As Neptune Brewery approached its 1000th brew, it set up a public vote to see which of its historic brews should be revived to mark the occasion.
It turns out that what the people wanted was the return of Fugu, a 4% ABV Sorachi Ace pale. It is due for release in cask, keg, and can on 5th September.
With votes taking place across social media and via trade and public newsletters, the polling for #Neptune1000 was an extremely close-run thing. Each of the four historic brews listed too roughly 25% of the vote.
In the end, Run Aground coffee IPA, Tatha elderflower blonde, and Jammie Dodger raspberry and vanilla amber were pipped to the top spot by the single-hopped Sorachi Ace pale.
Fugu is a much-loved classic among Neptune drinkers. Voters had lots of positive things to say about it, such as: “No nonsense, great beer”, “Got to be Fugu for me, one of my favourites!”, and “Go Fugu!”.
To celebrate the #Neptune1000 release, the brewery will be running a competition on its Facebook and Instagram pages and giving away fresh Fugu cans and a Neptune t-shirt. From Friday to Sunday (1st-3rd September), online users will be asked to follow the brewery account, like the competition post, and tag a friend for additional entries.
Fugu is described as epitomising the distinct lemon and herbal characteristics of Sorachi Ace, blending perfectly with a biscuity malt base. It’s a vibrant, refreshing, and easy-drinking beer. Head brewer and director, Les O’Grady, has enjoyed revisiting his old recipe six years after its initial release.
“The reason I first brewed Fugu back then is that Sorachi Ace was a relatively new hop on the scene, and as it’s such a distinct and complex flavour, using it in a single-hop pale made a lot of sense,” he said.
“You don’t seem to see single-hop pales around so much these days that showcase Sorachi Ace,so I was made up to see Fugu won the #Neptune1000 vote. I’ve adjusted the malt base slightly to offer a nice biscuity balance to the vibrant citrus hop character, which we think really works.
“Along with the bright and eye-catching design refresh, I hope we’ve made something that people are going to be excited to see back on the bar.”