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12th June 2017


Cuckoo Collaborative teams in front of the nanobrewery at the University of Nottingham

Two pairs of brewing students from the International Centre for Brewing Science (ICBS) at the University of Nottingham have embarked upon an ambitious undertaking as the Master’s research project for their MSc in Brewing Science & Practice.  Each team has developed a beer and brand and are brewing it with a local brewery.  It’ll then be launched in pubs in and around Nottingham and Derby in early July.

The first team is Cuckoo Collaborative with Black Iris – this team is working with Black Iris Brewery, a much-loved Nottingham brewery known for taking established beer styles and applying an innovative twist.  The second team, Cuckoo Collaborative with Dancing Duck, have teamed up with the award-winning Derby brewery, Dancing Duck, who have a reputation for crafting exemplars of classic ales.

Cuckoo Collaborative with Black Iris have made a Lime & Coriander Hefeweizen that goes by the name ‘Laima’s Luck’.  The name refers to a Baltic goddess of fortune who would often take the form of a cuckoo.  Her sacred tree was the lime tree and her job was to determine your fate.  Expect zingy citrus flavours balanced with spice to conjure up powerful imagery of mystique and intrigue.  To keep up-to-date with news and information from Cuckoo Collaborative with Black Iris, follow the team on social media:


Cuckoo Collaborative with Dancing Duck have developed a beer that aims to showcase British hops.  Their beer, ‘Jester’, is made with the support of the British Hop Association.  This support has led to the acquisition of a new hop variety, not yet used commercially!  The social media links for this team are as follows:


The Cuckoo Collaborative project is the grandchild of Natural Selection Brewing (NSB) , now in its seventh year at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.  Natural Selection is itself a collaboration between Stewart Brewing and ‘the Watt’ and was originally created by Steve Stewart and Guild Writer/quasi-Academic David Quain.  After four rounds of NSB, David left Heriot-Watt to join Nottingham and, not surprisingly, brought the idea with him.  First up – zerogravity – with Castle Rock Brewery resulted in a delicious altbier – Alternate Universe – that hit bars in and around Nottingham last summer.  This parent project has been re-imagined this year as the Cuckoo Collaborative, bringing the story to the present day.

To keep up with how the story is developing, the individual teams have their own Facebook and Instagram pages, as detailed above.  There is also a Twitter feed and a blog for the overall project:

Twitter: @Cuckoo_Coll

Keep an eye on these sites for information regarding how the brews are progressing, as well as when and where you can expect to find them, as they hit bars in and around Nottingham and Derby.

For more information: Ashley Wadeson,