Island is one of the most well known, respected and recognisable brands in music. Bob Marley, Amy Winehouse, U2… their list of record breaking artists goes on and on. What is less known is it’s brewing pedigree with two critically acclaimed beers – a session IPA and porter.
This project began back in 2014 when Glenn Cooper of Island Records invited some mates around for his birthday, including a home brewing pal, Robin Pearson. He brought a session IPA he had brewed and they enjoyed it so much, Glenn ordered 500 for Island Records trial batch. The beer is a classic IPA but with big tropical flavours from New World hops and after a tasting session with the labels artists, core team and senior execs the decision was made to go big.
After a search with the help from Boutique Bar Brands, a brewery was found to brew the beer on a larger scale. Two Tribes Brewery had a musical past as well, started by former DJ Justin Deighton and maintained that vital link between craft beer and music. Production started and to fight assumptions of a global corporation jumping on the bandwagon the importance of brewing great beer was paramount from the start.
Standing out over the label their current two beers have certainly achieved that – both sit comfortably on 4 stars on Untappd and soon after a big supermarket contract came into play. Island turned it down. A statement of intent to grow the brand and improve, its no one-hit-wonder.
What’s next for Island Records? Well, we’ve been feeling the love for the Session IPA from our members so far this month. Lets hope it’s a building block for a step to greatness. The infectious blend of great beer and music has certainly covered any skepticism we had. In the pipeline is a Nordic Style Pale Ale scheduled for release in February 2017. We can’t wait.
This post is a condensed version of the Desert Island Beers Article in Issue 6 of Ferment. Get your copy here.