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The History of Organic Apricot Ale
Samuel Smith's Organic Fruit Beers are brewed and fermented at Melbourn Bros. Brewery in Stamford; then blended, conditioned and packaged at Samuel Smith's Old Brewery in Tadcaster; they are Certified Organic by the USDA-accredited UK Soil Association.
While there are older breweries in England, it would be safe to say that few are so little changed as this gem at Stamford, which has stood in the center of this beautifully preserved market community since 1825. From the antique grist mill to the ancient copper vessels, Melbourn Bros. remains today, a working brewery which blends the traditions of the ancient craft with that of the early industrial revolution. Closed in the 1970s, restoration with respect for the historical brewing equipment was begun by Samuel Smith's in the 1990s.
Before Samuel Smith's earned organic certification for Melbourn Bros. Brewery in 2008, Apricot Ale was their top-selling beer. The search to find Certified Organic apricots took some time, but Samuel Smith's Organic Apricot Ale was finally introduced to the US in February 2012.
People have enjoyed apricots since prehistoric times - so long, in fact, that the origin of apricot trees, Prunus armeniaca, is uncertain. Although the scientific name suggests an origin in Armenia some scholars think apricots originated in China. They are now grown around the world where the climate allows.
Apricots contribute to a stunning fruit beer: the ripe, aromatic bouquet supports a sweet, summery flavor with just a suggestion of stone-fruit tartness. Samuel Smith's Organic Apricot Ale is rich and full-bodied; the color is a glowing hazy orange.
Try with curries or Moroccan chicken; rice pilaf; or couscous. A wonderful pairing with fruit salad - whether it contains apricots or not. Try with vanilla ice cream or custard for dessert.
Gold Medal - US Open 2012. "Top fruit beer" as announced July 31, 2012. Here is the full list of winners.
"Five out of five mugs" - Modern Brewery Age, March 28, 2012.
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