We've just bottled, well actually, still bottling, a very special prototype beer. It night be about 12.5% but we're not sure. You see, we dropped in loads of glucose during fermentation and so have not got an original gravity. We also used three different yeast strains. We have a calculated guess at what we think it is, but there are too many variables to know.
It's been in a conditioning tank for about a month along with a couple of special, secret ingredients. I think it tastes great.
I talked in my last post about integrity of awards. This post concerns the integrity of Beer Bloggers. I know some bloggers take the activity very seriously and are mostly concerned with making a good job of writing about beer. Other bloggers, it seems to me, are much more interested in getting free beer than becoming great beer writers.
We don't generally give away beer to bloggers. This is partly because you guys are a significant part of our customer base. It's not a great business strategy to give away products willy nilly.
The other reason why we don't give away beer is because we have a firm conviction that if you want to write about our beer, then we don't want you biased by the fact you got it for free. Free beer always tastes better.
But, if I tried to pretend that I didn't think that some of you occasionally deserved a free beer off me I'd be lying. So, perhaps it's time to give some away, but you'll have to prove you deserve it.
The beer we are bottling is, like all our beers, bottle conditioned, so isn't ready to be drunk yet. It needs time to condition. However, if you are going to the European Beer Bloggers Conference this coming weekend, you could get a pre-release bottle to take home and wait for us to give the word that it's ready, and then we'll have a big inaugural opening with which you can join in.
I shall now introduce you to the ways in which you can win one of these bottles.
It's simple. Alex will take 24 bottles to the Conference. Between now and when Alex gets there you have to write something, on twitter, on your own blog, or in the comments on this blog, which will convince me you deserve a bottle. If you do write on twitter, please mention @Hardknott so we can find you. If on your own blog then either tweet the URL at me or post a link in the comments on this blog.
What do you have to write? Basically, a response to this post. It might be giving a reason why you like Hardknott, it might be a reason why you don't, but that is perhaps a more risky strategy. You might like to explain how you deal with getting free beer from breweries and then writing an honest blog without biting the hand that gave you the beer. It might be an example of your work, be it written, photography or video that you think especially shows off Hardknott beer. It might be some other response to this post, I'll leave it up to you.
Final word; my decision is final and I'll be making my mind up after Alex has left for Leeds. Talking nicely to Alex, bribing him or getting him completely drunk will not help you. However, do be nice to the chap, he's a good 'un. I may decide not to give away all 24 bottles if I don't think there are enough good entries and I may give more than one bottle to an entry who I think is exceptional.
And, if you do win, this beer should not be opened until we say it's ready to go. For a start, we're going to send it off to the lab so we can get the exact ABV. We also want everyone to open their bottles and tweet, blog or whatever on the same day, once we're sure it's got enough fizz.
Meanwhile, I hope you all enjoy your