Saltaire Brewery, Kala
A bottle of award-winning beery history from West Yorkshire.
A lot of things have changed since 2006 when Saltaire Brewery first appeared courtesy of the Saltaire Beer Festival. No one is watching or talking about Lost anymore (thankfully) and we’ve finally watched all 62 episodes of Breaking Bad. We’re now more likely to subscribe to, as opposed to buying music (unless it’s on vinyl). And beer, the world of beer has really changed.
Having witnessed much of its brewing heritage being stripped by big beer corporations, West Yorkshire has spent much of the past decade reclaiming the right to be proud of the beer made there. Saltaire is, arguably, ground zero for this resurgence and have directly helped or inspired many of the local breweries who have followed.
From modern twists on very traditional beers to hop-forward American inspired ales, Saltaire has consistently bridged the gap between the traditional and modern craft beer scenes for more than a decade. But, like the liquid that flows from the mash tun to the fermenting vessel, our tastes in beer are also a living, breathing, moving thing. In order to stay relevant, you cannot stay still. Hayley Collingswood from Saltaire expands on this;
“With 12 years under Saltaire’s belt, a brand revamp was needed for the independent brewery to ensure it was fit for the future, continuing to stand out in the crowded market. Saltaire has modernised and simplified its logo as well as refreshing the overall brand look and feel, refocusing on its heritage but in a way that’s contemporary. The brewery has continued to showcase its products using strong, bold colours with the logo taking inspiration from the unique street signs in Saltaire and the new labels and pump clips reflecting the shape of its Victorian brewhouse, once a power station for the local tram network.”
Yup, the times they are a-changin'. As well as refreshing their brand identity Saltaire have also committed to revitalising their range with fresh takes on existing recipes as well as a host of exciting new beers and playful collaborations. Which leads us nicely on to this week’s beer, their award-winning black IPA, Kala.
Described as having a “smooth roast malt character and big American hop presence” this beer pulls no punches at a 6.2%. Now black IPAs can be confusing beers, so try closing your eyes and paying less attention to the swirling dark liquid and creamy head. Be prepared to be surprised (in a good way) by the tropical fruit salad flavours that rush at you before giving way to more traditional, almost subtle hints of chocolate and coffee.
You will be unsurprised to learn that this beer scooped up praise and a silver medal at the 2017 World Beer Awards but maybe a little bit shocked to hear that you are drinking one of the last bottles of it! Fear not, a tweaked and revamped version of Kala, v2.0 if you like, will appear in the revised Saltaire lineup with a new name, Polarity.
What else can we expect from Saltaire in the future? Well, we can expect a lot of the same. Beer that is proudly made in West Yorkshire by an independent brewery who are integral to the local community. Beer that is unfiltered, honest and accessible. Hayley again;
“[We’re] always aiming to create exceptional beer with real character regardless of the category, the West-Yorkshire brewery which began in 2006, has brewed its way into northern hearts and beyond.”