Siren Craft Brew
• • • UK Champion Brewery / Best IPA • • •
Saturday 25 September 2021
This article is from
Beer52 Awards 2021
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From its fridge-fillers to its more experimental brews, Siren has always been one of those breweries you can order with complete confidence, but for us it’s always been the inventive-yet-drinkable IPAs that have held the most enduring appeal. For years, Soundwave set the bar as a perfectly balanced, characterful example of the style, but with the launch of Lumina last year, Siren has become its own stiffest competition.
“We're not a brewery that tends to stand still,” confirms marketing manager Andy Nowlan. “Some recent highlights include the launch of four-packs for our flagship beers – including Lumina and Soundwave. In addition to adding some new fermenters and finalising our new lab build, we've also installed a new water treatment system that allows us to dial-in the best possible water profile for the beer we're making. Oh, and we're also now the proud owners of a beautiful country pub called the George & Dragon near Reading, Berkshire.”
Andy says the award for Best IPA is particularly gratifying for Siren, as it’s a style that’s subject to both constant change and the temptation to become set in one’s ways.
“IPA is always a style we’re always looking to experiment, innovate and have fun with, from the likes of Limoncello IPA to The Tickle...One example that we’re very proud of this year is a series called ‘Sold My Soul’, which picks a hop to use in all available formats. So Sold My Soul for Citra, for example, used Citra in Incognito, T90, Cryo and BBC formats. What this achieves is an incredible 360° flavour and aroma profile of a hop, showcasing all its nuance and complexity.
“We loved the results, but wanted to see what we could do with a lower ABV – a decision that coincided with us being able to bring in Strata for the first time. Enter Strata was born, loaded up with oats for body and mouthfeel, with plenty of juicy melon and sweet berry notes that Strata is known for, complementing the stone fruit flavours of our house-strain Vermont yeast. Hazy, moreish and delicious.
Enter Simcoe, the beer in this month’s box, is the best of these two projects combined. Simcoe is used in two different ways to build up the nuances of flavour available from this incredible piney, tropical and citrus hop. As was the case with Enter Strata, Siren has also embellished with some small additions of Talus and Hallertau Blanc to complement. The former adds a grapefruit pithiness while the latter is softer with melon and tangerine notes.
“All in all, we think this beer is a great representation of what can be achieved with continuous experimentation, learning and improvement. The idea is to show off the ‘lead’ hop, in this case the amazing Simcoe, in its best light.
“The design of the can may feel familiar – there’s a reason for that. All of the artwork for our core beers is designed as full canvasses, cropped so you only actually see a small glimpse of them on the finished cans. For our prolific release schedule of one-offs and seasonals, we then take other small ‘crops’ from the canvas to form the basis of those designs. So Enter Simcoe takes its design from space-themed Lumina, which we launched in June last year and featured in a Beer52 box as an early access special. Thanks to Beer52 to all of you who tried the beer with us; it’s great to feature a little nod to that in this month’s case.”
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