Towards the back end of 2017 the brewers at Endeavour filled the brewery’s designated ‘Something Dark’ tap with a roasty and pleasantly bitter Cascadian Dark Ale. It proved a popular beer so, when they went to the drawing board ahead of this year’s hop harvest, they figured it was a recipe they could bring back with a few seasonal tweaks.
There are two key differences between the two versions. The first is, most obviously, that the beer has been made with fresh hops (five kilograms of Cascade added to the whirlpool, if you’re interested in the technical specs) rather than just the regular hop pellets – though they did add some dry Topaz here too. As well as bringing out ample floral and spicy character, it’s had an effect on the palate where you get a thicker, almost oily sensation. The other major difference is the malt, with midnight wheat used in place of the previous roasted wheat, plus a touch more Munich malt. What that’s done is dial back the astringency and upped the sweetness so that this version feels like it has a more rounded and solid body to carry all those fresh hop characters. It finishes up feeling like a bold and bitter but well balanced beer.
Somewhere at the other end of the scale, the staff and brewers at the Endeavour Tap Rooms came together for their first collaborative beer: the Staff Summer Saison. While the name might seem seasonally maladjusted, it technically is a summer beer because they’d agreed on the style and brewed it just a couple of days before autumn officially arrived. Being a saison it’s mainly about the yeast which adds characteristic spiciness and a kind of earthiness, but there’s fun to be had on the hop front too with the Ella variety adding floral and fruity notes to help lift both the aroma and flavour. All up it’s a pleasant, dry, refreshing and clean beer best suited to warm weather drinking but eminently enjoyable anytime.
Published April 18, 2018 2018-04-18 00:00:00