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Brewer makes 20.4%abv beer by freezing it

UK craft brewery Hardknott has taken the concept of an ice cold beer to new extremes by freezing its latest beer to a temperature of -20 degrees centigrade to maximise its intensity of flavour.

Brewer Dave Bailey, who runs the brewery in Millom, Cumbria, with his partner Ann Wedgwood, used the method to produce his latest beer, Eisalloy, which is 20.4% abv with an equally powerful flavour.

The process, known as freeze concentration, not only increases the alcoholic content of the beer but also helps increase the intensity and complexity of flavour.

The brewery has only produced around 100 bottles of the limited edition beer, which Mr Bailey said is part of his mission to help change perceptions of beer and embrace the vast potential for different flavours and characters.

He says: "We want to continue to show beer has incredible diversity that is only constrained by preconceived ideas about strength, flavour, colour and many, many other unnecessary boundaries. I don't want to drink boring beer that is little different to the next beer on the bar and I am sure many other people don't want to either. The problem of industrial homogenisation has created too many beers that aren't challenging, beers that are all too easily forgotten after the next round has been ordered.

"We want to set beer free from the ideas that have been created by big brand beer producers. We intend to give back a sense of aspiration to beer and give drinkers something that is difficult to find in the mainstream of the beer world. There is a certain intellectual kudos that comes with really appreciating something and taking an interest in how it can change expectations and broaden horizons. This is true of so much; music, art, film - and Hardknott are applying this to beer. We know Hardknott fans love us for this and so we strive to ensure we can continue to step up to the plate.

"Eisalloy has been frozen to a temperature of -20 degrees and the resultant ice crystals removed to make a more intense and complex warming drink. It is made from our Rhetoric III, a beer already of 12.4% alcohol and infused with green tea and szechuan pepper. It has a concentrated herbal quality, a slight tongue bite from the pepper and a lovely warming fruity flavour and aroma from the complexities expected from a higher alcohol drink."











25 March 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor