Last week we brewed our 100th batch of Wild Horse beer, reaching our century in a mere 16 months. Although there was some talk of marking this milestone by making ‘Gyle 100’ the next beer in our 10 Barrel Series – ‘gyle’ refers to the batch or brew number – in the end it was another batch of Buckskin Blonde from our core range that took the honour. And, on reflection, it seems fitting that this was the case.
Buckskin is not only our most popular beer, it is also a beer which has roots that stretch back to the time before Dave made the transition from home to pro brewer. Back in 2014, while living in Canada, Dave won four medals in four separate home brew competitions – three gold and a bronze – with a blonde ale that provided the base recipe for Buckskin as we brew it today.
We also see Buckskin as a key beer in our attempt to lure North Wales’ mass-produced lager drinkers into the heady, delicious world of locally brewed craft beer. For us, Buckskin provides an entry point for people who shy away from ‘ales’ because, to them, an ‘ale’ means a beer that is flat and warm. Buckskin is a long way from both of those things and, although it might not be our most complex beer, we believe Buckskin delivers the most flavour possible while working within the style and has a broad, cross-market appeal. That appeal is extremely important given that craft beer is a relatively new phenomenon in North Wales.
And while we love experimenting with different styles and ingredients, and recognise that our other beers might attract the sort of drinker who froths at the mouth at the faintest whiff of a hop-heavy DIPA, we want to get more than just craft beer converts on side. Buckskin is a beer that can achieve that aim – it’s a beer that we are very proud of – and a perfect fit for Gyle 100.