Cornish brewery pushing the boundaries with 14.4% beer
A St Agnes brewery has released what it believes to be the highest ABV beer ever brewed for sale in Cornwall in its latest small batch experiment.
The beer – which is called Hygge in reference to its comforting aroma and taste – is intended to be enjoyed instead of wine or port and goes perfectly with a cheeseboard according to its creator Mike Mason, Head Brewer at The Driftwood Spars Brewery.
Mike said: “I didn’t set out to brew a really high ABV beer just for the sake of it, but the flavours just called for it. When it was ready I did some research and I think it’s the highest ABV beer ever made by a brewery here in Cornwall, although I’m sure someone out there will correct me!”
Hygge is a Cognac & Marshmallow Imperial Stout which is described as “rich and thick, oozing silky marshmallow flavours and finishing with a spicy, subtle Cognac bite from maturation on Cognac barrel chips.”
Imperial Stouts are often around 11% ABV with sweet malts resulting in high residual alcohol content; these sweet malts have to be perfectly balanced with bitter hops in a rich and complex style that has many layers of flavour – it’s an extremely difficult style of beer to master.
At The Driftwood, Mike and Brewery Assistant Tim have a Pilot Brew Kit at their disposal; the 70 litre capacity set-up allows them to experiment and push the boundaries with beers like Hygge.
Mike explained: “With its marshmallow silkiness and Cognac kick, Hygge was designed to be a luxury version of an Imperial Stout and, like all good strong beers, the flavour benefits from the higher ABV.”
Louise Treseder, Brewery Owner and Landlady of The Driftwood Spars, said: “Here at the pub we’re recommending sharing a bottle and sipping it like a wine or port. Our guests are enjoying it with our West Country cheeseboards, which Cornish Smuggler, Yarg and Brie amongst others.”
Hygge is bottle conditioned and sold in 330ml – just 100 bottles were produced and are now available to buy in the brewery shop, online and in selected independent bottle shops across Cornwall.