A British obsession

I guess what I’m really saying is why as a craft brewing nation are new micros/craft brewers in the UK obsessed with using a very neutral US ale strain (us-05), and one that does not flocculate very well which leaves a lot of yeast in suspension at the time of consumption. I guess as they are trying to emulate some of the great US craft brewers, which if that’s true they really should buy a centrifuge and or filter set, or just fine in the tank and force carbonate before packaging so they can mimic there chosen craft brewers entire brewing process.

But then again, who would you say is making the best Pale Ales/IPA’s in the US and what yeast do you think they are using? Are they using a clean US ale strain or British strains?

It’s probably safe to say that consistently the best IPA brewed in the US over the last 8 years is Union Jack IPA it won gold in the GABF in 2008 and 2009, a silver in 2013, along with a load of other medals from around the world. And what yeast do they use WLP002, or that is what their brew master has said is the closest commercially available yeast, and WLP002 is known simply as the English Ale strain on the White Labs website, and most likely is the Fullers brewery strain.

Stone Brewing has said the closest commercially available yeast to their house yeast is WLP007, this yeast is known on the White Labs site as the Dry English ale strain.

Hill Farmstead Brewery which has just been rated by the rate beer site as the best brewery in the world is rumoured to use a British ale strain, although it’s not known for sure which one. If rumours are to be believed and you have to love a good rumour then it could well be something like Wyeasts 1318 the London Ale III strain or Wyeast 1099 the Whitbread Ale strain.

I don’t know about you but im starting to detect a pattern here and yes it’s only a small sample of breweries and its far from statistically valid but arguably some of the best breweries the US has to offer at the moment are all using English/British yeast strains!

The UK tends to follow the US in brewing trends so how long will it be before more micro/craft breweries in the UK move back to British strains in the search for more balanced beers instead of the bitter hop bombs that are the current trend.

I guess the real question is can more of the new start British micros/craft breweries manage to shake off their addiction to us-05 and other dried yeasts and mover over to wet yeast? The big problem being the major lack knowledge in this area amongst both the new start, and some not so new starts!

I have a feeling the next few years will be very profitable for anyone in the yeast consultancy business!

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