Sea Fog comes rolling in

Excitement is in the air, as Sea Fog comes rolling in. Fresh, unfiltered, and full of flavour, our new hazy coastal IPA has been brewed for the lazy, hazy days of summer.

As part of our 150th Anniversary plans, we challenged members of our Brewing and Quality teams to come up with potential recipes for our summer seasonal brew. In the spirit of friendly competition, and to give the selection process a sense of occasion, we pitched them against each other in a public vote and let our customers decide which one would appear on the bar and on shelves.

Participants Chris, Dan, Dawn, and Sam needed people to get behind them if they were to see their brew come to life. As well as the honour of having their beer available in our 150th year, they would forever have bragging rights over their colleagues. Due to the timing, it was also going to be on our stand at the Great British Beer Festival. There was a lot at stake.

Brewer, Sam Blower’s suggestion of a hazy coastal IPA received the most support. On topping the poll, he got the opportunity to make his vision a reality. “I wanted to brew a coastal IPA. Looking back 150 years, most of beers available were stouts, bitters, porters, and the like; so, I thought I’d look forward, where the real fun begins,” he said.

Sam wanted his beer to be unfiltered to retain that fresh hop flavour, giving it a light haze. It was to have bold citrus notes, tropical fruit, and hints of spice from the hops. Those big flavours were to be balanced with nutty, honeyed, and bready flavours from the malt. Sam also wanted to use a mixed yeast culture to get the best out of this blend, as well as an added burst of fruity flavours and aromas.

A blend of UK and US hops including Pilgrim, UK Chinook, Ernest, and Azacca has created aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical fruit, plus a hint of spice, and a medium bitterness. This is balanced by generous quantities of multiple varieties of East Anglian malts like Extra pale ale, Vienna and Munich, as well as some oats and wheat.

“Cask Sea Fog underwent dry hopping in our fermentation vessels and again through our hopstar when it was in our maturation vessels, prior to filling. During transfer, you tend to lose a little bit of aroma but double dry-hopping it really did help give the beer’s flavour and aromas that extra push to achieve the final result,” added Sam.

Sam’s brew is unfiltered and therefore slightly hazy, so we named it Sea Fog after the coastal fog that rolls into Southwold, when warm summer air is cooled by the sea. Standing outside the Lord Nelson in the summer months, you may well have experienced this strange phenomenon, which can be a regular occurrence along the eastern coast of the UK.

The internal competition and subsequent vote were focussed around producing an exciting seasonal cask product for the summer of our 150th year, however Sea Fog will also be available in 330ml cans and 30ltr kegs. We would pair it with Spicy Tacos or Chilli Fries, or simply sip it on a warm summer’s day. It’s not to be mist!