There is probably only one thing that goes hand in hand more seamlessly than bread and butter; music and beer. So when One of Manchester’s most legendary musical exports decided to launch their very own beer to mark the release of their new album and their end of a summer of sell-out performances, the team at Candid were more than willing to take our jobs very seriously and go along to sample the carefully curated beverage. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.
New Order, the band that pioneered the backdrop for '80s culture with post-punk/ electro dance vibes with hits from Blue Monday to True Faith have joined forces with Moorhouse’s Brewery of Burnley to launch an exciting new beer, set for release at the start of Autumn.
The premium 4.2% beer, named Stray Dog (after a track on the band’s most recent album Music Complete), is a refreshing and clean-tasting golden ale with hints of citrus fruit and lychee, all balanced by a subtle bitterness. Brewed using American Cascade, Centennial and Willamette hops, with the finest English Maris Otter malt, it was developed by head brewer, Dan Casaru at Moorhouse’s new £5m state-of-the-art brewery after a series of tastings earlier this spring.
In layman's terms, it tastes very good indeed. As more of a wine than beer drinker, this was the perfect tipple for someone like me as it is aimed at not only seasoned and passionate cask ale drinkers from a brewery steeped in history, but also for enticing and satisfying a new wave of beer drinkers thanks to it's light citrus undertones. If that was the aim, then count me in as it is the ideal accompaniment to these late summer evenings.
When we had a chat with the head brewer who worked closely with band members Bernard Sumner, Gillian Gilbert, Stephen Morris, Tom Chapman and Phil Cunningham on designing the distinctive taste he said, “We were approached by New Order to design a beer and they sent us a spec of the beer they like to drink.” They clearly picked the right guy as Dan's passion for beer and craft as a brewer started twelve years ago.
Moorhouse’s of Burnley, who celebrated their 150th anniversary last year, are one of the largest, independent brewers in the north west, especially famed for their award-winning Pendle Witches Brew, and current favourites: Blond Witch and White Witch. This is the first time that the brewery has collaborated with a band to brew a beer.
New Order commented: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Moorhouse’s of Burnley on our first foray into the brewing business. Even more so that they're celebrating their 150th anniversary, and have such a rich heritage in the north west”
New Order is currently performing a series of worldwide headline festival dates, rounding off their Music Complete tour. The summer dates included headline sets at Glastonbury, Latitude and Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl. The critically acclaimed Top 5 album, Music Complete, was released in September 2015 and includes Restless, Tutti Frutti, Singularity and the new single People On The High Line.
Stray Dog will be available at pubs nationwide, with a bottled 500ml version also available for supermarkets and export as of early September so keep a look out for it at a tap near you.
Words by Elspeth Pierce
Cover photo of New Order by Nick Wilson