respected UK brewers and suppliers, members of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) and JD Wetherspoons beer experts at the historic Trent Bridge Inn at the heart of Nottingham UK.
From the 40 international and UK beers featured, Young Henrys Real Ale was not only judged best in its class, but took out the Gold Medal as best overall beer in the festival. The beer is an Australian homage to the classic English Bitters made using all Australian grown hops.
The decision to brew an Australian style English Bitter was a ballsy one, with that style of beer being recognised as the classic drop of the UK. This visit was the third time that Young Henrys founder and head brewer Richard Adamsonhas brewed for the festival, and his past award winning beers have been uniquely Australian, using ingredients such as wattle seed and bush berry to produce exciting flavours for the discerning UK palette. With a track record of success, Adamson took a punt at delivering the English a true “taste of their own medicine” with the Real Ale, and it paid off with yet another gold medal for the brewer.
The Wetherspoons festival is an exciting event for the global beer industry, with ten brewers from around the world travelling to England to brew their beer with the locals. Adamson teamed up with Simon Yates from the Banks Brewery in Wolverhampton to make Young Henrys Real Ale specifically for cask conditioning, which is now pouring in over 900 JD Wetherspoons pubs across the UK.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be invited back to brew for the festival a couple of times but I was really nervous making a Aussie take of a classic English beer in England,” said Adamson.
“Not only are the other brewers invited at the top of their game but the local brewers, some of which I have admired my whole career, are the pinnacle examples of the style. The Gold Medal speaks volumes for the brewing team at Banks Brewery and to the quality of the Australian hops we used. After the Ashes I thought the last thing the British beer fan wants is an Aussie messing around with their national drink. I’m just glad people enjoy it.”
Young Henrys Real Ale is a modern twist on the English Best Bitter made with new varietal Australian hops. As you’d want from the style, it’s a fairly low alcohol beer at 4 per cent ABV, with fairly low carbonation and a long, smooth bitterness. That bitterness comes from the all-Australian hops – Galaxy, Stella and Topaz – which also add a bit of a citrus kick. The beer is served as both standard tap pour and traditional hand pump.
Young Henrys is a small brewery with big ideas nestled in the back streets of the vibrant precinct of Newtown, NSW, Australia. In just under two years, the brewery has made a name for itself amongst the locals for brewing great beer, and working with musicians, artists, chefs and other creative people to generate an exciting and welcoming community spirit.