Jake’s beers launched as Kent winery diversifies • Beer Today

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Balfour Winery, at Hush Heath estate, Staplehurst, in Kent, has launched two beers — Jake’s Lager and Jake’s IPA. Both are available in cans and kegs.

Jake's Lager IPA

They form part of the Jake’s Drinks range, alongside two ciders and an apple juice.

The beers are created by the estate’s winemaking team, father and son Owen and Fergus Elias. Although recent emphasis has been on innovative winemaking, Owen has 20 years’ experience making beers. Combining his knowledge with the expertise of Cellarhead, a local Kent brewery, results in traditional beers with a modern English twist.

Jake Balfour-Lynn, who manages the beer and cider arm of the winery, said: “The goal over the last six months of recipe developing is reconnecting. Reconnecting with friends and family in person and being able to share good times with a quality drink.

“We are excited to share our beers, excited to start working with our new distributors, Matthew Clark, and excited for the future.”

The beers

Jake’s Lager (5% ABV): This is crafted from a Kentish hop, Ernest, with a complex apricot and citrus flavour, and blended with an American classic, Sterling, that brings earthy spices with citrus fruit elements. The lager is in tank for three months to allow the rich flavours to develop. The result is a bright pilsner-style lager with a fresh caramel aroma, followed by the taste of lemon rind and hints of sweetness from the malts.

Jake’s IPA (4.5% ABV): A blend of three Kent hops — one classic, one modern, and one almost forgotten. East Kent Golding is a Kent classic with lavender, thyme, and honey on the nose, and a slightly bitter taste. Boadicea is a modern hop with delicate orchard blossom aromas, while Bramling, popular in the 1800s, has smoothing, aromatic qualities. The dark amber IPA, with a delicate creamy head, shows smooth, nutty flavours from the malt blend, developing a light-bodied bitterness.