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Norfolk Champion – Bet The Farm

Bet The Farm

The  bottled Farmhouse Pale version of our Continental Pale with the same name has one Champion Bottled Beer of Norfolk, Camra 2024! We are thrilled see this yeast focused labour of love win Champion Beer of Norfolk it really warms our heart especially after the fresh canned version scooped Best Beer in East Anglia by Ratebeer in 2020.

Bet The Farm in bottle is one of our Fermata beers – musically Fermata means to delay or prolong a note and is the name we give to all our ‘slow made beers’ that barrel age for months if not years developing wonderful complexity of flavours from time and wild yeasts at play. Mixed fermentation ‘sour’ beers have evolved from a Belgian ‘Lambic’ tradition that we feel drawn to.

With Bet The Farm we take a pilsner malt base, dry hop with nobles Mandarina Bavaria, Tettnanger – if we want a crisp light lager-esque Belgian blond we simply can and serve. If we want to see how time and yeast can impact the beers flavour we take it one step further. Bet The Farm the bottled version is barrel aged for 13 months in a white American oak Foeder that has a blend of yeast cultures in the barrel. After many months the end result is a vinous, lightly spiced and tropical beer. Tart, super dry and intriguingly balanced. The Fermata version leaves you smacking your lips in an curious manner as if you’ve sipped a whiskey sour or have some apple cider dancing on the tongue.

The judges who crowned Bet The Farm Champion Bottled Beer of Norfolk were CAMRA’s Norfolk Tasting Panel, who described the beer as

‘Complex and balanced with hop, herbs and spices, giving a Lambic feel’.

Let’s be real, it’s a rare breed of drinker that enjoys Lambic styled or Mixed Fermentation beers and commercially, with all the wait time, the nuanced flavours make them pretty niche and they don’t really make sense to market happier to imbibe hazy Pales and IPAs. Don’t get us wrong we love a hazy and we were thrilled to see traditional cask drinkers getting turned on to a hazy style IPA when, at Norwich Beer Festival we poured our flagship Turtles on cask. It sold out faster than any other cask in 15 years – according to festival organisers.

Lambic styles however hold our passion, we love them and place them firmly at the heart of our raison d’etre. At Duration we believe to keep the craft of brewing alive and diverse ALL styles of beers must exist, even if with the Lambics we have to seek out drinkers to even try them, let alone champion them.

Adrian Tierney-Jones wrote in Imbibe about how yeast is fundamental to beer, but it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves

Let’s be clear: no yeast, no beer. Yeast is the driving force behind fermentation, a ravenous beast that devours the sugars loosened from malt to create alcohol and CO2.

Top- or warm-fermenting yeast strains work with ale; bottom- or cold- with lager and let us not forget the wild strain of Brettanomyces, much beloved by Belgian Lambic brewers.

BANNER bet_bottles

‘Beer is a sum of its parts,’ says Derek Bates, head brewer at Norfolk’s much acclaimed Duration Brewing. ‘Without the water, malt and hops it wouldn’t be “beer” as we know it − that being said, yeast is the key to unlocking all those things and making them what they are.

Blend water, malt and hops together but leave out the yeast? All you have is a sweet, slightly bitter tea. Yeast is that prism into another world, a little bit of magic behind all the science.’

Pick up a bottle of Bet The Farm (or from 25th April we’ll have the fresh Contential Pale canned version for a side by side tasting). Decide for yourself if both warrant the accolades they have received. You can order the bottle version of Bet The Farm and all our Mixed Ferm ‘Lambic’ style beers from our Fermata Range HERE


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