We've been quietly impressed with the guys at Verdant for quite some time now, getting to taste their beers pretty frequently at Small Bar. They brew on the same size kit as our kit, but only brew on that whereas we cuckoo in various breweries where our friends in the industry let us squeeze in, as well as brewing on our own little kit. So we know the hard work and skill it takes to produce reasonable amounts of beer on a small kit, and by all accounts we reckoned these guys must work very hard, and be extremely skilled!
The idea of a collab came about when we were discussing the challenges of cuckoo brewing so we invited the Verdant team along to see for themselves. The opportunity to make a beer together seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.
The idea of a baby Belgian pale was inspired by Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch. Big hoppy Belgian IPA. We decided we wanted to squeeze the Belgian characteristics with a big hop punch into a low abv beer, sub 4%. As we all bounced ideas back and forward the below brewsheet came together, we went for surebrew 570 (Belgian golden ale) for our yeast and Centennial, Columbus and Amarillo as our main hops with a touch of Warrior in for bittering. We introduced a complex malt bill to give the beer some depth with Pale Ale Malt, Vienna, Carapils, Flaked Oats, Rye Malt and Caramunich all going in.
The brewday was great fun, with both teams learning a lot from each other. We also drank copious amounts of beer, thereby ticking both boxes of ‘things to achieve from a collab day’ ;-)’
The beer has ended up 3.8%, we kegged it last week and it is tasting great! Real big body and fruity flavours, with the hops and belgian yeast working great together. It tastes way bigger than 3.8%, which was the idea.
A couple months ago Matt Davies, one of Small Bar’s very first team members, made a bit of an error when tweeting that a Verdant beer had just came on tap. Verdant have beer called Headband and one called Lightbulb. Somehow these 2 came together to lead Matt to tweet we’d just started pouring Verdant Headlamp. Verdant politely pointed out they don’t make a beer called Headlamp...so for our collab we thought we’d take Matty’s inspiration and call our baby Belgian pale Headlamp! We did discuss Maneken de Pis, but we weren't sure of associating ourselves with a small Belgian baby who spends his time peeing in a pond..
The beer will be available on our lists as of next week, and may well be pouring in Small Bar this weekend.
Go get it, and enjoy!