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Friday, June 21, 2024


Tryanuary is a time to sample new tastes .

With this in mind, it is a perfect opportunity to try out a newcomer to the stout market which has just defeated age old competition in a battle of the beers.

Iconic and independent brewery Joseph Holt pitched its award-winning Trailblazer stout against Guinness in a blind taste test, with 85 per cent of consumers preferring the Manchester-made brew to the Irish dry stout.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the results – especially since Trailblazer is a relative newcomer to the stout market and Guinness is over 250 years old “ said Phil Parkinson, head brewer at Joseph Holt. “Even more satisfying is that, having blind tested drinkers of all ages, so many younger people enjoyed Trailblazer too. And with Tryanuary a time when people are encouraged to try new things, Trailblazer is a must for those who want to enjoy a fantastic stout.”

Indeed Manchester-based brewery, Joseph Holt, which owns 127 pubs across the North West, says that since the launch of its Trailblazer stout, there has been a 63 per cent increase in the number of younger drinkers ordering a glass.

Brewed with distinct roasted barley, Trailblazer has a smoky, dark roast coffee aroma with hints of chocolate, treacle, liquorice, and nutty notes. With its velveted body and firm creamy head, it also strikes a subtle bitter sweet taste with a fine, dry finish. The industry has already recognised the quality of the product after Trailblazer took a silver medal at the 2021 International Brewing Awards.

The Joseph Holt brewery was established by its eponymous founder in 1849, and has since been in the same family for six generations. Its beers are supplied to over 500 locations nationally. Stout was first brewed in this country at the beginning of the 18th century. It was originally known as porter, since it was popular with London street market workers: the strongest variety was known as stout porter, which was eventually shortened to just stout.

To blind test the two types of stout, drinkers were given unmarked glasses of the two products. After assessing the stouts for their appearance, they then sampled each drink to compare their taste.

You can watch a full video of drinkers carrying out the tests here:

Added Phil: “We are delighted that Trailblazer stout was preferred by the majority.  The decision for Joseph Holt to brew its own stout – in the face of long-time established brands – stemmed from opening up after lockdown and a desire to launch new products as we welcomed people back into our pubs. The drink proved extremely popular as soon it was available . And this taste test shows that you can be a new drink on the block and still prove more popular than those which have been around for, literally, centuries.”

Olivia McHugh
Olivia McHugh
Staff writer
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