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Rockin’ all over the brewery: Status Quo plants Piledriver

Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi from Status Quo visit the Wychwood Brewery
Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi from Status Quo visit the Wychwood Brewery

Veteran rockers Status Quo are following in the footsteps of equally gnarly peers Iron Maiden by releasing their own brew called Piledriver.

Brewed by Wychwood Brewery in England, the beer goes on UK sale today in JD Weatherspoon pubs or can be ordered online (£17.99 or $30 for 12 500ml bottles means it’s quite reasonably priced).

The brewery says it is a “traditional malty amber ale balanced with a bold fruity hop character”.

The beer launch coincides with the re-release of 1972 album Piledriver, and as you can see can see in the video below, the rockers visited Wychwood Brewery in the UK to help develop the product.

Jeff Drew, Wychwood head brewer, said: “So you want an interesting flavour, a malty hoppy bitter flavour – not too strong, not too weak, not too quirky – I think somewhere around 4.3% ABV, with a malty sweetness to it, but then some bitterness that makes it a classic English bitter.”

‘Piledriver – We hope you all like it!’

The beer uses English pale ale malts for sweetness, and colored malts – crystal, chocolate, dark crystal.

“Finally, when you add the black malt that gives you the astringency, the dryness and lots of color – a balanced amount of that to give a ruby red color,” Drew added.

Two hops – English Golding hops (good all-rounder) and Cascade Hops – rich, aromatic, zesty and citrusy are also used.

Rick Parfitt, Status Quo’s singer and rhythm guitarist (pictured right with singer and guitarist Francis Rossi), said: “I tell you what, it’s some of the best beer I’ve ever tasted in my life – Piledriver. And we hope you all like it.”

The Status Quo launch comes at a time when the British are re-kindling their love affair with beer.

British beer sales soar

Wychwood is the UK’s largest organic ale producer and is owned by Refresh UK, itself a subsidiary of Marston’s. The former’s leading brand is 5.2% ABV ‘Ruby ale’ Hobgoblin.

Marston’s opened a new £7.4m bottling line in Burton-on-Trent last week as the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said overall beer sales rose 0.8% in Q4 2013 across on and off-premise channels, the first time British beer sales have risen for two consecutive quarters for the first time in 10 years; pub volumes fell 2.2%, but at a lower rate than the same quarter in 2012.

Supplied by KHS, Marston’s new line – you can see it in action here – has a capacity of 18,000 bottles/hour and can sterilize beer prior to packaging by flash pasteurization or sterile filtration.

The line is more energy efficient and provides more flexibility for smaller bottle runs, different labelling and packaging formats.

Marston’s also predicted last week that its packaged beer business (own brands and contract bottling) will continue to grow 10% year-on-year.

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