12/04/2022

The Pilot Project Commences!

  • Written by Castle Rock Brewery
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The Pilot Project?

Yep. The Pilot Project. It has a nice ring to it, we think.

Based in the Old Cold Store, the Pilot Project is our other brew kit (as opposed to our main production kit based in the brewery). Our main kit has a 65HL capacity, or in other words, is capable of producing over 11,000 pints in one brew. The Pilot Project is a much smaller kit. At 160L, it is capable of producing around 280 pints per brew, which opens up a whole host of opportunities for us.

It means greater freedom to explore, experiment and push the boundaries of our existing knowledge. It’s all about research and development, which is how we landed on its name, the Pilot Project.

The Pilot Project beers aren’t about generating profit, in fact, the project is a break-even venture for us. It’s about going back to basics, toying with new techniques and approaches, and producing limited edition beers on a smaller scale.

Lead by brewer Danny Pearson, another motivator for the Pilot Project is for in-depth feedback and to generate a more intimate conversation around beer. Which leads us to our next point…

Pilot Project Collab Brews at this year’s Yard Party

At long last, the Yard Party is set to return on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st May! A celebration of beer from near and far, with over 20 cask beers and 40 keg beers on the bar over the weekend. We can’t wait, and this year promises to be our biggest and best one yet.

This year, we have had the pleasure of welcoming a handful of local breweries (and one very local pub!) to brew with us on the Pilot Kit. All five beers will be launched at the Yard Party! We have:

Castle Rock Pilot Project 

x Black Iris – a full-bodied DIPA, massively dry-hopped with experimental HBC 586 hops. Expect intense tropical and citrus flavours.

x Lenton Lane – a crisp IPA packed full of Talus Cryo hops. Has a lovely floral aroma, with tangerine and coconut flavours.

x Navigation – a big fruity beast of a gose! Lightly salted with Pink Himalayan salt, and packed full of blackcurrant and redcurrant puree. Vivid colour, big juicy fruity flavours, tart finish.

x Blue Monkey – a hefty addition of peach and pineapple puree give this beer bags of tropical flavours, with Philly Sour yeast bringing a lovely tartness into the mix. This is all rounded off by an addition of Madagascan vanilla pods to bring a touch of creamy sweetness.

x Vat and Fiddle – we told you the pub was super local! An impy mild because we love them. You’ll find this one on at the Vat over the Yard Party, with the rest of their collab beers!

Where can I try the beers?

Please note: the Pilot Project launches are currently on hold until June. Please check back here for more info. 

Every Wednesday at the Barley Twist we launch our latest Pilot Project beer. From 4-6pm brewer Danny is also on hand to answer any questions, receive feedback or listen to ideas for future brews.

We’ll usually launch one beer a week, in keg or cask.

The Barley Twist also now has a canning machine, so all draught beer can be bought to-go. (And there’s a nice 30% off discount on all takeaway beers, too!)

Check out the Facebook event here for more info! Be sure to let us know what you think, either in person at the Twist or by checking in on Untappd.

The Beers (so far):

Past beers:

Pilot Project: Citra And Chinook IPA, 6%, keg only

Hazy IPA with chinook and citra late hops, dry-hopped with a hefty dose of juicy citra. Fruity flavours and a light bitterness.

Raspberry Sour, 4.2%, keg only

10kg of raspberries and Philly Sour yeast combine to give a juicy and fruity beer with a light, zingy tartness. A perfectly smashable summer beer!

‘The Betty’ Pale, 5.4%, cask only

Using ‘The Betty’ hop blend this time. A thick, oaty body gives this beer a super hazy appearance. Aromas of tropical fruits, lime and orange peel.

‘The Bruce/Betty’ IPA, 6.1%, keg only

An amped-up version of ‘The Bruce’ pale, with ‘The Betty’ thrown in the mix. Big citrus flavours and a resinous, piney bitterness, all over a hazy, pale body.

‘The Bruce’ Pale, 5.8%, keg only

This hazy pale ale used a New Zealand hop blend, named after a long-serving hop farmer. Providing aromas of fresh gooseberry, citrus peel, tropical fruits and orange blossom.

Pastry Stout Base, 7.1%, keg only

A base recipe for future pastry stouts, expect rich chocolate and coffee flavours with a thick, decadent mouthfeel.

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