Brewed: Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire
Strength: 4.2% ABV
Britain’s longest-established brewer of craft lager, Freedom Brewery has been operating since 1995. However, it’s not until very recently that they’ve finally started to delve into the world of ales. Following a huge expansion project, which saw a brand new brew house and 20 new vessels, the brewery set out to craft a prototype of their first pale ale. As well as being sustainably brewed and vegan-friendly, the beer is also the first ever ‘crowd-developed’ pale ale, allowing customers to comment on the new prototype over a period of three months, before its re-launch as a core ale in September, based on its initial feedback.
Brewed using a blend of Cascade, Chinook, Motoweka and Rakau hops, Freedom’s Prototype Pale Ale is topped with a fleeting off-white head when poured from the bottle, while the body is classically light amber with plenty of visible carbonation. On the nose, an explosion of hops is joined by some notes of citrus (orange juice, and grapefruit rind) as well as some tropical fruit sweetness. The hoppiness carries on with the taste, while back notes of malt sweetness are also very prominent in contrast to the hop bitterness that continues into a very long, very bitter finish. While it’s, by no means, the most exciting pale ale available – Freedom’s latest offering is a very good first attempt, with its characteristic bitterness that’s typical of classic pale ale.
Further information on Freedom Brewery can be found at freedombrewery.com.