ATTIC x CASTLE ROCK COLLAB – TUCK SHOP
IBU – 10
MALT- Extra Pale Ale malt/Oats/Torrefied Wheat
YEAST- Philly Sour + US05
OTHER INGREDIENTS – maltodextrin, custard powder, rhubarb juice
Let’s face it, as brewers we all want to be Willy Wonka. The Candy Man. We all want to ask the important questions, like ‘who can build a rainbow, sprinkle it with dew?’
But beer is for grown-ups, and this beer is a very grown up take on a childhood sweet shop favourite. As the team at Attic describe it, it’s a very adult dollop of custard on a post Sunday-lunch dessert of stewed rhubarb.
We wanted to brew something playful, fruity, tart and sweet while at the same time maintaining balance and drinkability. After many late nights exchanging ideas, emojis and gifs, we landed on rhubarb and custard – a classic English pairing of sweet and sour.
One thing that was also stipulated early on was that we wanted to keep the beer vegan, which meant we wouldn’t be using lactose to make it sweet. To balance the acidity of the yeast and rhubarb, we would use high mash bed temperatures, vanilla for sweetness, and maltodextrin added to the kettle.
I think what we’ve achieved went beyond my expectations. The idea of a rhubarb and custard beer is almost silly. Tuck Shop has turned out to be something very sophisticated. It is a delicate, poised, elegant and balanced beer.
We’re really lucky to be able to work with the guys at Attic Brew Co. Our friendship with them was born from a chance meeting in a Birmingham bar a couple of 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 on was a collaboration between our two designers, inspired (obviously) by rhubarb and custard sweets. So, before I crack on, we just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone at Attic – it’s a pleasure working with you all.
Matt & Co
Rhubarb and custard
We used 180L of rhubarb juice (it’s clear, who knew?) at the tail end of fermentation, to make sure the flavours weren’t blown off during the aggressive phase of ferment. The rhubarb juice was only 1.018 gravity, so we assume a lot of the classic rhubarb flavours aren’t associated with its sweetness like most other fruits. Thankfully, that meant the rhubarb flavour carried through really well.
We then added natural custard flavouring to taste. At the taste test, we decided vanilla wasn’t necessary so omitted it from the final recipe.
Hops take a bit of a breather in Tuck Shop. 10 IBUs of Bramling Cross at flameout add a low level of fruity bitterness.
Extra Pale malt forms for the base malt for Tuck Shop, with a large ratio of oats (half of the grist) and Torrefied Wheat and Wheat Malt for body and silkiness. A mash bed temperature of 69degrees Celsius helped us create a thick NEIPA style wort by leaving plenty of residual sugar in the beer after fermentation.
We used a soft, chloride-heavy water profile, similar to our NEIPA profile. This adds to the perception of sweetness and a fuller mouthfeel.
We used Philly Sour yeast for this beer, which soured for five days and fermented for ten. We then used an American ale yeast, US 05, to ferment the last eight points. Predictably, Philly Sour hails from the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, USA, and is a great yeast for sessionable sour beers. It gives good head retention and has a refreshing acidity with notes of stone fruit.