As announced on the Yellowbelly website, Brewis Hard Tack Ale is a 4% abv mild brown ale brewed using a variety of day-old bread from Rocket, including sourdough, raisin bread, baguettes, rye, and multigrain loaves. The bread was gathered and frozen over the course of several weeks, and then sliced and toasted before being used in the brewing.
From the announcement:
Brewmaster Liam McKenna and his team mashed in twice – once with malt alone, the second time with the toasted bread. The mixture was then fermented with a simple ale yeast. The method employed harkens back to the days of antiquity, when a primitive bread rather than barley was the main ingredient in many beers. The beer is only four percent alcohol by volume but rich in character and boasts a deep amber colour. Light in body, McKenna says it has a notable “breadiness.”
“We’ve successfully combined the pepperiness of the rye bread with the lactic acid backnotes from the sourdough. Notes of fig, raisin and molasses add significant depth to the character of the beer,” comments McKenna. “It’s remarkable.”
In addition to being a distinctive brewing method, the use of the bread in the brewing of the ale is also a commentary on the amount of waste generated by restaurants and food shops, showing that food that is often discarded can instead be “recycled” into a different product.
Brewis Hard Tack Ale is available on draught at Yellowbelly and Rocket, and in a limited run of bottles at Yellowbelly and select NLC stores while supplies last.