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Home / News / Latest News / Brewer’s Notes: Midlands Bitter
Castle Rock's latest collaboration brew is with Birmingham-based Attic Brew Co.

Midlands Bitter is available in cask from the end of November in our pubs and beyond.

Background

Not too long ago, we found ourselves on our way to Stirchley to brew a beer with our friends at Attic Brew Co.

We had tossed around a few ideas about what sort of beer to brew and settled on a rhubarb and custard sour, Willy Wonka style. We wanted to brew something playful, fruity, tart and sweet while at the same time maintaining balance and drinkability. We called it Tuck Shop and we were all very happy with it.

Fast forward a couple of months and it’s all but gone. So, the timing couldn’t be better for Attic to visit us for a return collab brew.

Tuck Shop started as a slightly out there concept, but ended up a poised and balanced beer. This time around, we wanted brew something tried, tested and traditional. Quaint and reliable: a good old-fashioned midlands bitter.

Attic Brew Co.

We’ve loved working with Attic Brew Co. Our friendship with them was born from a chance meeting in a Birmingham bar a few years back. We went on to arrange retrospective tap takeovers and formed a partnership during the pandemic; we use Attic’s kit for smaller brews, predominantly for canned beers. In exchange, Attic get a little bit of extra income to help them buffer the hit of a tough 2020.

But more importantly, it’s been a chance for two groups of brewers and creatives to come together to learn, evolve and brew great beer. Even the artwork of our collab beers has been a joint effort from our two designers.

They brew a varied range of enjoyable, keg only beers, which are served from their on-site tap room and beyond. Until now that is, because we have the privilege of joining Attic on embarking on their first cask beer to served in their tap house.

Brewer’s Notes – by Matt Cooper

Midlands Bitter

Malt: Chevalier Heritage Malt, Munich, Crystal, Chocolate, Amber

Hops: WGV, Bramling Cross

WE LOVE BEER. Obviously. And we love beer as brewers but also as drinkers. It’s our job to promote and celebrate good beer, in all it’s many forms, from the traditional and modern.

This collab was all about honouring tradition and celebrating the heritage of cask brewing. We wanted to keep the recipe straight up and simple, so we opted for a classic best bitter – midlands style.

Fuelled by an early morning breakfast of Doughnotts, we paired a complex and rich malt bill with the subtle bitterness and earthy aroma of British hops. For the base malt, we used a heritage variety of malting barley called Chevalier, and a variety of other kilned malts to give the beer a warm amber colour and satisfying flavour. UK hop varieties WGV and Bramling Cross were then added to balance the rich malt bill with subtle bitterness and earthy aroma. We fermented using our house ale yeast culture, helping the flavours to balance and “make friends” in the fermenter.

Available in cask only, perfect to pair with a pickled egg or a packet of crisps while playing Dominoes/Cribbage/KerPlunk.

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