Based on the recipe for Level Up, which was itself based on Thornbridge’s Colorado Red, Superuser is big and bold, with an inviting malt base bringing plenty of toffee and sweet orange. There are huge punchy notes of grapefruit, pineapple and a tantalising resin character from the addition of chinook.
Andy here. Pull up a chair and let me tell you a story. One that’s a huge part of how Elusive came to be. Back in my home brewing days, going back to early 2013 here, I was a member of the London Amateur Brewers (LAB) club. This is a club which has spawned many professional brewers including Evin O’Riordain of The Kernel fame. It’s a club which takes things quite seriously, often brutally so when giving group feedback to aspiring amateurs!
July 26th 2013 (coincidentally my 40th birthday) saw the opening of the inaugural Birmingham Beer Bash. As it was a big birthday with family plans already made, I couldn’t make that opening day. The festival had some fantastic talks alongside the beer line-up and one of those talks was from Dominic Driscoll, then brewer now Production Manager at Thornbridge Brewery. Dominic gave a talk aimed at home brewers on recipe construction, in which he dissected their Colorado Red (brewed in collaboration with Odell).
A fellow LAB member and friend, Andrew Drinkwater, attended that talk and followed it up with a post on the LAB forum about how he’d found it interesting. Andrew included the malt bill for Colorado Red in his post.
A few months later, London’s The Craft Beer Co announced the country’s biggest ever (in terms of the prize) home brew competition. Home brewers were allowed to enter up to four different beers, to be judged in January 2014 and followed by a big awards ceremony. The prize was £5000 cash and to have the winning recipe brewed at Dark Star. Now, everyone at the club, and probably every club around the country wanted to win this! I was a bit obsessed for a few weeks trying to decide what to brew. Overthinking what might and might not do well. What was missing from Dark Star’s core range? Obsessed!
As one of my entries, I decided to take that grain bill from Colorado Red (with a couple of tweaks based on what I could buy at my local home brew shop) and throw lots of Simcoe and Citra at it. The result was a beautifully red beer with lovely depth of flavour. To cut a long story short, that American Red Ale won the competition and the prize money was spent as the deposit on the same 5BBL kit we still brew on today. The recipe became Level Up. I did tell Dom that story and he laughed. I owe him a lot. He reminds me of that whenever I see him.
Ruth was pouring our beer alongside Thornbridge at Meatopia this year when the suggestion of collaborating on a beer came up. Hell yes! An email thread started and this story was recalled. How about if we took the recipes for Level Up and Colorado Red and dialled things up a notch or two? Chinook, Simcoe & Galaxy? Superuser was born! To be honest, the brew day at Thornbridge in December was something of a dream come true. I still suffer from imposter syndrome when I get to work alongside breweries who shaped my discovery of good beer. Why would they want to work with a home brewer? One day I’ll get over it and feel like I belong amongst the ranks of professional brewers but this was not that day.
Elusive Brewing creates beer with one eye on tradition and the other on taking things to the next level. Founded by a home brewer who went on to win awards at national level, from our small brewery in Finchampstead, Berkshire.
Owned and run by Andy Parker (the nicest man in beer), award winning home brewer who went professional and opened his own brewery. If you’re home brewer then you’ll know just how much support Andy gives back to the home brew community with his excellent book published by CAMRA and the amount of his own time he gives up to talk to home brewing groups and from the way he will happily share his recipes for home brewers to brew at home. But as well as this he is an extremely talented brewer who is putting out many beers that we just love so much that we had to make them part of our range available on The Malt Miller.