Fyne Ales Blog

International Women's Collab Brew Day & Dark Eden

by Iain Smith

 

On Thursday 8 March, some of the brilliant and inspiring women of Fyne Ales once again joined together to create a new special release beer for International Women's Collab Brew Day.

Dark Eden is a 4.6% ruby porter brewed with whole oats - it's smooth and rich and very easy-drinking and it's out in cask now. It's great and so are the women who brewed it. This blog is about them.

 

Yvonne Wernlein, Technical Brewer

"My grandfather was a brewmaster, my father is a brewmaster and I don’t have any siblings so I think for me it was an easy choice to become a brewer! In Germany, it’s still quite uncommon for women to be brewers - during my studies I was the only woman in a class of thirty and during my apprenticeship I was one of three in a group of sixty, but in the UK it seems to be much more widespread and that’s a great thing.

With Dark Eden, I wanted to create something very smooth, drinkable, not too hoppy and I knew I wanted to brew with oats, as I never had the chance to in Germany and I really like porridge. We had access to whole oats, husks and all, and I didn’t want to make it too roasty so we used chocolate malt and some crystal rye to give a nice soft body and ruby colour. I took a mini-cask home and everyone really liked it, so I’m quite proud of it!"

Tuggy Delap, Founder

"We had some empty farm buildings, and a lot of rain water and a desire to create employment in the glen, and given Jonny (Delap, founder) and the boys were drinking a lot of beer, it seemed like a good idea to me! I think they thought I was mad.

We worked as a partnership - I was the brewery’s driving force and Jonny was the brakeman who knew when to slow me down and stop me trying to do too much. Although I was never a brewer, I wasn’t afraid to get my hands dirty - I was the one loading up the trailer and delivering the beer around Scotland for the first few years!

I think it’s fantastic to have Yvonne on board - I don’t think she’ll mind me saying she has that level of German precision that can only make our beer better and I’m excited to try this year’s International Women’s Day beer."

Sam MacPhee, Credit Control

"I think it’s great that there are more and more women who are passionate about beer in the industry and, compared to twenty years ago, more women enjoying beer.

I think that what it means to be a ‘beer drinker’ has changed - when you see all the things that are going on with different styles and experimentation and food pairing and exciting flavours, beer is much more accessible to more people now."

Katie O’Donnell, Brewery Tap & Events Manager

"It’s probably the best time to be a woman working in beer. There’s still some things that we need to address and work on as an industry, but I can only see it getting better and better in the next few years.

I think we’re past the point where there’s a need to name beers after double entendres or put sexualised pictures of women on the pump clips - it just isn’t necessary anymore. It’s about being inclusive as possible and the excuse that ‘it’s just a bit of fun’ doesn’t really cut it when it’s not something that women find funny.

Brewing to me is a brilliant mix of manual work and technical thinking and processes - it’s a bit like cooking - getting to work with the other women of Fyne Ales for the International Women’s Collab brew was lots of fun!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beer People Are Good People: NEIPA Adventures & Collabs 2018

by Iain Smith

A couple of weeks ago, Jamie and I travelled down to Liverpool to attend SIBA’s BeerX, the annual national conference/trade show for independent UK breweries. Catching up with suppliers, listening to lively panel debates and sampling some great beers from around the UK are all part of the BeerX experience, but for me the most rewarding thing was getting the chance to meet and hang out with beer people.

One of the best things about being part of the craft beer industry is the sense of community that’s abundant in every aspect of it - I’ve always believed that beer people are good people and going to a show like BeerX is a welcome reminder of that.  And it’s this community spirit that has lead to us ramping up our collaborations schedule for 2018 - there’s so much to be gained from working with another brewery - sharing knowledge, reaching new people and trying new things, and we’re super-excited to already have a few collabs in the bag and a lot more coming up this year.

A few weeks ago we were delighted to host Tom from London’s House Brewery to join us in creating a cask-exclusive black IPA, Loch & Key. I’m personally a big fan of the style - black IPAs were my first love in craft beer and its fall from popularity from its hype days is nothing short of tragic, so I’m delighted we’ve made a new one with Tom and that it’s a good one. It launches tomorrow evening down in London at House’s Prince N22 venue (two pints for a fiver!?) - get along and give it a try if you can.

Next up is our three-way collab with Grunting Growler and Dead End Brew Machine. Dead End’s Chris has a long history with Fyne Ales (#BringBackZombier) and he’s developed a stellar reputation for amazing IPAs and tasty bretted saisons under the Dead End banner. Grunting Growler is one of my favourite spots in Glasgow - owner/manager Jehad has nailed the chilled-out beer cafe vibe at his space in Finnieston and when he gave us a shout about brewing a New England IPA for the venue’s second birthday, we jumped at the chance and invited Chris to join us to give us some guidance on our first NEIPA adventure.

Check out the images from brew day on Facebook!

Juicy, hazy IPAs have been on our wishlist for a while, but the challenge for us has always been how to make it work on our brew kit using the water that we draw from the hills adjacent to the brewery. Credit to Chris - he was instrumental in helping us figure out solutions to the challenges and didn't hesitate to push head brewer Malc out of his comfort zone in the quest to make the best possible beer. The brew day was great fun - it always is when we get to bring people from the city to our rural corner of Scotland to experience a bit of the country - and we left the brewery tired, but confident that we’d brewed something fun.

And it is. Terrible Twos (celebrating Grunting Growler’s second birthday) is by far, the hoppiest and haziest beer we’ve ever brewed.

 

On the hot side, we used the lightest touch of Magnum for bittering, and then dropped the temperature to 71degrees after flameout before adding a Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo whole-leaf cocktail. We pitched a combination of our house yeast, which has a soft, fruity and light character on it’s own and White Labs’ WLP095 Burlington yeast to get the signature New England mellowness up front.

There was a two stage dry hop - the full batch got Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado T90 in FV and then after the batch was split into two parts for conditioning, one half got more Citra and Mosaic T90, working out 24g/l dry-hop. Why did we split the batch in two? That’s a story for another blog, but trust me when I say we’ve done something fun with the other half.

Up front, the flavour is all stone fruit - the hops and yeast combo doubling down on the soft, juicy flavours that make NEIPAs so easy-drinking. It’s not shy though - there’s a hint of the beer’s 7.1% in the finish, but it makes it all the more thirst-quenching. It’s just really nice to drink, and to keep drinking and you should go and drink it when it launches this Saturday at Grunting Growler and say hey to Chris, Jehad and Tom from our team!

There’s plenty more collabs to look forward to this year - Malc’s just back from Padova’s Crak where he brewed up a session IPA which has already sold out and scheduled for a rebrew, and in April we’re brewing a kettle sour with our friends at Uiltje in the Netherlands. At the end of the month we down to brew with the guys at DEYA as part of a road trip that will also take us to Huddersfield to knock up something sessionable with Magic Rock. Then around FyneFest, we’re excited to get the second leg of the DEYA collab into tank (and maybe barrels) at ours and host the super-talented Duration team for an Origins Brewing collab. And that’s not even all of it - stay tuned for more news soon.

Beer people are good people, and we’re excited to make lots of good beer with good beer people this year.

Cheers!

 

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Now Hiring: Brewery Tap & Shop Team Member (Full Time)

by Iain Smith

Want to work at one of the most beautiful brewery locations in the world and the Scottish Beer Destination of the Year?

Fyne Ales is seeking someone to join our Brewery Tap & Shop team on a full-time basis. The position includes 40 hours per week on a rota basis, including weekend and occasional external event work.

We need someone energetic, enthusiastic and passionate about beer to help tell our visitors the Fyne Ales story. You will be leading tours around our two brewing facilities, so someone with a confident, chatty personality would be ideal.

Perfect for someone located in the local area, bar & customer service experience is preferred but training will be provided.

If you’re interested or want to know more, drop us an email with your CV and a short cover letter to katie[at]fyneales.com.

Deadline: Friday 9 March 2018

 

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