The launch of a product can sometimes have little or no fan fare, but one that can break landmarks is a launch worth talking about. A collaboration between Robinsons Brewery and Iron Maiden has done just that, creating an unheard of demand of 300,000 pints pre-ordered. So much so that for the first time in Robinsons history they had to brew three times a day, six days a week! You don’t half become intrigued to find out more when you hear facts like this. Luckily, I was one of the select few to be invited to the launch on Thursday within the Robinsons Brewery and their new visitors centre. Around 100 brew trade representatives not only from the UK but also from countries such as the USA, Sweden and Germany descended upon the Iron Maiden branded bar to see lead singer Bruce Dickinson pull the ceremonial first pint.
Not before he gave a personal tour first.
Walking through the brewery, he explained his vision and collaboration step-by-step, finishing in himself receiving his own hand pull, complete with the Trooper pump clip with the bands mascot ‘Eddie’, awarding the ‘Fastest Ever Selling New Robinsons Beer’ once back in the bar. After Bruce had given a short acceptance speech (so to speak), the first pint of Trooper was pulled amidst cheers and applause. Being 2pm, we were a full hour ahead of the specially selected 30 Robinson pubs that would be able to sell Trooper to the public, creating the event just that little bit more special.
To finish the launch, a VIP question and answer session was conducted in a cordoned off bar where we were able to ask Bruce questions regarding his motives, inspiration and future.
The collaboration started with a meet in London between Bruce and Head Brewer Martyn Weeks. A blind tasting of 10 bottled beers gave Bruce his first inspiration into the style and finish he was after, whittling it down to three and opting for Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops. Using his idea of creating a beer that you can enjoy time and time again, and going off the repeated visits to the bar by most of the crowd, I’d say Bruce is onto a winner with Trooper. He even hints that this may not be the last as he mentions that he’s found the experience most enjoyable.
Would be a talking point seeing ‘Fear of the Dark’ being added to the portfolio!
Back to Trooper itself, how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Trooper – 4.8%
Fresh, soft malt with citrus dicing through near the end. Well-balanced onto the palate, edging more onto the malt, creating a mouth-watering effect that lingers with subtle hops. Long.
A great ale, one that really hits Bruce’s idea of a sessionable beer. It’s being rolled out to all the Robinsons pubs as we speak, with it also available online and soon in your locals.
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