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4th February 2021

12 Month IPA – An invitation to explore the cask beer aging process in action

Sharps Head Brewer Aaron

 After reading an article about IPAs by Robert Percival of Lallemand last year, Sharp’s Brewery’s head brewer, Aaron McClure, was inspired to go on a journey to see how a single batch IPA, brewed to a similar strength and bitterness as the first IPAs, develops over the course of a year. He has since brewed the beer and 12 casks have been filled, ready to be opened, tasted and analysed each month and is looking for a beer writer to come on board with him.

Aaron says; “In the name of exploration, I’ve brewed an IPA which is close to the historic IPA style, strong (10% ABV) and bitter (80 IBU) using authentic ingredients and brewing process. I brewed the beer on our small pilot plant in Rock, Cornwall in mid-January and have stored the beer in 12 casks. I will be taking one out of storage each month to be tasted, profiled, and fully analysed for physical, chemical and microbiological changes. I will also be hand bottling some to send to the beer writer that joins me on this investigation”.

The brewery would like to hear from anyone with an interest in exploring the aging process of this historic IPA style, who would be keen to taste the beer each month and join a select group to discuss the findings.

Aaron says “I’ve got some expectations for how the beer will be by the end of the year and confidence isn’t high, but I’m really excited to learn about (and taste) the ageing process. There is a huge element of the unknown for me and I’d like to offer the opportunity for exploration to a beer writer too”.

The outcome of this project won’t result in a beer for public release, but we hope it will provide a great learning opportunity which can add to the existing scientific understanding of cask ale. Any interested parties should email before 10th Feb with a short paragraph about themselves and why they’d like to be involved.

Press release from Sharps Brewery

For more information, contact