Coming on the back of my 'Crafty Thwaites' post we now have 'Innovative' Adnams. It seems like many regional brewers are joining the 'craft' bandwagon. The Adnams 'Jack Brand' range is a range of keg and bottled beers created in small batches which the flexibility of their new brewery makes possible if I am reading things correctly. I certainly like the branding with Adnams Jack forming the centrepiece of the logo. Should something innovative be using a retro logo though? Whatever the thought processes that went into it I think it's cool.
As far as Adnams is concerned they are probably my favourite regional brewer and they have been for many many years. Way back in the 1990s I completed a trail around all of their pubs to win a prize consisting of a pint glass, brewery tie and brewery tour with the head brewer at the time. For my wife and I Southwold has long been a favourite place for weekends away at all times of the year and we have been there quite a few times staying at the superb Adnams-owned Swan Hotel in the centre of town.
Adnams have always been creative on the brewing front. I have lost touch with them a little in more recent years as they do have a substantial core range of beers now and I am still to find some of these locally. I do always look out for their beers on the bar down here on the South coast though and many of their bottled beers are available locally. Bottled Broadside has always been a big favourite of mine as well as the Explorer. I had the fabulous Tally Ho as part of my '12 Beers of Xmas' and now I find myself with this little beauty which is the first from their 'Jack Brand' range.
Innovation (6.7% ABV)
The first thing I noticed about this beer was it pours thin and a bit lifeless. There was no head following the pour and it was lacking a bit of body. The colour was beautifully golden and the aroma was very inviting with promises of lush fruity hops. It may have looked a bit flat but the taste had a pleasant carbonation to it. There was plenty of fruit flavours in there with mango and peach initially evident. You could taste the alcohol in there too once these flavours dispersed before mandarin, grapefruit and pineapple kick in. The finish was gorgeously dry and bitter. Overall a very nice beer which I award a score of 8/10.
If I am being honest I probably preferred the fuller bodied Thwaites '13 Guns' to this beer. That was an American IPA though whereas this has English, American and European hops which gives a drier more bitter finish as well as more complexity in the flavours. They are both excellent beers and it is good to see the regional brewers experimenting in this way. I will now be looking to try more from the 'Jack Brand' range and I will endeavour to review them when I do.