Freedom Brewery, East India Pale Lager
In 1995 Freedom Brewery opened its doors in Parson's Green on a mission to showcase the diversity of lager as a bonafide beer style. It was a mere 130 years after the Bayerische Lager Brewery in Greenwich, London's first ever attempt at a lager-only brewery, but some ideas are worth persisting with.
By 1999 Freedom were gaining momentum and consisted of two brewpubs in the metropolis. Clearly ahead of their time because a bigger brewing space and better water were calling them.
In 2004 the brewery relocated lock, stock and barrel to Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire. A cultural shift for sure (!) but with the same crystal clear focus on producing a range of quality lagers.
Ten years later and Freedom’s mission continues with what can only be described as a massive expansion project and an invigorated sustainability project alongside the release of some new beers. Including this week’s beer.
We chose the East India Pale lager by Freedom because we thought it was a good example of how one of the older beer styles that is lager can evolve and reflect what’s going on with the rest of craft beer. Taking a lead from the hop forward US style approach to IPAs this lager has a deeper citrus hit and more body to carry the slightly higher abv and remain very drinkable. So much so that we used this as a “recovery beer” after a recent group run only to later spot that it was 5.5% and not something closer to 4%. Ooops.
Over the years this range has seen some changes but there’s been a conscious absence of the he term "ale" in Freedom's vernacular. They’ve been unapologetic about this. Until now that is.
Earlier this summer Freedom launched their Prototype Pale Ale project with a list of places where you could try it and a place to send in your feedback with the chance of winning a case of it. We’re watching with interest to see how this turns out. Until then (and beyond) we’ll keep drinking this lager.
Freedom Brewery, giving lager a good name since 1995.