by Phoebe French
Urban cidery Hawkes is launching a new co-fermented beer and cider hybrid called Graff which it claims is the first of its kind in the UK.

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The hybrid will be made at its Druid Street site in south east London and will form part of the producer’s core range.

Graff is produced by fermenting Braeburn and Bramley with a beer wort, and then adding American ale and Sauvignon Blanc yeasts.

Made to a strength of 5.4% ABV, it is hopped with Amarillo and Cascade. It joins the rest of the products in the Hawkes range including Urban Orchard apple, Urban Orchard berry, Elephants on Ice winter cider, Soul Trader and Hawkes Alcoholic Ginger Beer.

Graff will be available for the first time this Thursday (22 February) at London’s Craft Beer Rising and at Hawkes’ taproom from Saturday (24 February), with the first 100 customers offered a free can.

The production of Graff was inspired by a visit to the US and made a reality thanks to Hawkes chief cider maker, Roberto Basilico’s prior brewing experience.

The cidery has stated that Graff will feature in its upcoming collaboration range which will see it working with both UK and global craft brewers in a series of one-off beer and cider partnerships.

Graff is available in kegs and in 330ml cans, the later priced at £3 a can or £10 for four cans.

Simon Wright, chief hawker, said: “I’m extremely proud to unveil our Graff, the latest addition to our family. I believe this is a landmark day for cider, and proof of what the industry can achieve when we push ourselves to innovate.

“The Graff defines the very purpose of Hawkes which is to challenge ourselves to create industry leading liquids, then take it to the masses, defining a new genre of cidermaker. 2018 is going to be a hugely exciting year for the whole team at Hawkes, and this is the first step of our mission to save the UK cider market from itself”.

Graff is described as having an aroma of “crusty bread” with “an intense mouthfeel evoking memories of continental beer, against the subtle sweetness of pure apple juice”.