Blood Orange Wheat Beer and Grapefruit IPA - have you tried Adnams’ new beers yet?

Adnams has produced three new summer beers for M&S. Pictures: M&S

Adnams has produced three new summer beers for M&S. Pictures: M&S - Credit: Archant

Adnams has launched three new beers with M&S this summer - all available to buy now.

Iconic East Anglian brand Adnams is celebrating nearly 10 years of partnership with high street giant Marks and Spencer, having recently launched three new beers for the group's food stores.

Blood Orange Wheat Beer, Grapefruit IPA and Laid Back IPA are inspired by the food giant's latest summer range, taking the number of beers brewed for the group by Adnams to 15.

'Usually M&S have a theme around a food range and they ask for ideas,' said head brewer for Adnams Fergus Fitzgerald. 'This year it was about the Mediterranean so we thought oranges and grapefruit. It's also about looking at what's happening in terms of the craft beer markets, and seeing where the flavours are going. Certainly over the last two years citrusy pale ales have really taken off.'

Fergus used real blood orange juice and grapefruit juice in the refreshing new beers, trying to stay as close to the raw materials as possible for the truest flavours.

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And mostly pale ale and lager malts are used for a touch of golden colour.

It's hoped beer lovers across the UK will enjoy a taste of the east this summer by picking up cans of the three new beers to sip alongside their barbecues.

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Alternatives also being sold up and down the country, and produced by Adnams for M&S, include Jester and Mosaic.

'Jester uses a hop called Jester for a herbal note and a bit more fruit character with citrus and pine,' revealed Fergus. 'And Mosaic is the name of the hop in that beer. It's got a nice broad profile – citrus, floral, earthy – so we make that as a single hop beer. Most beers have a blend of hops but Mosaic has a lot of depth of flavour all by itself.'

Adnams has already crafted its winter beers for M&S, to include the popular Christmas Ale (dark malts, raisin and toffee) and mini kegs. And Fergus is hard at work creating beers for next summer already.

It's turned out to be a beneficial partnership for the two businesses, which first started collaborating in 2009, producing Southwold Winter Ale.

'We now do a couple of summer and a couple of winter beers and then have some permanent ranges,' said Fergus. Initially it was the values side of the business that brought us together. Marks and Spencer has a strong ethos of sustainability and we've followed that path in the last 15 year or so, so that was the initial interest between the two, and it's spawned from there.'

Although he's hard pushed to say which beer is his favourite (they're all his babies), Fergus is partial to a drop of the Sorachi Saison he brews up for M&S. 'Sorachi is a type of hop and its got a flavour that's kind of coriander and coconutty. Some people hate it but I love it. It's a fantastic beer!'

Did you know?

1. Adnams has been brewing at Southwold since 1872 but there has been brewing on the site (Sole Bay Brewery) for around 356 years.

2. George and Ernest Adnams bought Sole Bay Brewery. Legend has it though that George was eaten by a crocodile when he fell off the back of a boat during a visit to South Africa.

3. Adnams have recipe books going back to 1880. Fergus said: 'Initially they would have been brewing 'mild'. It wouldn't have been bitter and would have been quite sweet. Then the pale ales and bitters came in around the mid 1920s.'

4. 'Historically, pre WWI the average ABV was 7%. It was the two world wars that produced ABVs. In WWI people wanted to conserve grain for food, so they encouraged alcohol levels to come down. Brewers realised they could sell the same amount of beer with less ingredients and make as much money, so levels never really came back down. And duty levels meant you paid more tax for higher ABVs. It's not unusually to find beers at about 3% in pubs in the UK. In the rest of Europe that's almost unheard of.'

5. The longest running Adnams beer, Tally Ho, actually predates Adnams and although now brewed once a year, in 1880 it would have been brewed every week.

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