Back in January we got to reminiscing about Joosy, our best-selling beer and what we refer to as ‘the beer of Brighton’. We had great fun writing it, looking back at where UnBarred began and the origins of Joosy and it got us wondering, ‘what Joosy would look like ramped up to 8%?’
Well wonder no more! BIG Joosy is here, and it’s everything that we imagined it would be and more. But before we get into the beer let’s take a little trip down memory lane, shall we? Joosy evolved from Head Brewer and Founder Jordan's Benchmark IPA, a beer brewed to be perfect for ‘chewing the fat with good friends and old barflies’ and, although Joosy is different from that 4.7% Session IPA, the concept is the same. Developed by Jordan and Lead Brewer Gary Brandon, Joosy, a crushable Pale Ale bursting with citrus, sweet tangerine, grapefruit and stone fruit notes very quickly became a classic and a beer that people would scour Brighton for during various stages of the lockdown, which happened not long after UnBarred set it roots in Brighton. We’re so proud of not only the beer, but the connections people have made over a cold pint of it in our Taproom and locations all over the UK.
BIG Joosy, though very much an amped up version of our hero, is a whole different monster. The most expensive beer that we’ve made to date due to the amount of hops and other ingredients used to build it up to 8%, you get hints of its origins in every sip and so much more. ‘The process of up scaling a recipe isn’t easy. Especially when it’s a favourite that people know well and have high regards for’ Jordan explains. ‘I had to take note of the main characteristics of Joosy and make it 8%. A great balance of hop aroma combining grapefruit and tangerine and a full, smooth mouthfeel with a little bitterness. Not complete juice, a little something to make you go for that next sip.’
The first thing you notice when you crack a can or when it’s passed over the bar is the HUGE aroma. A bouquet of dank, overripe juicy tangerine and stone fruits created by mounds of Simcoe and Amarillo hit you right away, with a sweet edge reminiscent of a sticky fruit salad formed of all the heavy hitting tropical fruits. All this is carried over sip by sip with flashes of light grapefruit bitterness and a balance that every now and then reminds you of its strength. But perhaps the most obvious difference is that BIG Joosy is thick, and we mean THICK! A huge malt bill brimming with pale and flaked oats creates a pillowy, smooth and a decadent body similar to that of a fruit smoothie. It really is a huge beer in every sense of the word, but balance really is the key here and at no point do you feel overwhelmed by everything that’s going on - it really has retained the same drinkability that has made Joosy so popular on these shores. ‘Some beers over 7% can taste it and we’ve always worked hard to make a big beer “sessionable” as a concept.’ Jordan mentions whilst talking about what happens to a beer when you transform it from 5.1% to 8%. ‘The alcohol notes need to be low and the water chemistry adjusted to get the balance right.’
We’re incredibly excited for you to try BIG Joosy, it’s a beer we’ve all been itching to get your hands on here at the brewery too. And, if by some miracle you’ve not tried its predecessor, we urge you to give that a go at the same time to get a sense of where it’s come from.
If you don’t know, now you know.