The purpose of a core range is that they are your champion beers, your go to, year-round available, reliable constants. However, this doesn’t mean that sometimes, minor tweaks need to take place to keep the range working to its optimum.
It is hardly a secret that $UMO is our most popular beer, it is our biggest seller, it is the team’s favourite beer, it receives our best reviews and is our fastest growing line. It has become such a key brand that we have even named our new rewards scheme for our Tap & Bottle Shops after it. However, that reputation, sales and growth is mostly built around $UMO served via keg dispense. The cask version has always been less well received and it has long been felt within the brewing team that the beer doesn’t really work on cask. It can often taste a bit flabby, lacking that vitality that the keg version has in abundance. The hop bill really benefits from being lifted by the additional natural carbonation to stop it becoming cloying. After much discussion we have decided to discontinue $UMO on cask and make it a keg and can only product.
This decision hasn’t been made lightly, but it has been made in the best interests of the beer. We always choose the dispense method that best suits that product, many beers suite just cask (like Mister Squirrel), some can cross the threshold and work on both (like Hopfest) and some will only ever work with cooler dispense and higher carbonation (like Flying Squirrel). $UMO is much more suited to keg than cask.
$UMO, American Pale Ale
ROADKILL, Opaque IPA
Alongside discontinuing $UMO on cask, we are also reducing the amount of cask Roadkill we produce. A 6.5% Opaque IPA served on cask is unusual to see and a novelty, it is not a big seller though. We will continue to offer it as a cask product, but this will be on a “brewed to order” basis only. We will not rack any Roadkill into casks that hasn’t already been sold, this means that cask roadkill will always be fresh and vibrant. By their very definition beers of this style are unstable and having them in cask for even a couple of weeks before being sold is detrimental to the product. Roadkill will continue to be available on keg year-round as normal, but, trade customers, if you want it in cask, its best to give us a few weeks’ notice.
However, before the up-cry from the die-hard cask drinkers starts; we are not abandoning cask! we are dedicated to the production of cask ale and want to see the format thrive. Our core range continues to feature Mister Squirrel and London Porter, two beers exclusive to cask, plus Hopfest and De La Crème which are available in both formats. Plus, most of our limited-edition beers are available, to a greater or less extent, in casks.
RESOLUTION, Golden Ale
In order to reaffirm our commitment to this dispense method and to fill the gap left by $UMO cask, we have decided to create a new core range beer, one that is exclusive to cask, and is designed specifically for cask.
Resolution is a 4.2% golden ale and the newest addition to our core range. It will be available, year-round in cask only. It is hopped with three American hop varieties, and the hops have been added at times in the brew and at quantities more befitting cask dispense, but still hitting maximum flavour. It was brewed for the first-time last week. We are looking forward to releasing this light, highly drinkable beauty and show everyone our resolution to keep cask ale alive and relevant to modern drinkers!
Resolution will be launched exclusively in our Tap & Bottle Shops on Saturday 24th February, A day we are naming “Mega Beer Launch Saturday” as it will be one of a number of Mad Squirrel Beers being released on that day. Joining Resolution will be Ascension (keg & cans), De La Nut (cask/keg or both depending on venue) and Roadkill cans! That’s three new beers on tap and two in cans all on the same day! What a day that’s going to be!