The Lumina Story
The Shining Light of our Flagship RangeBuy Lumina
Back in 2020, we saw a gap in our flagship range, which at the time was 3.6% Yu Lu Session Pale Ale, 4% Calypso Dry-hopped Sour, 5.6% Soundwave IPA and 6.5% Broken Dream Breakfast Stout.
We needed something to bridge the gap between Yu Lu and Soundwave. A straight-up crushable session beer that ticked all the boxes - thirst quenching, easy drinking, full of hops and uncompromising on flavour.
For some time we'd been brewing a series of Hazy Pale Ales on a regular basis, which were enjoyed in keg and cask formats only. the 'Suspended in...' series focussed on a different hop for each brew. These beers were the perfect vehicle to experiment with a variety of hops and their impacts on a lower ABV beer.
And so in early 2020 we launched a beer called Refractions, initially also only on keg and cask, but later in cans as well. This beer was to become our new flagship beer, but under the guise of this name we could experiment with hop lineups and recipes.
After a number of iterations, the recipe was set for our next flagship beer.
The next step was a lot of back and forward and round after round of ideas and discussion on not just the name, but the theme of the beer. After our 2019 rebrand, all of our flagship beers have a personality and stream-of-consciousness style canvas that creates the can art.
Lumina was an epiphany moment for Siren, a coming together of experience, experimentation, and evolution to create our most accessible session beer ever, with poise and adventure of universal appeal. It’s that feeling of epiphany that first sparked the ‘energy’ of the Lumina personality. A central burning energy source emanates movement across the canvas, with themes of luminosity and navigation weaving in and out of the sky.
The Beer Itself
We meticulously selected only the very best ingredients to ensure Lumina offers optimum flavour.
Marris Otter, a UK heritage barley, is the backbone of many world class beers and considered the ‘Rolls Royce’ of Simpsons’ malts. This is the launch pad from which Lumina is layered upon, blazing a touch of sweetness in flavour
We then utilise both flaked and malted oats. We decided to use a combination of oats to add depth and volume to the body to ensure a smooth and soft sensation when drinking. The oats make up approximately 15% pf the grist
For kettle hops, a combination of Hallertau Blanc, Mosaic, Chinook are mixed at the whirlpool stage of the brew. This offers just the right amount of bitterness to the beer, balancing things out nicely and making it so ‘sessionable’. Using hops at this stage also drives punchy tropical fruit flavours
A dry-hop of Azacca, Mosaic, Ekuanot and Hallertau Blanc is the final touch. Hopping this late in the process is the reason the aroma shoots out of the can so immediately, bursting with mango, pineapple, and orangey notes.
Later in 2020, and with recipe, name, design and everything else set, we were heading towards our launch date of June 19th.
Some of you may remember 2020: it was a pretty big year. With the pandemic closing pubs and bars we didn't really have an outlet for launching a brand new flagship beer. As difficult as it was to see so many of our friend's businesses closed indefinitely, we had to push forward.
And so we planned a complete "can only" launch - complete with can shaped glass.
To help the launch, we reached out to a number of people from across the beer industry, press and even Dr Becky Smethurst, an astrophysicist. After we shipped out Lumina far and wide, our founder, Darron, introduced our new beer from the barrel store. You may have seen some of the reports that then popped up in publications such as Shortlist, The Mirror and The Beer Guild. But this was just the start of our launch...
The most important part of launching our new beer was getting into the fridges, hands and more importantly stomachs of you at home and the beer flew out. Helped out by over 400 FREE four packs being claimed by investors, in the first month of sale we sold over 15,000 cans. This included our amazing launch night Stargazing Pack. Joined by Becky Smethurst, we hosted a live stargazing night on YouTube, talking through Lumina, food pairings and of course, how to stargaze. We even sent out stargazing binoculars and fancy cameras to some friends in the industry so they could join us in seeing the stars at their sparkling best, in the company of a cold can of Lumina.
In the years since we launched Lumina, the beer has become our best selling and probably most requested, most well known beer. At the time of writing (August 2023) we have sold just shy of 100,000 cans via our webshop making it our best selling beer, outselling Broken Dream and and Yu Lu combined!
Outside of the webshop, we've exported to 20 different countries around the world including Italy, Denmark, Hong Kong and even Australia. Our friends across the channel, France, have been the biggest purchasers of Lumina, outside of the UK!
Across all formats, Lumina has been served in 1014 individual accounts, with Fullers Pub Co being the biggest adopter, closely followed by Frontier Pub Co. Our top independent Lumina retailer by volune is the amazing Trekkers bar in Chesham.
In total, we have sold nearly 30,000 kegs to trade, over 55000 can cases and just shy of 2000 casks.
We thank every single bar, club, pub, venue and each and every one of you for grabbing a Lumina.
One of our favourite things about Lumina is the fact that it is Gluten Free. It was a decision we made early on, so that Lumina wasn't just Vegan friendly, but also available for Coeliacs or those with a Gluten intolerance. Whilst we do brew it with wheat and oats, for a luscious mouthfeel, we use an enzyme to break down the gluten.
A lot of people might hear "Gluten Free" and think of things like Gluten Free bread. Whilst there's some really good GF bread available, in general it can be a bit of a let down compared to "standard" bread.
Lumina helps to prove that it's definitely not the same for beer. In fact, when launched we provided bars with the option of kegs badges - one that said "Gluten Free Session IPA" and one that said "Session IPA". Some people were deterred by the GF classification.
For now, we still allow bars to choose from the two options, but we encourage the Gluten Free listing as a testament to what truly is a first class Gluten Free beer, through and through.
The gluten free aspect of Lumina has been a key aspect in enabling us to pick up a listing within M&B’s Castle Pub estate and Stonegate in 2023.
Illuminati & Breaking the Internet
To celebrate the 3rd anniversary of Lumina, we created a double strength version - 8.4% Double IPA, Illuminati. We also gave ourselves 2 audacious targets, with a £10,000 charity donation the end goal.
1 - To have Lumina and/or Illuminati pouring in 1000 sites nationwide. Be it in keg, cask or can, the aim was to get the beer across their network into as many pubs, bars and bottle shops as possible.
2 - To get Lumina trending on Twitter on Friday 30th June, 2023.
In the wake of this, we made 3 donations to charities.
Thanks to a swell of support from the beer community, #LuminaHour trended number 5 in the UK Trends charts - 1 place above WWE Smackdown, which was filming live in the UK at the time.
The £10,000 charity donations were split between Make A Wish Foundation, Launchpad Reading and Lymphoma Action UK - a mix of causes chosen by the Siren team.
The controversial and unusual campaign came at a difficult time for the brewing industry, with a number of breweries sadly closing their doors in the past year. However, we're committed to supporting causes close to the hearts of our team and customers.
For more on our other charitable efforts, check our our Charity and Community page.
Our founder, Darron said: “It’s a real challenge as a small business right now to cut through, whether that’s getting into pubs where the big brewers have tied up all the access and restricted choice for consumers, or online where we see the big social media platforms unwilling to show our followers organic posts. #LuminaHour is an example of what can be achieved when the amazing beer community comes together, raising an incredible amount of money in the process.”
Deborah Laing, Director of Fundraising and Communications for Lymphoma Action, said “‘Everyone at Lymphoma Action is so grateful to Siren Craft Brew for their generous contribution. Thanks to wonderful supporters like the Siren team, our charity can continue providing vital information and services to people affected by lymphoma, the fifth most common cancer in the UK.”
What will be on the cards for future Lumina birthday celebrations? Watch this space!
The Future for Lumina
The future is bright for Lumina and we continue to push it as our flagship beer. We'd love to see Lumina on bars all across the country. If it's not in your favourite bar, tell them to get in touch, and if you want some cans in your fridge, click the links below.