Are you having a graff?
December 12, 2022
Introducing our latest LTD EDN brew, an apple sour (sort of) with a surprising backstory
At Brixton Brewery our brewers have reassssonably free rein when it comes to shaping the lineup of limited editions which we brew and then release for sale throughout the year. We see these beers as an opportunity to experiment, to let our brewing imaginations run wild and see where that takes us. We like this approach, because it means we’re always trying something new and learning along the way.
So when one of the brewing team suggested we brew something called a graf? Graff? Graph…? we said why the heck not. A quick Google search reveals that a graff is not fully a cider and not fully a beer; it’s somewhere in between and is a style that came into being as a fictional beverage – invented by Stephen King for his Dark Tower series of sci-fi fantasy books.
King describes graff as a strong, “dark golden” brew which is not bitter but sweet and tart “like a cider.” Taking inspiration from this, home brewers started trying to recreate the fictional drink IRL. Nowadays within the brewing community a graff is generally accepted to be a name for a beer / cider hybrid - but with no strict guidelines, it’s a style that leaves lots of room for creativity and fun (hence the name, Having A Graff).
We headed down to Kent to get our hands on some apples, pressed freshly to order and brought this straight back to the Brixton for use in the brew.
We started by creating a light rye beer base which we gently kettle soured for 48hrs with a unique lacto strain to lend some fresh, citrusy acidity. Once the souring was complete, we blended this base 50/50 with our fresh Kentish apple juice before fermenting together as one. A very light dry hopping of noble hops helps to bring some earthiness to the spice of the rye while accentuating the stone fruit aromas, all coming together to complement the deliciously crisp acidity of the apples in this unique blend. We think it’s a hit!
Pop down to our taproom to give it a try while stocks last and do let us know what you think! Alternatively, we’ll be bringing some with us to the London Christmas Beer Festival later this month so grab yourself a ticket and make sure you come and say hi.