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30th July 2014

Brewer looks to the sea for latest creation

ONE of the country’s most experimental breweries has delved into the depths of the ocean to look for inspiration for its latest beer creation.

Hardknott Brewery, which is based in Millom, Cumbria, has used squid ink to make a special beer which looks like a stout, yet is light and refreshing with overtones of sea air.

Brewer Dave Bailey has become so attached to his new product that he has had a giant tattoo of the creature inked onto his back.

The 3.8% abv beer – named Squiddy – was made in collaboration with the organisers of the Birmingham Beer Bash, where Hardknott was selling beer from July 24 to July 26. The brewery launched the beer at the event on Thursday.

Mr Bailey, who runs the brewery on Millom’s Devonshire Road Industrial Estate with his partner Ann Wedgwood, said he wanted to brew a beer that challenged people’s preconceptions of what dark beer tasted like.

Squiddy contains one part squid ink to 3000 parts beer. Although it doesn’t taste fishy, Mr Bailey said the beer does have a touch of the ocean about it.

He said: “Everybody thinks of dark beers in a certain way but that’s a fallacy, you shouldn’t let your eyes rule what your tongue is tasting. In fact dark beers have just as broad and varied a taste as any other colour of beer. We thought we would make something completely different that would make this point by defying people’s ideas about what dark beer tastes like.

“Even though Squiddy might look dark it is a long way from a stout. It’s light and refreshing, with a crisp herbal aroma and a gentle lemon bite at the end. However, the squid ink adds fresh sea ozone, with hints of summer rock pools, seaweed and, if you listen carefully, you can hear the waves crashing and even a faint background of children building sandcastles, sea gulls, fog horns et cetera.

“It took us a while and a fair bit of trial and error to get the proportions of beer to squid ink just right but I am happy we’ve created something truly original that will intrigue and surprise people. Unfortunately if you spend too much time with squid ink it tends to rub off on you and I ended up with a massive tattoo of a squid on my back. I am hopeful this will fade with time, along with people’s misconceptions about dark beer.”

To find out more about Hardknott’s beers go to