British hard rock legends IRON MAIDEN recently teamed up with Cheshire family brewers Robinsons to create a new beer, Trooper. Real ale fan and history aficionado Bruce Dickinson, Maiden's vocalist, played a major role in developing the unique flavour of the beer, entailing ongoing visits to Robinson’s brewery in Stockport. Dickinson's on-stage Union Jack flag-waving military character is an iconic element of the band's live concerts and 'The Trooper', written by bassist Steve Harris, is one of Maiden's most popular songs and one of the highlights of any Maiden show.
The makers of Trooper Premium British Beer have detailed the process, ingredients (and passion!) into making such a fine brew below.
First up, the water.
"Water used for brewing is drawn from one of two brewery boreholes up to 180 metres (600 feet) deep. (That's as deep as Blackpool Tower is high, trivia fans!). The water that sits under the brewery has filtered down through thousands of metres of sandstone from the Buxton Hills and it is the perfect water for brewing with."
Trooper ingredients part two, the malt:
"Malt is made mainly from barley but also from several other cereals, especially wheat. The malting process mimics the natural germination of the grain in the field. Barley is steeped in water and then spread on floors until the shoot and rootlets start to emerge. It is then dried (kilned). The grain looks somewhat unchanged at the end of this process but a lot of the starch has been converted to sugar and the grains are more friable (crumbly). The extent of the kilning determines the colour of the malt and hence the beer, as well as influencing flavour. The Malt we will be using in Trooper is Tipple malt. Tipple is Suffolk spring barley and we can get a high extraction of sugars from this particular malt - it gives Trooper a bit of a biscuitty note!"
"Hops in the UK are mainly grown in Kent, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. In the copper we use mainly hops from these areas. Hops provide bitterness and other flavours and assist in extending the keeping qualities of cask conditional beer. Hops used in the Hopnik provide particular flavours and aromas which come from varieties grown all over the world including the UK. Each variety has its own individual flavour profile. Sometimes a blend is used, sometimes just one variety, in order to produce a beer of the desired character. In Trooper beer we are going to be using Goldings & Bobek Hops - this will create a Zesty aroma with out creating too much bitterness."
Last but not least... yeast:
"The yeast that will be used to convert all those sugars into Alcohol are one of Robinsons longest serving employees! We have used the same strain of yeast for nearly a century! The yeast will munch away on the sugars for about 3 days before it goes off to be packaged."
Artisanal Imports has just been announced as the USA distributors of the beer.
Dickinson chats about the brew below:
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