Wild Beer – Babbling Brook

Babbling Brook – English IPA 6% ABV

Hops Used – Phoenix, Bramling Cross

Flavour Profile – Boasting bright fresh citrus notes this amped up IPA is strong and malty and was developed with modern brewing techniques to maximise the aroma from four punchy English hops all grown at Brook House Hops.

Wild Beer are a brewery with a deep love of nature that has inspired their approach to crafting an awesome selection of uniquely flavoursome beers.  Based on a rural farm in Somerset they have built a reputation for combining quality seasonally-foraged ingredients, unorthodox yeasts and alternative wild fermentations with a mix of modern and traditional brewing techniques. Beer is then stored in one of over 600 barrels that formerly contained brandy, ports, whisky and rum to have its flavour enhanced even further.  We knew they’d be able to work wonders with a selection of our English hops so happily sent them some samples to try.

English-inspired IPA – 100% British hops.

Brett Ellis, founder at Wild Beer, was suitably impressed with the quality and was keen to try them in an English-inspired IPA to see what drinkers would make of a 100% British hopped beer.

“After testing with T90s we were interested to discover what would happen if we pushed the limits and really increased the volumes of hops to modern hop-forward levels. Although the final brew actually ended up with 3 x the normal amount of hops the result was a beautifully balanced and subtly aromatic beer that we felt was still boldly British and very enjoyable to drink.”

Babbling Brook was launched during lockdown, and so to help maximise exposure and generate the opportunity for instant feedback from drinkers we joined Brett on a Facebook Live broadcast to talk through the story behind the beer and the hops that went into it. Close to 100 people joined the event live and judging by the comments, and the repeat orders since launch, the beer was very well received. So, does this mean Wild Beer would be using more English hops in future? As a Californian Brett is well placed to make a call on this;

Clued up drinkers are starting to rediscover and demand the unique flavours and more nuanced aromas that only English hops can provide…

“It’s clear that the last 15 years of growth in craft brewing has been largely driven by punchy new world aromatics, and this has sometimes resulted in more established varieties of hop being overlooked. This has certainly been the case for some English hops, but at Wild Beer we actively embrace tradition and quality if we know it is going to result in great tasting beer. We also know that clued up drinkers are starting to rediscover and demand the unique flavours and more nuanced aromas that only English hops can provide, especially if they also tell a story of something that has been crafted locally.  

Brook House Hops know this too, and have modernised and invested in better kilns, processing and storage in a pretty unique way when it comes to English hops. This shines through in the quality of the hops they produce, so from our perspective English hops definitely have a strong future in craft brewing alongside some of the more commonly used US and NZ varieties”

Jim Wilson, who introduced Brook House Hops to the Wild Beer team adds;

We’ve worked hard to quickly carve out a name for ourselves for the quality of the hops we grow, but equally the level of personalised service we provide direct to brewers, regardless of where the hops come from in the world. We know Wild Beer really value high quality home-grown brewing ingredients and can turn them into delicious beers that live long in the memory. It was a pleasure to work with them on Babbling Brook, and we can’t wait to find out what they’ve got planned for their next beer.”

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