The base recipe for the Walking Red is far from new and is in fact the exact same malt and hop bill as our long time Shorts favorite, The Magician. However, what makes this beer different from the Magician is the new yeast strain that we recently got our hands on and used to create this noticeably different beer. Often times when working with different yeast supply companies, who sometimes offer similar sounding yeast strains, the best thing to do is use a new strain in a well established existing beer recipe to make the subtle nuances and flavor differences much more apparent. Magician has been brewed for years at Shorts. Its one of our most malt forward beers and utilizes the lowest amount of hops out of any beer we create. The nice advantage that comes from having a beer designed in this fashion, is that it allows us to note the aroma and flavor contributions from the Special London Ale 1968 Wy-yeast strain that we have always used to brew it with. When presented with the opportunity to try out a similar yeast strain, English Ale Yeast 04, from another yeast supply company that we work with, Fermentus, we decided to use the Magician as our test batch to see how this yeast differs from the standard strain we had be using on this beer for years. Not surprising at all, when the beer was finished, there were noticeable differences that were detectable. Although subtle and maybe not vastly apparent to all, a devout Magician drinker would be able to note the much lighter fruity esters and less prominent lingering sweetness offered by the Fermentus English Ale 04 yeast. Mission accomplished. Now, what to do with this beer that is definitely not our regular Magician, but also not the flashiest new pub beer that our customers have come to look forward to? The answer was simple, just add some vanilla, give it a cool new name, and "presto!", a unique new pub brew is born.
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