Needham Market/ Coddenham: Lager brewer Calvors becomes a Smooth Hoperator with its first ale

Alec Williamson, owner of lager brewer Calvors and the Rampant Horse pub in Needham Market, has produced his first  ale, called Smooth Hoperator. Alec Williamson, owner of lager brewer Calvors and the Rampant Horse pub in Needham Market, has produced his first ale, called Smooth Hoperator.

Friday, January 31, 2014
3:19 PM

Suffolk lager brewer Calvors has launched its first ale.

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The addition to its range follows the recent completion of a new 40-barrel brewery and cold store at the company’s Coddenham Green base, near Needham Market.

Founder, owner and head brewer Alec Williamson said: “With the capacity we now have at the brewery, coupled with frequent requests from our regular customers for ales, this was a logical progression for Calvors.”

The new beer, named Smooth Hoperator, was trialled at the brewery’s own pub, the Rampant Horse in Needham Market − a past regional winner in the Great British Pub Awards − which serves no mass-produced ales or lagers but offers beers from other craft brewers alongside the Calvors range.

It is now being offered to the company’s existing lager customers and free houses across East Anglia and southern England, with a bottled version also available for the take-home market.

Smooth Hoperator (4% alcohol by volume) is described as an “easy drinking pale ale”. It is brewed using a top fermenting yeast, four different East Anglian malts, giving it a golden colour and a background sweetness, and four additions of English hops to provide bitterness and aroma.

“I am now extremely happy with the quality and taste of this product and it is now the fastest selling ale at our pub,” added Mr Williamson. “We chose the name Smooth Hoperator as it describes the beer perfectly – it is both smooth and hoppy! The downside of course is that customers keep singing the Sade number down the phone line to us!”

As with Calvors’ lagers, the ale is neither pasteurised nor contains any chemical preservatives. It also uses no sugar, or rice or maize alternatives as cheap forms of sugar, the aim being to create the most natural beers possible.

Smooth Hoperator is available as a cask ale in nine gallon firkins, as a kegged ale in 30 litre and 50 litre kegs and in 330ml bottles.

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