We couldn’t celebrate our Birthday without raising a glass to the collective Brew By Numbers team favourite, our 11|Session IPA. With a full and smooth body, this classic hazy session India Pale Ale has been the base of much creativity and innovation in the brewhouse for almost all of our past 10 years. By far one of our best sellers, having been poured in over 30 countries around the world, this beer is not only loved by consumers but has a special place in the heart of the BBNo family. Number 11 is the beer we reach for and share at our team BBQs because of its perfect balance, sessionability and ideal pairing with great food and close friends!
In the Beginning
In our early days - approximately 2013 and 2014 - while the world was fiending for hops, we spent a considerable time exploring the market, both at home and abroad for inspiration, our goal was the craft the perfect beverage for hop delivery without with a balance that invites you back pint after pint; we knew this was going to be an India Pale Ale. The closest thing we could find to meeting our needs was the All Day IPA by Michigan based Founder’s brewery. Intense flavour and low ABV, a stark contrast to the popular IPAs of the time which were sitting between 6-7%. The only downside? There’s a long way to travel between the UK and USA and as we know … Hops fade fast.
We sat down to work on a recipe that would bring an equally crushable beer full of flavour, available to drink fresh in the UK for people like us. Through much experimentation we settled on an original recipe for our Session India Pale Ale. Just before the haze craze took a hold of the world, the 11|Session IPA was our first hazy beer at BBNo and will always remain hazy. We aimed for a soft and pillowy body, round mouthfeel, and smooth finish. Although we have spent the last 8 years refining the recipe - an adjustment of the malt bill here and there, removing wheat from it all together - a few things have remained constant, an abundance of rolled oats and a signature English Ale yeast for an extra boost of fruity esters and sumptuous full body.
Developing the Session
Since its inception, we have made countless versions of our Number 11 (over 30!), the thing that we most enjoy playing with is hop profiles, with many of these iterations being single hop variations where we feel the drinker can truly experience the nuance of flavour and aromas. We’ve also enjoyed using this base to play different hop profiles against each other. Through all this experimentation and countless combinations, we think we’ve found our favourite favourite; Mosaic! We’ve incorporated the 11|Session IPA Mosaic into our core range, and as Co-founder Tom Hutchings says “it’s amazing on its own… There’s no gaps in the profile.” Bringing a full spectrum of flavours to the profile, Mosaic imparts tropical flavours, berry fruits, citrusy, pine and earthy notes, delivering a full and varied experience to the consumer.
Although we have found our favourite, Brew By Numbers will always be working hard to push our boundaries further, ever exploring new trends and developments as an exploratory brewery. To show this commitment to evolution - while tipping our hat to our history - we have released a Special Edition of our 11|Session IPA to help celebrate our 10th Birthday. To create something truly special, we have used the new cutting-edge technology pioneered by Yakima Chief Hops, Trial 301 Frozen Fresh Hops Cryo Hops to bring Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic hops flavour in a new way to our trusty 11|Session India Pale Ale. To learn more about the YCH 301 trial, read our blog post here.
We hope you have enjoyed tasting the evolution of our trusty Session IPA and are as excited as we are to see how it will evolve in the next decade of Brew By Numbers.