by ali on July 2nd, 2015
Bristol brewery Moor Beer Co have created a beer for our customer in common, café/bar/bicycle workshop Look Mum No Hands (LMNH). The beer is in celebration of the Tour de France, and for this Moor wanted to add an extra dimension to their popular Revival pale ale. After a tasting session, they decided to infuse it with Canton’s Jasmine Pearls, resulting in Rider’s Revival.
We spoke to Justin at Moor about the process of creating this tea-infused beer.
Where did the idea originate to produce a tea-infused beer?
We’ve been working with LMNH a long time and were discussing brewing a beer with them to help celebrate the Tour de France. The beer needed to be something refreshing, interesting, and highly drinkable. One of our most celebrated beers, Revival, has many of those qualities so we thought we would use that as the base and add another dimension to it. I hate gimmicks, especially when it comes to beer (which is sadly becoming all too common), so whatever we did had to have integrity and the end result needed to be something better than the sum of its parts. I had an idea that melding the delicate aromatics of jasmine with Revival could work really well, and the sweet grassiness of the green tea should blend well with the malt and hops.
Why did you choose Canton’s Jasmine Pearls?
LMNH loved the concept of the beer and suggested they had the perfect partner for it with Canton Tea. The two companies already worked together, and Canton Tea is based not far from us so it seemed like a great match. I headed over there with some bottles of Revival so we could do some tasting together and discuss the project. I was impressed immediately with the enthusiasm, passion and quality of the Canton Tea people. We had our vision for the integrity and balance of the beer aligned so I knew the result would be good. We tasted several infusions on the day and agreed that Canton’s Jasmine Pearls would be the best ones for this collaboration.
Do you think tea-infused beers are on trend at the moment, and if so why?
The trend at the moment with beer is anything goes. It’s not a trend I agree with. Our philosophy is to create a concept for a finished beer and reverse engineer it, rather than throw a bunch of ingredients together and see what happens. Brewers are constantly trying to dig up long forgotten beer styles, create new ones, and experiment with different techniques and ingredients. Coffee as a beer ingredient has been in use for some time, and several years ago brewers started experimenting with tea. Earl Grey seemed to be the popular choice to start with, the citric notes from bergamot seem like a natural partner for new world hops. Personally I don’t believe that the black tea base works well with lighter coloured beers and thought the green tea base would be a much better match, hence our choice.
What is the brewing process when making tea flavoured beer (without giving any secrets away)?
This comes down to philosophy and intent, so everyone will take a different approach. Having visited a tea plantation in China I understood the importance of different steeps, times and temperatures. I used this knowledge to devise our addition method. The goal was to infuse flavour without leaching out too much tannin. Also, we wanted the aromas and flavours from the tea to marry with the beer, not sit above or below it. This necessitated very close monitoring and multiple additions, which we think worked very well.
What is the flavour profile of the finished beer? How Jasminey is it?
The flavours and the balance work really well together. You know you’re drinking a beer (it’s not an alcopop), but there is a real level of interest and complexity that sets it apart. The jasmine is definitely there, but you’re not drinking a bar of soap – which is a good thing!
How does this link in to the Tour de France?
LMNH are keen cycling enthusiasts, so the link to the Tour de France is quite clear. This followed through with naming the beer Rider’s Revival and the colours on the label are red and white polka dot for the King of the Mountain jersey.
A large portion of Rider’s Revival will be available directly at LMNH and our own brewery Tap. Small quantities will be sold at locations around the UK, and across Europe, making it a truly international beer.
Photo credit: Look Mum No Hands and Moor Beer