Crafty brew is home to roost

19 September, 2008

Greene King has blended its Old 5X beer with a stronger version of Old Speckled Hen to create a

vintage oaked beer.

Old Crafty Hen has a 6.5% abv and retails

at £2.49 for a 50cl bottle.

It went into 600 Tesco and Sainsbury's stores last week. "I nitial sales are very encouraging," said take-home director Neil Jardine.

Greene King claims to be the only brewery in Britain to practice the technique of blending oak-matured strong ales with other beers.

Head brewer John Bexton said: "I was keen to reproduce the distinctive toffee notes of Old Speckled Hen. It had to deliver greater strength, full

body and a wider range of characters.

"Adding Old 5X has given an eruption of fruity, raisiny notes. There is also a hint of oakiness - but there would be, given that the marvellous 12% abv Old 5X has been matured in 100 barrel oak vats."

Jardine added: "It's not a limited edition, it's here to stay. We feel excited about the opportunity to tap into what consumers want - which is premium products."




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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
total a

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