This year marks the 5th anniversary of the of Nicholson’s Pub chain permanent flagship beer Nicholson’s Pale Ale, brewed by St Austell Brewery, To celebrate the occasion St Austell have brewed a new Celebration Pale Ale, which as head brewer Roger Ryman describes “it’s like Nicholson’s Pale Ale on steroids, we multiplied everything we liked about it by about 1.5/3. We wanted to raise the ABV and as it’s the 5th year we figured it should be 5%”. The increased presence of Galaxy and Celeia hops (Rogers favourite hop) lifts the citrus flavour of the beer and gives it a slightly more bitter finish. The beer was the creation of Mervyn Westaway, who was celebrating an anniversary of his own, an impressive 45 years working at St Austell. His favourite beer is the Nicholson Pale Ale and it was his idea to create the amped up version.
On the release day of Celebration Pale Ale (Wednesday 10th May) the staff of St Austell visited all 78 Nicholson’s pubs across the UK, the London group visiting 15 pubs in total over the day, that is some pub crawl! As part of the release St Austell have put together some videos, one about the bottling of the new Celebration Pale Ale, one about their history brewing Nicholson’s Pale Ale and the other about correct pouring techniques to help educate the pubs serving their beer and those drinking it.
Also, to celebrate the occasion not only is the new Celebration Pale Ale available on cask across Nicholson’s pubs but also for the first time it is available in bottles and gifts packs. The bottled condition beer is much to the excitement of Will Prideaux, Operations Director for Nicholson’s. Will said “Drawing on over 160 years of experience, St Austell Brewery was selected to lovingly craft and brew Nicholson’s Pale Ale in its state-of-the-art machinery at its brewery in Cornwall. At the heart of our ethos is serving the very best British ales at a consistently high quality and Nicholson’s Pale Ale is no exception. Five years later it remains a staple of every Nicholson’s pub across the country.”
Will added: “Seeing our Pale Ale in bottles for the very first time is really exciting as our guests will now be able to purchase our much-loved NPA in a gift set for their friends and family to enjoy or to take home themselves.” Just like drinking a pint fresh from the cask, Celebration Pale Ale is full of sweet, caramel, rich tea biscuit flavours, but really does favour from being a little colder as it highlights those citrus flavours and becomes even more refreshing. I am really impressed with the bottle and I am happy to see it is bottled conditioned.
Celebration Pale Ale is available across the Nicholson’s pubs for a limited time only, I recommend you pop down and try some and raise a glass to over 4.8 million pints of Nicholson Pale Ale being drunk over the past 5 years, as well as to Mervyn Westaway for a fantastic 45 years and counting at St Austell Brewery.
Disclaimer – I was invited to The Coal Hole by St Austell to drink the new Celebration Pale Ale free of charge, I was also sent home with a gift pack free of charge. Although I didn’t pay for the beer this hasn’t affected my opinion on the beer or St Austell s a brewery.