There has been much written about Burton Old Cottage Brewery Company’s Dual Diamond on The Beertonian. Last weekend I posted about the history of Double Diamond and over 1,900 people read the post in 24 hours! Judging by the multitude of comments on Facebook, talk about the Ind Coope’s Double Diamond has sparked a lot of memories! Well Double Diamond is back, albeit called Dual Diamond and brewed by another Burton upon Trent brewery Burton Old Cottage Brewery Company. For those who fancy a taste from the past, here is all you need to know.
Of course the reinvention and recreation of old beers is nothing new, not even in Burton; the Heritage Brewing Company based at the National Brewery Centre produce the defunct Derby brewers Offilers’ Best Bitter and Charrington’s Oatmeal Stout and their IPA . There is even an organisation dedicated to the process, the excellently named ‘Dead Brewers Society’, although their Twitter feed has gone worryingly quiet after Molson Coors tried to register the exact same name last year.
Reading the pump clip Dual Diamond is ‘Lovingly brewed to the original Double Diamond recipe.’
“We can’t use the name outright,” explains Head Brewer Alan Christie. “Although we did toy with using the strapline ‘still working wonders,’” he confesses.
So there is no fear of any comeback from whomever it is who owns the name Double Diamond nowadays? Alan is confident that they have done enough to avoid any problems, “It refers to it but it’s not using any logos.”
Anyone familiar with Ind Coope / Allied Breweries’ history will recognise the colour scheme on the pump clip; the brown and orange are taken from directly from the company identity circa early ’70s.
“We took the Dual Diamond design from last time and kept the theme,” says Alan alluding to the fact that Dual Diamond has been brewed before at his brewery. Alan is still new to the game, starting his brewing career last summer but Burton Old Cottage Brewery Company was founded in 2000 by Kev Slater and Ray Orton. Dual Diamond, the named coined by Kev Slater in 2015, was originally produced as a one off to mark the publication of a book about the history of Ind Coope and Samuel Allsopp, although the author’s name escapes me …
The recipe itself has an interesting history too, Kev Slater who was the General Manager and Brewer at the Samuel Allsopp Brewing Company before his Old Cottage days takes up the tale,
“’The Tapsters Choice’ program introduced guest ales in to the estate on a two week rolling basis across the whole of the country,” he says explaining how Ind Coope, then part of Carlsberg-Tetley Ltd., had responded to the success of Marston’s Head Brewers Choice.
This was made possible by the discovery of old recipe books which sadly now seem lost.
“One of the ales produced in spring/summer of 1996 was Triple Diamond, based on Double Diamond. I used Pale Malt, Torrified Wheat and Crystal Malt, the only difference in the recipe was the hops as the original recipe called for a variety that was no longer available, so I used Fuggles for bittering and for dry hopping.”
It is exactly this recipe that Alan has used for his brew, so Dual Diamond is indeed Double Diamond in all but name. Before those who only remember the beer as the 3.8% keg version much maligned by CAMRA, this is the bottled Double Diamond; a different jewel; that bit stronger, fuller of body, cask conditioned and much much nicer!
“As with anything nostalgic people recall things differently. Many of them won’t have been old enough to have drunk it originally,” Alan certainly wasn’t! “Those that did probably can’t remember what it tasted like anyway!”
Opinion was canvassed on his Dual Diamond by inviting ex-Old Cottage brewer Mick Machin to try it. “His feedback was that this is a good likeness of the last Dual Diamond brew.”
There are plans to bottle Dual Diamond says Alan, “It will form part of our ongoing line-up and I am keen to do at least a one off bottling run, this will enable us to expand our business with bottled beers. We are looking putting it into Brews of the World and the National Brewery Centre. We have been doing gift packs with three different beers which have been doing well.”
“It’s nice to see some of the ‘old established of the day’ recipes coming back to life,” surmises Kev. “The 1996 brew was one of the best sellers in England and Scotland and if the Old Cottage market it right I think it will sell nationwide, especially with our generation growing up with such a popular brand.”
The final and most burning question is where can you try this new Wonder Worker? It is on sale or about to be at The Weighbridge Inn, The Old Cottage, Stretton Social Club, Rolleston Social Club and The Roebuck in Burton upon Trent, Mushroom Hall in Albert Village, The Black Lion in Swadlincote and the Chip & Pin at Melbourne.
And as the old Doiuble Diamond advert once said “… so drink one today!”