Picture this scene: it’s Saturday on a Bank Holiday weekend and you’re sitting in the garden with your Pinter. This weekend is all about relaxation - some “you” time. The sun is out and the birds are singing. You pour a Fresh glass of Space Hopper, which has just finished conditioning, and take a sip. Bliss. You’ve put in your own time and effort to brew this sweet nectar, but what happens to create a Fresh Press before it reaches your letterbox?
Pinter technology is certainly unique, with pressure fermentation, conditioning, carbonation, and tapping all happening in one vessel. As well as this, the process of creating a Fresh Press, from a simple idea on a whiteboard to the bubbling Space Hopper in your glass, is equally extraordinary. Our Brewing Development team are always developing new Fresh Presses and we thought we’d share their process before you get to taste a couple of new creations this month… 😉
The first step is deciding on the style! First, we look at our flavour map to consider the breadth of the beer and cider portfolio and what new ground is worth delving into. Next, we look into the time of year, conversations we’ve had with the Fresh Beer community, and inspiration from our brewery friends to make our choice! Next comes the fun part: research and development. There is only one way to conduct research and development into producing a new Fresh Press - try a load of similar ones! That’s right, if we want to add a traditional British ale to our selection, the Brewing Development team tastes a broad selection of other commercial traditional ales, from macro to nano scale. If we want to add a new Apple Cider… you get the idea. It’s a tough gig for poor Will, Evangelos and co in Brew Dev sometimes but somebody has to do it.
Following this, a preliminary specification gets written up to define the characteristics of the Fresh Press. This includes the ABV, colour, bitterness, dryness or sweetness, body, and other flavour characteristics. A series of opening recipes will then be drawn up and they are brewed - this is usually 6-8 Pinters’ worth for the first trial. Once these are finished, we check whether they’ve hit their targets. The tools and methods employed are: distillation to measure the ABV, a spectrophotometer to measure the colour using the European Beer Colour index and bitterness using the International Bitterness Units index, the dryness using a refractometer, and to take samples of the product and inspect them under a microscope to check for other microbial patterns and the health of the yeast cells. Other specific flavour characteristics can’t be measured empirically and taste tests are the only way to analyse those, thus the Pinters are brought to the rest of the team at Thirsty Thursday to get some further opinions!
This process is repeated several times, often up to 10 times more with multiple Pinters simultaneously brewing and small tweaks made each round. Finalising a new Fresh Press recipe takes months before it’s ready for mass production to become available to the Pinter community. Once we are happy with the recipe, it’s brewed once more for final analyses and marketing photoshoots. The recipe then gets signed off and our production partner will brew some samples before fully scaling it up.
Following our green light, they will recreate the Fresh Press on a large scale as well as the other components of the Pinter Packs so that they’re ready for sale. Each recipe is made up of numerous varieties of malt and hops for beer and fruit juices for cider respective to the style of Fresh Press and they are all unique to one another, with a minimum of 30 Pinter brews and many ideation sessions to get the best possible final product. Our production partner takes hygiene extremely seriously in order to ensure that only the good stuff remains in your Pinter Pack, including purging the packaging with nitrogen to ensure that there’s no oxygen in the Fresh Press or yeast - extending their shelf-life as long as possible and improving the quality of the final product when you brew at home.
These steps are always followed when a new Fresh Press is being produced, however for a Remix there is already a specification prepared - our challenge is to develop a Fresh Press recipe which takes inspiration from the original in look and taste, taking a high level of precision to achieve this. The collaborators will taste the results of each trial stage and help to further hone the recipe. Even still, once we’ve released a new Fresh Press to market, the Brew Dev team are always looking to push the boundaries and improve our current range.
Crafting a new Fresh Press at Pinter is a labour of love and dedication. It all starts with the desire to bring something unique and exciting to our range. The joy of sharing these new creations with the Pinter community is unparalleled. With each sip of Space Hopper or any other Fresh Press, you can experience the result of a truly unique and meticulous process that delivers the best quality and flavour for your enjoyment.