How many perfect plans have been hatched over a pint, when we get to relax and share ideas? Ghost Ship was both imagined and inspired by conversations and observations in pubs along the Suffolk Coast. It’s a tale of opportune moments and chance meetings by pub firesides – all quite fitting for a beer that conjures up images of sheltering in haunted hostelries. In 2010 the brewing team was asked to make a seasonal beer for Halloween. There were rumours of an old bottle of Deathly Pale Ale in Southwold’s Red Lion, and the idea was to make something that resembled it. Deathly Pale Ale's label featured a skull and crossbones, and was brewed in the 70's to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Adnams family involvement with the Sole Bay Brewery. On delivery, they thought better of it as it resembled poison. It was quickly replaced with Centenary Ale, but a few hand-labelled bottles escaped the brewery, and one ended up in the pub down the road. After hitting the same barriers it encountered back then, the creative was reimagined and inspiration turned to shipwrecks and ghost stories from our seaside home. Earlier that year, our master brewer, Fergus had visited The Anchor, Walberswick for an evening of hop talk and hospitality along with Brooklyn Brewery’s Brewmaster, Garratt Oliver, and the team from Brewers Select Group. Talk turned to hops and there was considerable enthusiasm around the table for a new American variety called Citra. It was clear it was tasting great, and we said the next time we got the opportunity to use it, we would. We built Ghost Ship's recipe around Citra it bold, citrus flavours went down a storm. We made plans to bring it back in 2011 and it was due to run from May to November, but we barely made it to Halloween before we ran out of hops. That was a real indication of just how well it went. In 2012 it came back again, along with a fresh crop of Citra, and was promoted to a permanent beer in our range.