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YAKIMA, Wash., Jan. 18, 2024Yakima Chief Hops (YCH), a 100% farmer owned hop supplier, join forces with Manchester based Track Brew Co, White Labs & Crisp Malt to brew Fusion Pale Ale. This keg-only 5.1% Pale Ale brewed exclusively for the UK off-trade to encourage people back into bars and support this crucial part of the Craft Beer industry. Backed by creative agency Continuous in Liverpool, this supplier super collaboration will launch nationwide on Thursday February 8th.

According to data from UKHospitality in partnership with CGA by NIQ, the UK hospitality sector is ‘fighting for survival’. Venues are below 100,000 for the first time in 20 years and a staggering six venues have closed every day for the past two decades. Alongside this, the overall ‘craft’ sector is also in decline with breweries closing at record rates (Price Bailey via the Insolvency Service under the Freedom of Information Act).

But it’s not set to get any better. January 2024 is set to be the on-trade’s hardest trading period in years, driven by health related campaigns, consumers saving money and even the cold weather. People need a reason to get off their sofas and go to the pub again. That reason lead to a conversation between Continuous’ Senior Client Director, David Beattie, YCH’s Marketing Lead Luke Kulchstein & Track Brewing’s Events & Creative Manager Stefan Melbourne: A beer bought together from one end of the supply chain to the other, made with the best ingredients from leading producers in each field available only in kegs and to the UK’s independent on-trade venues, to drive footfall, revenue and profit to kick start their year.

Stefan Melbourne, Events & Creative Manager at Track Brewing Co., says:

“If there’s something we’ve learned about our industry, it’s that there is a thread of togetherness that runs deep and right through the whole supply chain. From maltsters, hop growers, yeast labs and breweries, to independent bars and bottle shops up and down the country. 

“When we were approached by our partners to create a brew that supports those who support us, we jumped at it. Our collective goal was simple; make a delicious, fairly-priced keg that drives revenue directly to local bars during this difficult time.

“We know that this beer is no magic wand, but craft beer is built on a connection and community and we are honoured to be a part of it.”

Luke Kulchstein, Marketing Lead, Europe at Yakima Chief Hops, says:

“At YCH, we are driven by community, from the multi-generational hop growing families that make up the Yakima valley to the wider craft brewing community around the world. Our supply chain is a small loop, with passionate and dedicated people striving to make the best product possible for the next link of the chain to enjoy, and the end-consumers’ feedback making its way back to source to help drive innovation. This project is a chance for us to give a gift from one end of our supply chain to the other, with pubs and bars, the often-forgotten link, once again becoming the place where everyone comes together.

“For me personally, I also think it’s also an opportunity for some of the best ingredients suppliers in the world to come together with one of the country’s best brewers and make something truly special to benefit the on-trade, without which none of us would have found the passion that drew us all to this industry in the first place. Without pubs and bars, where would drinkers discover new beers, breweries and indeed hops to fall in love with?”

George Burke, Sales & Customer Service Europe at White Labs Copenhagen says: 

“Since 1995, White Labs has proudly set the standard in the craft beer industry by providing the purest mono cultures available. Our mission has always revolved around empowering our customers to create exceptional beers for all to enjoy. Achieving this goes beyond talented brewers and top-notch ingredients; it requires a collective passion for delicious beers, which has always thrived through the ever-amazing craft beer community.

Acknowledging the challenges the industry has faced in recent years, we understand the impact felt by all. By working together alongside industry leaders we can offer the market a hopeful kickstart to 2024 with an easygoing, drinkable beer, at a reasonable price point. This is an opportunity for pub goers, craft beer enthusiasts, and anyone in between to get out to their local and give the industry the support it deserves, without breaking the bank.”

Mike Benson, Craft Sales Brewing Manager (UK North West & Wales) at Crips Malt says:

“I have a passion for the quality ingredients and technical knowledge you need to make a great beer.  The malts, hops and yeast used to make this beer are some of the best in the world.  Matched with the brewing team at Track, this will be one of the great beers. There is no better place to enjoy a beer than in a bar or pub, we are nothing without them.”

David Beattie says:

“Having worked in the industry and with many drinks brands, we understand the issues that brands are currently up against. We wanted to do something to instil action in consumers and to provide tangible benefits to those at the front line, rather than just talking about it.

“We know that collabs are nothing new in the beer world, but this is new in that it puts venues first and can be an annual event. Together, we’ve created a quality beer designed to be consumed fresh, made from world class ingredients and crafted by one of the best breweries in the UK. Our hope is that it encourages people to get up off their sofas, support a local venue and remember everything that’s great about the craft beer world.”

Fusion Pale Ale is available to the on-trade via Track Brewing Co. For more information, contact sales@trackbrewing.co.

 For a list of participating venues visit www.wearecontinuous.net/fusion-pale-ale




Yakima Chief Hops

YCH is a 100% grower-owned global hop supplier with a mission to connect brewers with family hop farms. Operating for more than 30 years, we have become leaders of innovation, quality and customer service. We are a resource for brewers, providing industry-leading research and products. We are advocates of sustainability and meaningful social causes, working to support the communities around us. https://www.yakimachief.eu

Track Brewing Co

 Track is a renowned Manchester-based brewery, specialising in hop-forward IPAs and Pale Ales born from adventure. https://www.trackbrewing.co

White Labs Copenhagen

 White Labs Copenhagen are dedicated biochemists advancing fermentation and cultivating community. Their belief that creating the best, most environmentally friendly products goes hand-in-hand with making the best use of them, has inspired a culture of education and collaboration with brewers, distillers and winemakers the world over. https://www.whitelabs.com/white-labs-copenhagen-aps

Crisp Malt

 Crisp Malt are suppliers of the finest UK malt to brewers and distillers across the globe for over 150 years. Since 1870 they’ve lived and breathed malting. With this passion and expertise, and by combining traditional and modern techniques, they create an impressive range of malted and non-malted products, including several unique and exclusive barley malts. https://crispmalt.com


 Continuous is a brand agency based in Liverpool that empowers its clients to face the future with confidence. Previous drinks clients include Innocent Drinks, Fever-Tree and Bedrock Gin.



Luke Kulchstein

Marketing Lead - Europe