Bristol-based brewery Moor Beer has created its first lager, SIMPils (Single Infusion Mash Pilsner), in collaboration with acclaimed pils brewer Agostino Arioli, founder of Birrificio Italiano.
The 5.5% ABV lager uses a rich floor malt that’s mashed using the traditional British single infusion method. Then classic German lagering and natural carbonation techniques are carried out for an extended period, not dissimilar in a way to how Moor Beer has always brewed its modern real ales. SIMPils was brewed and lagered for more than 10 weeks. The long process means that it embodies the characteristics that make Moor Beer’s creations admired by beer lovers – it’s unfined, full flavoured and naturally hazy.
Inspiration for SIMPils came when Moor Beer’s Head Brewer, Justin Hawke, was living in Germany in the early 1990’s. Justin became fascinated with the techniques and flavours that make German lagers some of the most renowned on the planet. Discovering the small batch, unfiltered, hazy lagers provided significant insight into the brewing techniques that he introduced into the English real ale tradition and has long been central to Moor Beer’s brewing philosophy.
To create the lager, Justin worked with Agostino Arioli, who has been brewing lager for over 20 years and is celebrated for creating Tipopils, rated as one of the world’s best pilsners. He also organises the Pils Pride festival in Italy and the Pils & Love fest in the USA. The pair started brewing SIMPils in April this year at Moor Beer’s Bristol brewery.
Justin said: “We are recognised for making a variety of exciting modern real ales and have been waiting a long time to expand our repertoire to create this lager. Throughout the years we have had a firm idea of how we wanted it to look and taste and we are very happy with the result as we believe it is a truly unique lager.
“We really wanted to combine a variety of different approaches to ensure it is distinctive and refreshing, but remaining true to what people love about Moor Beer. We took the best English and German techniques, combined with Agostino’s flair for crafting pils, and the time needed to make sure it was properly matured.
“The brewing team has been extensively sampling it straight from the tank whenever we get a chance, I hope there is enough left to package! SIMPils is certainly one of my most anticipated additions to the Moor Beer line up in years.
“It was fantastic experience to create SIMPils alongside Agostino. He’s one of my favourite – and best – brewers of lager in the world. We brewed together last year in Italy, where we crafted a traditional English bitter, so we understand how each other likes to make beer and we have a great time doing it.”
SIMPils will be available on draught at the Moor Beer taproom (Days Rd, Bristol, BS2 0QS) and Vaults (71 Enid St, London, SE16 3RA) from Friday 6 July, as well as directly from the brewery and its distributors.
The launch of Moor Beer’s first lager serves as a teaser for the return of the I Want Moor festival, taking place from the 10 to 12 August at Moor Beer’s Bristol and Bermondsey sites. Following its successful debut last year, the Moor Beer team will once again put the spotlight on the best and rare beers from a specific part of Europe, with more details set to follow very soon.
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Moor Beer Company
Moor Beer was born in 2007 when Justin Hawke purchased a defunct brewery based in the Somerset Levels and Moors. With its headquarters now in the centre of Bristol and a site in London, Moor Beer has become one of the world’s top-rated breweries regularly winning national and international awards.
In 2017, Justin was named ‘Brewer of the Year’ at the British Guild of Beer Writers’ awards.
Having kicked off the unfined beer movement in the UK to produce products that do not compromise on flavour and aroma, Moor Beer is the first brewer to be accredited by CAMRA for cask, keg, bottle and can.
Moor Beer’s inspiration mirrors the journey of its founder. Born in California and enjoying beers with intense hop flavours, Justin joined the US military where time stationed in Germany introduced him to naturally hazy ales. Trips to the UK meant the discovery of secondary fermentation and highly drinkable and well-balanced beers.
The result is what Moor Beer Company prides itself on – Modern Real Ale.www.moorbeer.co.uk