Big Drop Brewing Co., dedicated exclusively to making the finest 0.5% ABV beer, has teamed up with renowned beer expert, Melissa Cole and four of the UK’s leading craft breweries to produce a limited edition range of 0.5% ABV collaboration brews.
Available from early November, the creation of a Raspberry Gose, India Pale Lager, Hibiscus Saison and Black IPA is the first of a world collab series planned by Big Drop.
Bringing together craft brewing expertise from across the nation, the collaboration saw Fyne Ales from Argyll, SALT from West Yorkshire, Harbour Brewing Co. from Cornwall and Fourpure from London work with Big Drop. Headed by Big Drop’s master brewer, Johnny Clayton and beer expert, Melissa Cole, the brewing day held in London was an opportunity for everyone to share their extensive knowledge and to create beers of 0.5% ABV without use of artificial extraction of alcohol, vacuum distillation or reverse osmosis.
The final brews selected, which will be available from early November in 4 & 12 packs of 440ml cans are:
Big Drop & Fyne Ales
Jam Session: Raspberry Gose
Appearance: Pale straw
Spritely and refreshing with a nose of sour berries, rhubarb and raspberries jam. Flavour is lightly tart with under ripe berry and freshly harvested wheat all brought to the savoury finish of natural sea salt.
Big Drop & Fourpure
Big River – Black IPA*
Appearance: Black as night
Aroma of chocolate, a little coffee with a hint of oak woodiness and pineapple. Flavour is hop forward with just a hint of chocolate and roast coffee before a lingering, clean bitter finish.
Big Drop & Harbour Brewing Co.
Going Swimmingly – Hibiscus Saison
Appearance: Pink champagne
Brewed with hibiscus flowers and a carefully selected blend of botanicals, this has a hint of tartness balanced with spicy and herbal notes. Floral sweet and sour from the hibiscus along with some cherry esters and a light fruity yet spicy backing from the pepper and juniper.
Big Drop & SALT
Lil IPL – India Pale Lager*
A fusion brew of two different classic styles from around the world brings the malty backbone of a Helles with the unique zesty, citrus character of New Zealand Motueka hops found in many of today’s popular IPAs.
Big Drop’s co-founder, Rob Fink, comments: “Since we launched in 2016, not only have we wanted to make delicious alcohol-free craft beer but we wanted to be at the forefront of making low and no drinks interesting and innovative. It is important for us to change perceptions that some may hold of alcohol-free beer being without character, or that it’s made without the depth of care and skill that goes into making a full strength craft beer. If anything, you need more skill to make a great alcohol-free craft beer.
“We’re excited to, not only, be collaborating with a range of craft brewers here in the UK but we are planning a series of these projects to work with brewers from around the world. Big Drop has recently launched in Canada, Sweden and Norway so on our visits we’ve been in talks with some incredible brewers in those countries. Watch this space!”
Award-winning beer & food journalist and author Melissa Cole, who brought the breweries together and helped develop the recipes, says of the project: “It’s tough to create firsts in such a busy and innovative market as beer but, as far as I’m aware, this is the first ever collaborative alcohol-free four pack. I’m also just so pleased with how all the beers turned out and I hope it helps people rethink alcohol-free beer as less a necessary evil when they are driving or deciding not to drink for whatever reason and instead look on them as a genuinely tasty choice.”
Big Drop’s World Collab Series #1 has an RRP of £12 for 4 x 440ml cans and will be available from Beer Hawk, Bottle Apostle and drydrinker.com from the first week of November 2019.
Big Drop’s Awards & Accolades
Big Drop’s Pale Ale was named World’s Best Pale Beer (low strength) at the World Beer Awards 2017.
Its Stout won a Gold Medal at the International Beer Challenge and a UK Silver Medal at the World Beer Awards when judged against full-strength stouts and porters. It also won a Gold medal at the US Open Beer Championship.
Its Citra IPA was crowned ‘King of Craft’ at the 2019 Casual Dining show, which was dominated by full-strength beers. It also won the overall Champion’s trophy for ‘Non and Low Alcohol Beer’ at The International Brewing and Cider Awards and a Silver medal at the US Open Beer Championship.
Big Drop was also one of three ‘Best Drinks Producers’ in the 2018 BBC Food & Farming Awards.
“Big Drop specialises in alcohol-free beer and it’s all good. I tried the pale ale and the lager, too, and both are excellent, but the stout really is the business.” — Adrian Chiles, The Guardian
“The most impressive no/low alcohol beer I have ever tried; no argument, it just is.” — Melissa Cole, British Guild of Beer Writers
“In my view, by far the best of the low-alcohol brigade is Big Drop Brewing Co. All its beers come in at just 0.5%, and all of them are excellent – the stout in particular is a jaw-dropper. Superb flavour without compromise.” — Olly Smith, Mail on Sunday
About Big Drop
Multi-award winning Big Drop was launched in October 2016 by the-then City lawyer Rob Fink, along with his school-friend/band-mate, designer and kindred spirit, James Kindred.
The idea for a brewing business that only made alcohol-free beer was conceived by their own lifestyle changes (eg fatherhood) and born out of the frustration of there being no decent tasting alcohol-free craft beer available to quench their thirst.
Along with renowned experimental brewer, Johnny Clayton , they’ve perfected techniques to make alcohol-free craft beer without the need for artificial removal of alcohol. The result doesn’t compromise on taste and yet is no more than 0.5% ABV.
Big Drop doesn’t just use barley. It uses barley, rye, wheat and oats. And it doesn’t use just one type of each. Across its beers, it uses over 20 speciality grains. And then it uses lactose which boosts the mouthfeel and avoids the watery texture that blights many alcohol-free beers. Its range of seven beers, which it contract brews in batches through a network of expert brewing partners, includes: Stout, Lager, Pale Ale, Citra IPA, Brown Ale, Winter Ale and a Sour.
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