If you keep up with us on social media, you’ll have seen that we recently launched our newest beer, Bomber IPA. We’ve kept it under wraps for a while now, but the team have all been incredibly excited to be doing a beer made especially to be served in a 660ml “big boy” bottle so you can imagine how happy we are that the news is out there in the world!
For those of you who’ve followed our journey for a while now, you might remember our old bottles before we rebranded and moved to Tweedbank. They were 500ml, hand filled, and hand labelled, so bottling day for a beer was a huge team effort involving every single member of the team doing each part of the process. Plus, we didn’t have as many on our team back then as we do now, so it took days to fill enough boxes!
When we moved to Tweedbank, we got our awesome semi-automated bottling line and decided to go with 330ml bottles. It was more the industry standard, more what people actually wanted, and the people who wanted to buy it…so overall, it just made sense at the time.
But, some would say inevitably, people started asking us if we were planning on bringing the 500ml bottles back. People loved the size because they were easy to share with people, the labels had this really hand-made, rustic feel to them, and honestly we got a bit nostalgic as well.
We had always wanted to be able to offer a larger bottle but it meant further investment in change parts for the bottling machine, new labels boxes, bottles etc. Also the effort of realigning the machine from 330ml to 660ml bottles is no small feat. Therefore the addition of 600mls bottles to our range was put on hold.
But a trip to the New Zealand via California in January this year reignited Annika and Gavin’s desire to put our beer into big bottles. Of course, if you know your breweries, you’ll know that California is home to breweries like AleSmith, Sierra Nevada, Anchor, The Bruery, and over 350 other breweries. So they’ve got a lot of beer. And they’ve got a lot of it in bomber bottles, so when Annika and Gavin were over there not only did they drink a lot of good beer from bombers but they noticed lots of other people were too.
When they arrived back in Scotland – sadly rather dreich compared to New Zealand and California – Gavin was inspired to really look into doing bombers. The guys looked into getting the change parts for the line and what that would involve, and they started coming up with what they wanted to put into it.
And the resulting beer was Bomber IPA.
Weighing in at 6.8% ABV, Bomber is a beer made for sharing just like the bomber bottles in the US that Gavin and Annika had. Well, you don’t have to share it; it’s big enough to share of course, but also not so big that you wouldn’t be able to justify being selfish and drinking it all to yourself. The idea was to create a really well made, balanced IPA that would be easily drinkable, but still packed with really good flavour that would complement a wide variety of food.
The hop we decided to go with in this beer are Motueka for its fruity, tropical notes, Mosaic for a bit of citrus, and that classic pine resin rounds it off with Centennial. All are favourites here at the brewery, and give a really good flavour profile through a combination of hop additions during the brewing and dry hopping.
Plus as it turns out, it’s actually more beneficial to the quality of the beer to have it in the bomber bottles than in the smaller 330ml bottles. The beer itself picks up less dissolved oxygen; in short, oxygen isn’t good for beer if it wants to stay fresh and tasting great so being able to reduce this is something all breweries strive to do. We won’t go into too much detail right now, as we’ll likely ask the brew team to give us an insight blog later this month on the effects of oxygen in the brewing and packaging process.
But of course, we all like to know about the taste. We’d like to leave a lot of it to the imagination until you try it, but we’ll say for now that it’s got some tropical and citrus notes, a hint of pine to offset the sweetness, and some light malt notes. It doesn’t drink like 6.8%, that’s for sure! Well carbonated, a good refreshing mouthfeel, and as we’ve said, ideal for sharing or just enjoying to yourself. We’ve spent a lot of time developing and perfecting the recipe for this beer, and we’re hoping it can serve as a good base IPA for other flavours to be added onto it in the future…
It pairs excellently with a whole variety of dishes including Indian cuisine, crispy fried food, grilled meats, and full flavoured soft cheeses. Basically, everything that tastes good.
So grab a few bombers, get a few mates round, and split some Bomber IPA over an awesome meal.
Thanks to Zuzana Gibb for the label artwork and layout. You can now grab Bomber IPA online!