Fyne Ales Blog

New Brew News: Rest & Meet The Brewer - Yvonne!

by Iain Smith

There’s something comforting about Autumn – about seeing the red and brown-hued leaves clinging on to branches and dramatic sunsets in the early evenings. Summer’s busy days and heady nights have well-and-truly departed, and it’s time to slow down, get cozy and enjoy a bit of a Rest.

Our latest cask special brew is a beer for the Autumn months – a 4.2% golden amber ale to help stave off bracing winds; with a well-balanced, crisp, fruity hop bite in the foreground and a lingering, soft caramel finish, a pint of Rest by a crackling fire is the dream for those who love this time of year.

Rest is the first brew to which our new Technical Brewer, Yvonne Wernlein, has contributed. Yvonne, who joined us at the tail end of Summer, has an impressive history of brewing science and is instilled with the attention to detail that only someone who trained in brewing in Germany can attain.


What’s your background in brewing?

Well, my parents have their own brewery in Germany and it’s a family business so I’ve always worked in breweries, straight out of school I began training to be a master brewer. I actually did my three-year apprenticeship in a brewery in Franconia, as my parents thought it would be a good idea to spend a bit of time away from home, before moving to another brewery, Rothaus in South West Germany where I worked in their laboratory for a couple of years before moving on to do my brewmaster qualification for two years. Afterwards, I moved to run the laboratory for a brewery in Offenburg doing quality assurance and management before finally heading home to work for my parents brewery and help the family business.

What brought you to Fyne Ales?

The first time I came to Scotland was in 2003 or and I’ve been back every year since, at least once a year. I think it has always been calling me and I knew I’d end up living in Scotland, so when I met a man who lived in Dunoon and I had the chance to move here to live with him, I had to do it. When I moved, I had to look for a job at a brewery and from the first time I visited Fyne Ales for my interview, it felt like coming home.

How have your first couple of months been working here?

I love it. It’s kind of touching; I have never liked Sundays, because I’ve always hated thinking about having to go back to work on Monday, but here, as I said, it’s like coming home. I love my job here and the people have been so welcoming – moreso than anywhere else I’ve been in my life. I mean, there are always friendly people in breweries but here it is something different, it’s special.

How has the transition been between brewing in Germany and brewing here?

It’s a very different environment – this is the first time I’ve brewed without the purity laws being an influence. During my first brew, I was adding something to the copper and I couldn’t help but think about my dad because if he could see me, he would be shaking his head at me! But I’m a technical brewer and I know that these things are serving a purpose when we’re brewing here, they’re only making our beer better so I think it’s acceptable.

Tell us about Rest.

It was a bit of a collaboration between [Head Brewer] Malcolm and I – it’s very much Autumn-inspired with a nice dry finish. I’m not a huge fan of aggressively hopped beers, so I wanted to make something very easy-drinking and well balanced and use some hops that don’t get showcased very often so it uses a combination of Perle, Eureka, El Dorado and Polaris. Oh and I love the colour.

What do you want to achieve at Fyne Ales?

I’m very goal-oriented, so I have a couple of short term things that are achievable – getting some of the new accreditations for the brewery and getting the lab properly set up so I can establish a full schedule, but honestly, I’ll be happy if I do a good enough job that I get to stay here for a long time because I don’t want to leave! 

Keep an eye out for more blogs about Yvonne's processes coming soon!



Fynes Ales wins Beer Destination of the Year at Scottish Beer Awards 2017!

by Iain Smith

“In global terms, Scotland punches well above its weight when it comes to good beer,” stated one of the speakers at Beer Matters industry conference yesterday, and never more so has it been apparent than at last night’s Scottish Beer Awards.

The independent awards, sponsored by beer-championing supermarket Aldi, brought together the best of Scottish brewing to celebrate the wealth and diversity of beer being produced in our country. It was a night of good food, good beer, good conversation and for Fyne Ales, success!

We picked up the prize for Beer Destination of the Year in recognition of our unique location, and what we offer up in our wee corner of Argyll. There’s nothing we love more than showcasing the Achadunan estate to thirsty visitors, whether it be at our annual FyneFest event or any day of the week in our Brewery Tap - where we are is a huge part of who we are as a brewery and there’s no better way to get a sense of that than by stopping by for a beer, a chat and to take in the scenery.

“This is a special place, that’s evident from the moment you set off down the lane towards the brewery - for that to be recognised with such a prestigious award is a great feeling,” commented Fyne Ales MD, Jamie Delap. “We’re constantly working to improve what we do across all areas of the business and have some big plans for our Brewery Tap and FyneFest 2018, but credit for winning this year has to go to all our team who work hard to offer friendly welcomes, perfect pints and make all our guests feel at home at our brewery.”

Elsewhere, both Mills & Hills and Highlander were recognised with awards in the beer categories; our De Molen collab imperial stout taking home bronze in Amplified Beer, and Highlander picking up silver in British Style Ales.

Brewery of the Year, for which Fyne Ales was one of five nominees, went to Ellon-based brewing giants, Brewdog. The full list of winners can be found on the Scottish Beer Awards website.

If you’re keen to see Scotland’s best beer destination for yourself, our Brewery Tap & Shop are open seven days from 10am-6pm, with tours available by appointment only – please give us a call on 01499 600120 if you’d like to check out our brewing setup. Also remember that earlybird FyneFest 2018 tickets go on sale in November!

A huge congratulations to all the winners at last night's ceremony, and a special thank you to everyone who’s been up to see us this year, we hope to see you again soon.



Fyne Ales On Tour: BAF! Borefts After Festival

by Iain Smith

Earlier this year we invited the team from Dutch brewing heroes, Kaapse, to curate one part of the Brewers’ Bar at FyneFest 2017 and, let’s be honest, they knocked it out of the park by bringing us some incredible beers from their homeland.

We didn’t think we could be any more grateful to Tsjomme and his team, but then he went and invited us to BAF 2017!

Borefts After Festival 2017!

Every year, our friends at De Molen host Borefts, a huge crazy two-day festival of amazing beer with an annually rotating line-up of breweries from around Europe. The festival is so big, and draws so many beer enthusiasts to the Netherlands, that two days isn’t enough for most and Kaapse are charged with keeping the party going with an after-festival.

We’re super excited to be representing the UK at this year’s BAF alongside some of our favourite breweries from the continent. Come and see us in Rotterdam and enjoy one of the beers we’ve shipping across!