Arm Breaker IPA

Arm Breaker from Swan Brewery pump clip

Colour: Rich, deep golden

Hops: Goldings, Admiral

Grains: Pale, wheat, crystal. One off brew with Chevallier heritage malt August 2019.

Availability: A sneaky brew mid August 19.

Head Brewer Jimmy Swan wanted to devise an ale with local ingredients - one that has a history of being a true British classic.  With its history of quenching the thirst of the British Indian Army, India Pale Ale, British brewed and shipped over the seas in the nineteenth century was his inspiration.  For the batch being brewed in early August an extra dimension of authenticity has been added: Chevallier heritage malt.


Chevallier is a heritage barley variety. It was the first true malting barley and was selected by the Reverend John Chevallier of Suffolk, England in 1824. Chevallier rapidly became the dominant barley variety and by the last decades of the 19th century it was being grown throughout Europe, California, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. In the UK, it was at peak utilisation in the late Victorian era covering some 80-90% of the barley area. After 100 years of brewing success new varieties began to supersede it and production finally ended in the 1930’s.

Working with the John Innes Institute in Norwich, Crisp Malting Group has brought this legendary variety brought back into commercial production.

Crisp Chevallier is characterised by warm cracker and biscuit aroma with a full flavour. Compared to many modern barleys its aroma and flavour are quite pronounced. Suitable for any malt-forward ale, or where increased malt character is needed to balance a high hop load.

India Pale Ale Recipe

This recipe is about being true to the original style of IPA.  A relatively high ABV would be needed to survive several weeks' travel to India.  High hopping would help with the preservation of the beer due to its bacteriostatic function.  The hops chosen by Jimmy are Admiral and Goldings.  The Admiral bittering hop is beautifully complemented by Goldings, used plentifully in the late boil.

Due consideration has been given to the balance of malts to achieve a colour true to a quintessential IPA.  Beers were generally darker in colour back in Empire days than nowadays, with the relative term of a pale(r) ale having a different reference point on the colour scale.

We've named this IPA Arm Breaker as a nod to the widespread belief that swans "can break a man's arm, you know!"  It's also a teasing reference to the 6% ABV.  Enjoy Arm Breaker IPA with a dhal and brown rice, a chapatti and lime pickle.

Better still, head to the brewery on Friday 19th August for the monthly Tasting Day where Arm Breaker will be centre stage, alongside a range of our other ales. Pizza Doughmain will be on site with their pop-up wood fired pizza oven serving some amazing flavour combos on their hand stretched pizza bases.