Nottingham drinkers will go cuckoo for new beer collaboration

L-R; Professor David Quain, Daniel Boxall (Student), Ashley Wadeson (Student) Alex Wilson, Director from the Black Iris Brewery Picture by Andrew Hallsworth.

Beer-lovers in Nottingham and Derby will be able to sample two exciting new brews and get the first taste of a new hop variety never used before commercially thanks to a brewing project run by the University of Nottingham.

Four students from the University of Nottingham operating under the name ‘Cuckoo Collaborative’ have been working in two teams with Black Iris brewery in Nottingham and Dancing Duck Brewery in Derby to develop and launch a 3,000 litre batch of beer.

‘Laima’s Luck’ and ‘Jester’ beers are the culmination of the students’ six-month master’s research project as part of their MSc in Brewing Science & Practice. Laima’s Luck launched last night at the Kean’s Head in Nottingham with Jester being launched Exeter Arms in Derby on Thursday 13th July.

Cuckoo Collaborative with Black Iris have made a Lime and Coriander Hefeweizen branded ‘Laima’s Luck’.  The beer combines zingy citrus flavours with spice to create a refreshing drink.

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Cuckoo Collaborative with Dancing Duck have developed a beer that showcases British hops. Their beer, ‘Jester’, is made with the support of the British Hop Association.  This support has led to the acquisition of a new hop variety (GP75), not yet used commercially.The hop gives an intense, punchy aroma of new world proportions, with flavour notes of grapefruit and tropical fruits.

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Alex Wilson, Co-owner of Black Iris Brewery said: “It’s been great working with Ashley and Dan on the Cuckoo Collaborative project. It was a really open process where we allowed the guys to focus on brewing some truly interesting beers. The outcome has been a really delicious, summery Hefeweizen.”

The project is the brainchild of Dr David Quain who co-created it when he was at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Since arriving in Nottingham David has developed the idea and last year ran it with Castle Rock Brewery as the ‘Zerogravity’ project. The Cuckoo Collaborative develops the approach, with the project being reborn each year with new collaborating breweries.

David says: “The Cuckoo Collaborative project is about bringing the science of brewing to life through recipe development, production and launch into the ‘real world’. Both teams should be very proud of what they have achieved, which is two commercially successful beers that taste wonderful. It is also very exciting that a new hop variety has been used in one of the beers.”

The teams developed their beers using the University’s state-of-the-art brewing facilities before scaling up the recipes at their brewery partners.

Ashley Wadeson is one of the group responsible for brewing Laima’s Luck, he says, “It’s so exciting to have finally launched the product that we’ve been working so hard on for the past year. We couldn’t have done it without the expertise and support of the team at Black Iris brewery who really helped us refine our ideas and reach a product that we hope consumers will enjoy.”

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A one-year on campus postgraduate course and a part-time three/four year distance learning programme are run by the The International Centre for Brewing Science (ICBS), in the School of Biosciences at Sutton Bonington. The multi-disciplinary approach of the ICBS is focused on brewing raw materials, yeast, fermentation, sensory science, innovation and draught beer quality.

The draught beers are available for a limited time in pubs in Nottingham and Derby.