Fuller’s launches Past Masters series
Published:  01 December, 2010

Fuller’s is launching what it calls a “new old beer” named Past Masters XX Strong Ale.

The London brewer said it was “the first in a series of beers from the brewery’s past”.

The recipe dates from 1891 and John Keeling, Fuller’s head brewer, and Derek Prentice, brewing manager, were aided by Ron Pattinson, brewing historian, and Peter Simpson, from Simpson’s Malt to create the brew.

Past Masters XX Strong Ale is 7.5% abv and is bottle conditioned in 50cl bottles. It has “distinctive warming overtones and a rich spicy flavour”, according to Fuller’s.

John Roberts, managing director of The Fuller’s Beer Company, said: “The Past Masters project came about as we thought it would be fascinating to delve into our long history to see how some of our old recipes would turn out if we had a go at brewing them for a more modern audience.

“John Keeling and his brewing team had an exciting time interpreting the recipes and they modified some of the modern processes to more closely replicate what the brewers of the 19th century had to work with.

“What they have created is an authentic strong old ale, with a distinct richness that I certainly haven’t tasted before. There’s still the clear Fuller’s family resemblance, but you can almost taste the history and heritage in every drop. There are hundreds of other really interesting recipes for us to also recreate – so watch this space.”

Fuller’s Head Brewer, John Keeling, said: “Our brew books are very old, very thick and there are lots of them. When we first sat down with Ron to identify a suitable recipe, we could have been there for days as we kept finding fascinating insights into the work of my brewing predecessors.

“For instance there were brews which used no English malts at all – in the 19th century. There are brewers doing that today and calling it innovation, I call it a rediscovering of the past.”

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