The multi award-winning Citra by Oakham Ales is now being stocked by Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK). The nationwide high street burger restaurant has agreed with the Peterborough-based brewery to sell its golden ale in all of its 80 restaurants across the UK.
The beer will be available in 330ml bottles, which is an exciting first for Oakham, and is hoped will lead to more deals with national food chains.
Adrian Posnett, managing director of Oakham Ales, said “We are delighted that GBK shares our passion for great-tasting real ales and is now stocking our award-winning Citra ale around the UK.
"We pride ourselves on producing innovative beers packed with flavour and always using the highest quality ingredients and we know this is an approach shared by GBK.”
Citra was launched five years ago as Oakham’s fifth permanent beer and, at the time, Oakham was the first UK brewer to launch a single varietal beer using the Citra hop.
The beer has also overtaken JHB (Jeffrey Hudson Bitter) as the brewery’s best seller and Oakham is currently selling in excess of one million pints of Citra every year. To put that into context, JHB has been Oakham’s best seller for 23 years.
“Like we showed when we launched Citra, we are not afraid to try something different and being a smaller brewer, we have the flexibility and independence to follow our instincts and mix things up – like adding 330ml bottles to our range,” added Mr Posnett.
GBK aren't the only national brand in love with Citra. Waitrose, Tesco, and Co-operative food all stock 500ml bottles.
The beer was a result of Oakham’s Production Director, John Bryan, being “bowled over” by the Citra hope on his annual hop research trip to the USA. He arranged for a batch to be flown back to the UK which led to the launch of Citra.
Customer response was so positive when it was first brewed that it earned a permanent place in Oakham Ales cask and bottle range in 2011. Citra, with a 4.2% ABV, is a light, refreshing beer with a pungent grapefruit, lychee, and gooseberry aromas leading to a dry bitter finish.
As for GBK, the brand continues to go from strength to strength. Launched in 2001 by three businessmen, including world-renowned chef Peter Gordon, the first Gourmet Burger Kitchen was opened in Battersea, South London.
Changing the UK burger scene forever, there are now some 80 GBK restaurants across the UK, but they still pride themselves on serving up a variety of handcrafted burgers, combining 100% prime beer with the freshest ingredients and burger sauces made from scratch every day, in each GBK kitchen.
Tim Molema, Head of Food at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, said: “We’re always on the lookout for new craft beers to add to our beer listing. We’re excited to announce the addition of Citra from Oakham Ales to our menus across the UK. This refreshing single hop APA with lovely citrus bitterness perfectly pairs with our Blue Cheese Burger."
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