By James Atkinson
James Squire's Hop Thief American Pale Ale has become a permanent "varietal series" in the brewer's range.
Hop Thief has been a limited edition series for the past few years, with four releases to date, each showcasing different hops.
This month's release of Hop Thief 5, which showcases the Centennial and Citra hop varieties, marks the transition to a permanent, yet constantly evolving release series.
"It will be available year-round, but since the sort of hops we're looking for are limited in their seasonality and availability, we're going to be getting parcels of hops, making a different variety of Hop Thief every season," Malt Shovel head brewer, Jeff Potter, said last week.
"The base beer will be kept the same but we'll be changing the hops so you get an experience of different hop flavours as each transition comes."
Hop Thief will be keg-only at this stage, and the numbering system (pictured right) will be retained for now.
"It might get to the stage where it's mature enough that we can just call it Hop Thief and you can look at the fine print," Potter said.