Fyne Ales Blog

Origins Brewing: Summer 2018 Collection beers & launch

by Iain Smith

Fyne Ales is delights to introduce the Origins Brewing Summer 2018 collection - three new beers that launch on Sunday 19 August at Edinburgh Food Studio.

These three new beers are our expression of Summer in Glen Fyne. We’ve been treated to some amazing weather in the last few months, so we’ve chosen three beers that are the perfect celebration of sunshine, good vibes and rural Scotland to release this month.

Two of the collection are single-barrel-fermented releases, and the third, a clean fermented saison brewed in collaboration with our friends from Edinburgh Food Studio, who will help us launch the collection with an incredible ten-course brunch on Sunday 19 August in their Dalkeith Road restaurant.

Mion Blue (5.5%) - Mion Blue is a single-barrel mixed fermentation sour with blueberries. Originally soured in-kettle with lactobacillus, the wort was transferred into one of our favourite barrels with our Brett-forward house culture and blueberries where it fermented and aged for nine months.

Succession (6.6%) - Succession is a single-barrel mixed fermentation saison, fermented with our house culture and foraged meadowsweet in American oak for ten months. It offers woody, bittersweet flavours and plenty of funky brett.

Forest Flore (7.3%) - Forest Flore is our collaboration with Edinburgh Food Studio - a clean-fermented saison brewed with the branches and buds of flowering currants, conditioned on a touch of juniper. It’s crispy and satisfying, with a beautifully balance botanical foundation.

Our team first met Edinburgh Food Studio’s Ben and Shashana at Spontanscran, a tasting dinner celebrating spontaneously fermeted beer curated by writer Joe Dick. The dinner was a triumph, with dishes showcasing Scottish produce combining with some of Europe’s finest beers to create amazing, complex flavour profiles to savour.

When we approached Ben and Shashana about a possible collaboration, we were thrilled about their desire to use foraged, local ingredients - the flowering currant branches we infused into the mash water and the buds we added to the boil have added an amazing character to Forest Flore and we can’t wait to launch the beer at their restaurant later this month.

The launch will be comprised of a ten-course tasting menu, with each dish paired with an Origins Brewing beer, including cellared bottles of the long-sold-out Pandora, Amphora and Kilkerran Wee Heavy from the Autumn 2017 collection. Tickets for the launch brunch are on sale now:

Origins Brewing Brewers’ Brunch - Sunday 19 August 2018

Bottles of the Origins Brewing Summer 2018 collection will be released following the event.







Collaborations Uniting Nations: North Sea Bridges Project 2018

by Iain Smith

Update @ 21/08/2018: Preorder your North Sea Bridges pack now! Click here to preorder.

Earlier this year we shared a short blog about 2018 being a big year for collaborations for us and how much we appreciate the chance to hang out with and learn from other brewers - in the time since, we've brewed with our pals DEYA twice, been down the road to Huddersfield to knock up and awesome hoppy porter with Magic Rock, hosted Duration, Little Earth Project and Lambrate for collabs in Argyll and, most excitingly, we've also taken part in our first international collab project!

North Sea Bridges is an annual collaboration project building on the ancient trading links between Scotland and Scandinavia. Six of Scotland’s finest brewers (Black Isle, Fallen, Fierce, Fyne, Pilot & Six Degrees North) paired with six of Scandinavia’s best (Amundsen, Beerbliotek, Dry & Bitter, Dugges, Rocket & To Øl). 

One of the beautiful things about NSB is that there's was no brief for the brews - no rules, no target ABVs, no gimmicks - just the chance to bring the guys from Rocket to our quiet corner of Scotland to brew something fun.

We had a great day brewing with the Rocket lads - their laid-back demeanours hiding an incredible enthusiasm and passion for beer during the time we spent together. Having just moved their brewery across Scandinavian borders, the guys were pretty busy and planning the brew over email was a little challenging, but we finally nailed down a concept and brewed a beer we're all really happy with - Cowberry Heart.

Our contribution to the project is a sour red rye IPA packed full of lingonberries (also know as cowberries). It's a fusion of full-bodied malts and spicy rye with a puckeringly tart finish thanks to the lingonberries - they're sharp and acidic and really give a zing to the beer. It's a modest 5.3% - the lowest in the NSB collection - and ideal for Summer smashing.

As for the other beers? They're also suitably awesome - check out the amazing line-up below:

  • - Fierce / TO OL - Blood of Nidhoggr (7%) - Black Sour
  • - Six Degrees North / Amundsen - Amundsix (6.7%) - Dry-hopped Sour
  • - Black Isle / Dry & Bitter - Flame Out (8%) - DIPA
  • - Pilot / Dugges - Tropisk (7.4%) - DryPA
  • - Fallen / Beerbliotek - Tap Saff  (8.5%) - Saffron & Spruce DIPA

Being part of the North Sea Bridges project has been an amazing experience - I think we're all really proud of what we’ve collectively put together and achieved with our friends from around Scotland and further North. This is a real showcase of Scottish and Scandi brewing talent and we can't wait to get the beers into your hands.

And when will that be? Your first chance to try the full range of beers will be at a one of the national launch party venues on Thursday 23 August as all six beers hit the taps at the following venues:


  • - Aberdeen - Fierce Bar - Also on the bar - To ØL
  • - Aberdeen - 6 Degrees North - Also on the bar - Amundsen
  • - Edinburgh - 6 Degrees North - Also on the bar - Amundsen
  • - Edinburgh - Salt Horse Beer Shop & Bar - Also on the bar - Pilot and Dugges
  • - Glasgow -  6 Degrees North - Also on the bar – Rocket/Fyne Ales
  • - Glasgow - Koelschip Yard - Also on the bar - Fallen & Beerbliotek
  • - Inverness - Black Isle Bar - Also on the bar - Dry & Bitter

England & Wales

  • - Bristol - Small Bar
  • - Cardiff - Tiny Rebel Bar
  • - Leeds - North Bar
  • - Liverpool - Dead Crafty Beer Company
  • - London - The Rake
  • - London - Five Miles
  • - Manchester - Cafe Beermoth
  • - Newcastle - The Free Trade Inn
  • - Nottingham - Junkyard Bottleshop & Pourhouse

All six North Sea Bridges beers will also be available in bottle and can six-packs at some of the venues on launch night, and then from every good beer store from Thursday 23 August onwards - be sure to check with your local bottle shop to make sure they're getting some in as they probably won't hang around long.

Update @ 21/08/2018: Preorder your North Sea Bridges pack now! Click here to preorder.

So, cheers to Scotland, to Scandanavia, to new friends, new beers and the spirit of collaboration across borders. Cheers to North Sea Bridges!



Be You! What It Means To Be A Farm Brewery

by Iain Smith

In the first blog in this series, we highlighted that we were looking to create a new brand image that better reflected who we are, a big part of which is where we are - tucked away on a working farm in rural Argyll.

Being a farm brewery isn’t something that we’ve talked much about in recent years, but in an industry bursting with breweries operating out of industrial estates and railway arches, being a farm brewery is something we’re proud of and want to talk about more. So, let’s start the conversation...

While the story of our brewery starts in November 2001, the prologue to the story extends significantly further back in time.

Fyne Ales is based in Glen Fyne, specifically on the Achadunan Estate, 4500 acres of land with a salmon river on one side and peat-rich hills on the other. The estate has been in the family of our founders, Tuggy Delap and Jonny Delap, for five generations, and used as farmland since before even then, with the farm buildings that now house our brewery dating back to the early nineteenth century.

When Tuggy and Jonny returned to Glen Fyne in 2001 after spending time living in England, they had grand ambitions for the estate - they wanted to bring jobs, industry and tourism back to their land that had not been used to its full potential for several years by starting a new business using the old farm buildings. Among their many ideas, it was a brewery that felt like it had the best chance of success, with the added benefits that it would give Jonny and his friends access to good beer, and Tuggy the opportunity to reinvigorate the estate’s farm heritage at the same time.

With the unpredictable climate, peaty soil and hillside nature of much of the Achadunan land, pastoral farming is the only real option. Tuggy, having grown up with highland cows on the estate, jumped at the chance to bring the shaggy-haired beasts back to the land. We started modestly with four cows and one heifer - just enough to establish the herd and to consume the spent grain from the small brews that were taking place in the converted dairy building where our first kit was installed.

Over the past 16 years, the brewery has grown, and so has the farm’s herds - we now have 27 highland cows and two bulls - one shorthorn beef bull, Freddy, and a highland bull, Seamus, a more recent addition. We also have around a hundred sheep - a mix of North Country Cheviots and Scottish Mules, which are bred with Suffolk Tups to ensure they’re hardy enough for the chilly Argyll winters. Most recently, we’ve established a deer farm with a growing herd of around two hundred red deer enjoying the scenery of the glen and the spent grain from the brewery. If you ask Tuggy, she’ll tell you that Fyne Ales is first and foremost a spent grain production facility for her animals, and that the beer is just a byproduct.

There’s a lot of take pride in, in both our location and our farm brewery status - we’ve always believed that with so much history, and so much beauty in the estate, that it’s important that our brewing activities not detract from the land and that we actually do everything we can to make a contribution to the ecosystem we’re part of.

Being outwith the reaches of mains water supply, our brewing water is drawn directly from the hills adjacent to the brewery, and during the development of our new brewery (a converted sheep shed), we invested heavily in an effluent processing facility to ensure any liquid byproducts of the brewing process are completely neutral when reintroduced to the land.

In recent years, we’ve undertaken a project to restock our River Fyne with salmon, started a woodland creation programme with support from the European Agricultural Fund for European Development, installed solar panels on the roof of the Brewery Tap to power our bar, shop and visitor centre and begun using the meat produced by our farm to not only supply local restaurants, but to be made into pies and pastries by local caterers to serve in our Brewery Tap, amongst many initiatives to integrate our brewing activities with the farm and the land.

In December 2017 we launched our Origins Brewing project - the purest expression of our farm brewery status, brewing farmhouse-style beers that draw inspiration from diverse sources, but are all deeply rooted in our history and location. The Origins Brewing beers are a bold celebration of our provenance, but we want that celebration to also be reflected in all our beers and everything we do.

We’ve shied away from talking too much about being a farm brewery in the past due to potential negative connotations around what it means. For some people ‘farm brewery’ might conjure up ideas of dirty equipment, off-flavours and poor quality products, but over the past 16 years we’ve worked hard to prove that doesn’t have to be the case. At the same time as promoting biodiversity, building sustainable herds of sheep, deer and highland cattle and actively working to enhance our environment, we’re knocking out award-winning beers on a state-of-the-art British brew kit. Rustic, humble origins need not mean rustic, low-quality products.

We’re proud to be a farm brewery in rural Scotland, and the hard work we’ve done to grow our business in this challenging, beautiful and unique setting - at the end of the day, there would be no Fyne Ales without the farm, and there would be no farm without Fyne Ales. 

So, over to you to carry on the conversation - did you know Jarl was brewed in a former sheep shed? Does it matter? Have you visited our little corner of Scotland to see our unique location for yourself?

Let us know with a comment here or on Twitter or Facebook.