Thanks for clicking! We are proud to introduce you to Overdrift, the latest adventure in our Farm to Glass series, an entirely British hopped IPA that utilizes locally grown Cumbrian grains.
Here at Fell we have had a love affair with IPAs from our beginning. As the UK craft scene has grown and developed, in recent years one style has come to dominate the movement – hazy IPA. Typically, it is defined by having a smooth, luscious body, opaque appearance, and ‘juicy’ fruit notes derived from a delicate interplay between malt, yeast, and hops. Unfortunately for those of us in Britain, most of the hops typically used in hazy IPA’s have been shipped in from half-way around the world. Britain has been known for its hop growing prowess for centuries, so we had to ask ourselves ‘Is it possible to make a ‘juicy’ IPA using solely British hops?’
To get the most out of what the UK has to offer we partnered with Brook House farm in Herefordshire whose unique advances in processing lead to much more intense UK grown hops. Thousands of compounds determine how a hop tastes and smells, leading to a vast array of subtle yet distinct differences. A product of both nature and nurture, their genetics and the conditions in which they are grown mean hops are wildly dependent on things like length of daylight, exposure to moisture, intensity of sunlight, and time of harvesting, just to name a few. This means that each hop variety will also be subject to its own terroir depending upon where it was grown, regardless of what variety it is. A hop can’t just simply be transplanted from one country to another with the expectation that it will be the same.
Even though hops usually take the spotlight when it comes to IPAs, the malts in them are always worth consideration. When people think of Cumbrian farming, most people would conjure up images of craggy landscapes dotted by livestock instead of arable pastures of waving field grasses. While there is much truth to this, some grains are grown, but a large proportion of this is destined for animal feed, and we struggled to find any being malted for purpose of making beer. However, many of these IPAs also use un-malted grains to enhance the silkiness of the body, and provide haze.
A scant three miles from the brewery on the Holker Estate, fields farmed by Stuart Brocklebank were able to provide us with both barley and oats, fresh from the harvest. At this stage the grains still needed to be cracked for us to use them, luckily just over in Beetham sits the Heron Corn Mill. Little has changed since it was built in 1740, where the power of the River Bela is still harnessed by pulleys and cogs to process grain. After a few hours of watching the mill in action we finally had local grains, processed locally and sustainably, ready for our mash tun.
Just a few years ago we wouldn’t have believed a beer like this could exist. Now, we’re delighted to release a beer that showcases the exceptional quality and versatility of UK hops, one that finally finds a home for Cumbrian grains. It is a beer with a very strong sense of place. We hope you’ll taste it and agree that a more sustainable hazy IPA is now firmly within the realm of possibility.