Robinsons Brewery’s first lager to join its infamous Iron Maiden Trooper range has been made using authentic Japanese saké yeast.
Sun and Steel, which is described as “one of the most complex beers Robinsons Brewery has ever produced”, is a 4.8% abv double fermented lager.
The idea for the beer, designed once again by Iron Maiden vocalist and beer fan Bruce Dickinson along with Robinsons’ head brewer Martyn Weeks, was first conceived in 2016 when Dickinson meet friend of the band George Yusa, owner of the 300 year-old, family-run Okunomatsu Saké Brewery in Fukushima. Dickinson became intrigued with the idea of putting the two flavour profiles together and thus Sun and Steel was born.
Weeks and his team has been carefully cultivating a strain of the yeast sent to them in 2017, once permission was obtained from the Japanese government to brew with it.
Dickinson said: “This has been such an exciting project. I had a crazy idea to try and make a saké -infused lager and over two and a half years later, here we are!
“I know Martyn and the team at Robinsons have had to become mad scientists to make this work but the end result is a really unique hybrid beer that tastes fantastic. Trooper fans have been asking for a lager, and here it is. I bet you would never have guessed we would do it like this though!”
Sun and Steel takes its name from the Iron Maiden song of the same name, which was in turn inspired by the life of Japanese Samurai Miyamoto Musashi. It is a hybrid beer because it is made with two yeasts. A lager yeast for the initial fermentation followed by a saké yeast for a second fermentation. The result is a delicate, subtle fruit flavour infused into a pilsner style lager, according to the brewer.
Sun and Steel, the sixth beer in the Trooper range, will be available in the UK – for the off and on-trades – from May 6th in celebration of Trooper’s sixth birthday. It will be released globally later in 2019.