Natural Beauty was designed collaboratively with a dozen of Nicholson’s top managers. We wanted a beer that was summery, highly sessionable, and, of course, unfined. The recipe was the easy part. We found a limited availability hop from Slovenia (Dana) with a great profile. We were also working on a yeast selection project for a new yeast that would exhibit the best characteristics and performance of ale and lager strains. The inspirations for the style were the amazing Czech yeast beers we enjoyed so much during visits to Prague. So we put together a very pale malt grist, added loads of hops and our hybrid yeast. The result is a true crossover between an ale and a lager.
The hardest part of the collaboration was the name, which we debated for many hours. We needn’t have spent so much time. We knew it was going to be a beautiful beer, and being unfined would allow its ‘Natural Beauty’ to shine through.
The result is a 4.1% beer, very light in colour but deep in hop and yeast sheen. Dana really powered through with the high hopping levels we used. It had the strong herbal characteristics we experienced on the rub, but also added a layer of pineapple and orange peel that was an unexpected treat. It is definitely summery (despite the wettest summer on record!), highly sessionable, and intensely flavoured. A few extra casks escaped into the wild, and some of it even ended up keg-conditioned for even more Czech-styled authenticity. Na Zdravi!
maeib (8750) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - JUL 9, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask conditioned handpump Victoria Leeds 05/07/12. A hazy golden beer (unfined) with a bright white head and lacing. Lovely citrus hops and peppery notes throughout. A nice tingle of spice (I thought there was coriander in this but apparently not). Great hopping. The malts balance really well. Tasty and effortlessly easy tp drink.
DanielBrown (4147) - Birmingham (via Leicester), West Midlands, ENGLAND - JUL 5, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Hand pulled at the Old Contemptibles, Birmingham. Hybrid between lager and bitter apparently. Pale yellow, flat. Mild taste, gently grainy, with flowery sweetness from the lager hops. Really does sit between the styles . Refreshing.
Benjii (3049) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUL 4, 2012
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On cask at the Haymarket. Pours a light golden colour with a fair white head. Aroma of lemony citrus hops, yeast and caramel. Similar flavours with a nice bitter and dry finish. Mild carbonation and an oily mouth-feel. Tasty.
dynamiteninja (1680) - Norfolk, ENGLAND - JUL 2, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Cask. The Cross Keys (Nicholsons), York. Unfined. Gold body. Thin white head. Orange, citrus. Bitter. Dry finish.
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