JW Lees Announce, Generation 5000, Special Edition Brews

29th May 2019

Independent family brewery, JW Lees, has announced three special editions of its beers to be brewed with Generation 5000 of their ale yeast – a yeast re-pitched 5,000 times since 1967.

JW Lees Bitter, Manchester Pale Ale (MPA) and Founder’s will be brewed with the only crop of Generation 5000.  The unique beers will be brewed on the 3rd and 4th June for release the following week commencing 17th June.

This landmark celebrates the historic ale yeast that has been a constant at Greengate Brewery for 52 years.  Through delicately controlled, stress free brewing, careful harvesting and storage, the brewers have been able to re-pitch the yeast for every brew of JW Lees Bitter for 52 years.

JW Lees are hoping to draw attention to the importance of yeast as a magic ingredient that not only adds its own flavour but extracts unique flavours from malts and hops in the brewing process.  Michael Lees-Jones, JW Lees Head Brewer, said: ‘We’re incredibly proud to be brewing with Generation 5,000 yeast. It’s rare that one ingredient can be present across 5,000 batches of beer.  That we’ve been able to harvest so many times just shows the care we take in brewing and the commitment to our craft.  Tens of millions of pints have been enjoyed with this magic ingredient, from traditional brews such as JW Lees Bitter through to our collaboration beers with the likes of Cloudwater, Northern Monk and Seven Bro7hers.  We should definitely toast its success.’

Tom Evans, Master Brewer at JW Lees, said: ‘During fermentation, as a result of alcohol production, yeast secretes compounds known as esters – flavours and aromas that are important to the final character of beer.  The range of esters produced are largely a strain-specific characteristic effected by the fermentation conditions.  The JW Lees strain is subject to a carefully controlled fermentation to encourage and enhance delicate sweet, soft fruit qualities that can be commonly found in our beers.’

Recently retired Brewhouse Manager Paul Wood will join Michael Lees-Jones, Head Brewer and Tom Evans, Master Brewer, to brew the special edition beers, meaning that brewers from five different decades will be adding their experience.

To learn more about Generation 5000, click “Watch Now” below.

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