Fyne Ales Blog

New Beer - Clachan Dubh

by Chris Black

So it's pretty freezing outside and the weather isn't showing many signs of warming up, so must be stout time! This is the first new beer this year, there are many more to come, and it was brewed by Gordon who is the newest member of our brewing team. 

This new seasonal beer was brewed in our small brew-house, where our creativity can run riot now our shiny new 40 barrel brewery is up-and-running­.  Clachan Dubh (Gaelic for dark village) is a mellow, easy drinking stout with spicy hop flavour and zesty aromatic edge.

In addition to our house base malt – low colour Maris Otter – we’ve added a decent quantity of Munich malt for extra malt complexity and dark crystal (240).  No stout is complete without some roast character, which comes from Chocolate malt, Roasted Barley and some Brown malt to give its distinct bread-crust flavour and characteristic dryness in the finish.  Oat malt and Flaked Barley give the beer a silky mouth feel and extra body.

Our burgeoning hop selection presented ample options for a classic stout.  The final selection was transatlantic in nature.  Pioneer (UK) was selected exclusively for bittering due to its mild mannered nature with a proportion added at first wort.  Aroma hops: Mount Hood (US), for its herbal spiciness; Bramling Cross (UK) for its berry like flavour and spiciness; and judicious use of Bullion (US) for a zesty aromatic edge.

Our water supply, which runs off the glen above our breweries (how good is that – free water!), is very, very soft.  The mineral content is virtually non-existent. This is brilliant for brewing pale ales but is a bit of a challenge for brewing dark beers.  Gordon dabbled with our water treatment to shift the flavour emphasis toward a mellower roasted-malt flavour.

Look out for Clachan Dubh hitting bars this week in cask and let us know what you think.

Happy drinking!


Autumn/Winter Seasonals

by Chris Black

Winter is coming and with it we have four seasonal brews heading your way!

Holly Daze – 5% Amber Ale

Holly Daze is our perennial winter beer: our antidote to Christmas and the dark days of winter. Holly Daze is an amber ale with a rich aroma of caramel malts and dark fruits. No strange spices, just a really good stronger beer with a crisp fruity hop flavour and plenty of malt.

Holly Daze is now available in 500ml bottle and will be available in cask from the end of November.

Naughty – 5.2% Black Ale with Ancho Chillies

This year we’ve brewed a pair of new beers for the festive period, called Naughty & Nice. Naughty is the beer for those who are getting a lump of coal from the big man. A black ale that has been spiked with some Ancho chillies. Dried Ancho chillies are very mild in terms of spice but add a very rich fruitcake aroma to the beer.

Nice – 5.2% White IPA with Fresh Citrus Peel

Nice is the beer for those who have been perfect angels. A white IPA loaded with fresh mixed citrus peel. The addition of lots of wheat malt gives the beer its very pale colour with the citrus fruit adding a very inviting fruit aroma. Lots of powerful hops give the beer a lasting bitterness as a proper IPA should.

Naughty and Nice are now both available from our online shop and will be launched in cask at The State Bar in Glasgow. Keep eyes peeled to Facebook for full details of the launch night.

Lowlander – 4% Experimental Hop Amber Ale

Lowlander is a new autumn/winter seasonal beer that will be available on both cask and keg. We were putting a brew of Highlander through our new brewkit that didn’t quite hit the abv we were hoping for. We had some new experimental hops that we have been wanting to try for a while, so thought we would try a dose of dry hopping and see what happened; turns out it was a good decision! Lowlander is a low abv amber ale that has big aromas of sweet fruits with notes of tangerine and pineapple.

Lowlander will be available on cask and keg from the 10th of November.


Collab Fest 2014 - SameWerking

by Chris Black

It’s cold, its wet, and the days are gie drawin’ in…that means it’s time for Brewdog’s Collab Fest! A couple of months ago the guys at Brewdog Glasgow asked us if we would like to have some fun again and brew a collaboration. After the fun we had last year with 48 Miles later and how much we loved the beer we jumped at the chance.

So we sent our crack team of brewers down to the bar in Glasgow for a brainstorming session: creativity was of course assisted by lots of sampling. After a couple of hours of deliberation a core idea was settled upon. The aim was to produce a traditional style amber ale that had the added element of some Roiboos tea.

Our brewing team came back to the brewery and developed a recipe that would fit the brief. A total of nine different malts were selected to create a flavour profile that struck a balance between the caramel and roasted malt flavours while complementing the sweetness from the tea. Traditional style hops were chosen, with Challenger, Marynka and Goldings added to the brew. For the tea we went to our friends at Eteaket Teas and picked up 6 kg of their amazing Big Red Rooibos, a soft but slightly tart tea with hints of orange and dried hay. To get the most from the tea we added it to the underback and basically turned it into a giant teapot, as the wort passed from the mash tun into the kettle. Later in the brew a cold infusion was made with a small amount of the tea and added to the conditioning tank for a little extra rooibos flavour.

On the brew day Andy, Sam and Calum from Brewdog Glasgow came up to help out with the brew. They were put to work throughout the day and turned their hands to cleaning the mash and kettle. Over a couple of lunch time beers the name SameWerking was decided upon: the Afrikaans word for collaboration, taking influence from the origin of the rooibos tea.

SameWerking will be launched in all UK Brewdog bars on Saturday 25th  October from 6pm, alongside the 15 other collaborations that are part of #collabfest. Our brew team will be in residence at Brewdog Glasgow from 4pm until late into the night. For the full list of the beers in this year’s event check out Brewdog’s blog.

A small batch of SameWerking will be available in 750ml bottles in the weeks following the launch.