Given I’m a Brit, I’m obviously a soccer (football!) fan. My dad has supported Tottenham Hotspur for his whole life, and so it was only natural that I followed the family tradition. I went to most of the home games at Tottenham before I moved to the US, so in this World Cup year hearing that Tottenham are playing a game against Seattle in July was really exciting! So exciting, it called for a beer to be brewed.
As a commercial brewery we have never brewed a British Bitter, a British Pale Ale. I prefer to call the style British Pale Ale, as here in the Pacific Northwest our palettes are used to the IBU punch of our local IPAs – so a British Bitter seems in no way bitter to us! One of my favorite examples of the style is London Pride from Fullers, which is why we occasionally have that beer as a guest tap at the brewery. I was born close to the Fuller’s Brewery, and used to drive past it every day on the way to work.
Having Tottenham come to Seattle was a perfect opportunity for us to brew a British Pale ale. I thought it would be awesome if we could brew this beer specifically for the game, and to raise money for charity at the same time. So I reached out to the Seattle Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Club to suggest the idea. They, along with one of the Seattle Sounders supporters clubs – Gorilla FC – decided that we should donate part of the proceeds from this beer to Street Soccer Seattle an organization that uses soccer to empower homeless individuals to find greater success and peace in their lives.
And so on June 24, Nicole Tingval and Shawn Tucker – representatives from Seattle Spurs and Gorilla FC respectively – came to the brewery to help brew London Calling, our British Pale Ale, for the first time. With a British base malt of Maris Otter, British crystal malt to provide the backbone to offset the bitterness, Golding hops and a British fruity yeast strain, we are brewing this beer in the traditional style. As the beer is inspired by soccer, it will be a session-able 4.7% ABV and will have 35 IBUs. One of the reasons I’ve been hesitant to brew a British Pale since we opened, is that I believe the water profile is totally key for this style. London water is very different to Seattle water, and with every beer we brew we adjust the mineral content of the water to give us the flavor profile we want. I think I have a good idea of how we want the water to be in this beer now – after working on it for over a year!
And the timing works perfectly – this beer will be released on Friday July 11 at the taproom, the weekend of the World Cup Final and the week before Tottenham come to Seattle. We’ll have some casks available at the taproom on various days, including the inaugural tapping on July 11 at 6pm, and the beer will be available on draught at various locations throughout the city.