Without Headband it’s possible that there would be no Verdant! We had our Lightbulb moment with, well, Lightbulb extra pale ale. However, it was Headband pale ale that secured us our first customer – and the beer has undoubtedly proved inspirational to each and every one of our beers ever since.
After peaking the interest of the staff at Small Bar Bristol with some homebrew bottles, we knew that we wanted to set up a brewery. We rented a shipping container purely off the promise that Small Bar would buy some of our beer if we ever went pro.
While navigating a measly 20ft of space, we set about developing a range of beers that reflected both our love of sessionable cask beer and hazy New England-style beers. Headband falls right in-between those two camps: it takes the full-bodied juiciness of a New England offering, but also possesses the lower ABV that makes it possible to deem it “sessionable”.
Back then Headband was a drier and less juicy – we were solely using US-05 yeast (where now we use Lallemand New England yeast too) – and hadn’t perfected our water chemistry or dry-hop processes. Nevertheless, we were immediately pleased with our Headband recipe and its hop profile of Citra and Mosaic, two classic modern US hops. Further additions of Columbus and Chinook made for a more complex hop aroma than many other pale ales available at the time to create a beer that straddled both the East and West Coast when it came to inspiration.