Hardknott Brewery, Azimuth
Named after the notoriously steep singletrack road between Eskdale and the Duddon Valley in Cumbria, Hardknott Brewery started life as a home-brew project in a local pub back in 2005.
Five years later Ann and Dave Bailey decided that they were “better at brewing beer than we were at running a pub” and launched their brewery in nearby Millom. Taking the Hardknott name as well as monastic Belgium and American craft beers with them as inspiration for their progressive beers.
“We've been making craft beer since before craft beer was even a thing” explains David. A subject that he’s rather outspoken on. This ‘enthusiasm’ for beer has engaged and enraged the beer industry in equal measure. His blog is a real insight into the life of a modern day brewer. He’s more than willing to share his opinion on a wide variety of touchy topics amongst brewers, consistently challenging long held beery preconceptions and putting more than one real ale nose out of joint in the process. Unlike some people who like to be controversial for the sake of, well, just being contrary, this clearly isn’t what motivates Dave. He’s on a mission.
This week’s beer is their take on an Anglo-American IPA and has been a staple in their range for some time now. More recently it’s had a few tweaks in the form of Scott Larrabee, an American who has done the right thing in marrying a UK national and relocating to Cumbria.
Scott has researched various hops from around the globe and made some adjustments. The result is a golden, slightly hazy, India Pale Ale with a fruity punch that might be described as ‘over-ripe peach’. Coming in at 5.8% abv, this IPA sits in the dangerously drinkable category.
Given the inclusion of Pacific rim hops from both hemispheres, the name Azimuth seems appropriate as a means of navigating the origins of this beer. We hope you like Scott’s adjustments. We can only imagine that being in charge of quality control at Azimuth must be a really hard fun job.