Fyne Ales Blog

Brewer's Fuel

by Chris Black

For a long time there has been one beer in particular that we have had our eye on brewing, a cold pressed coffee stout. As we had to produce a flavoured stout with our Battle of the Brewers with Stewart Brewing, an event which raised over £1000 for charity, it gave us the perfect chance to try this one out.

Plenty of coffee gets drunk in the brewery but we are by no means experts on the finer details of these roasted little beans, so we decided to recruit some help. Local coffee expert Alastair, also known as The Coffee Guy and founder of The Home Ground Coffee Company, was brought in to help us get the right coffee for the beer we wanted. Alastair specialises in roasting his own blends of the finest responsibly sourced coffee beans from around the world. You may have sampled some of Alastair’s special blends at Fyne Fest in the past.

Our brewing team and Alastair got to work on creating a recipe and worked up something special for the beer. The brewers decided they wanted something with a good bit of body so added plenty of oat malt to the recipe. A bit of rye was added to give the beer a little spice on the palate and plenty of chocolate malt was added for a smooth aroma and flavour.

Alastair developed a recipe using five different beans: El Limon (Nicaragua), Finca Bosca Lya (El Salvador),  Fanzenda Pantano (Brazil), Finca Muxbal (Mexico ) and Yirgacheffe Aricha (Ethiopia).All of these beans were sourced form ethical sources where the growers receive the proper value for their produce.

To add the coffee flavour to the beer a cold brew was made, this reduced the level of acidy in the coffee allowing for the fruity and chocolate notes of the beans to shine through. The cold brew of coffee was added to the kettle and boiled with the hops. We also decided we wanted to give the beer a strong coffee punch so we added another cold infusion of coffee to each cask of beer.

We really love this beer and it has gotten our creative juices going, look out for more collaborations with The Coffee Guy in the future.

You can find out more about Alastair’s cracking coffee here.

Brewer’s Fuel will be released solely on cask so look out for it in a bar near you.


Battle of the Brewers with Stewart Brewing

by Chris Black

A couple of weeks ago Stewart Brewing contacted us to throw down the challenge of a battle of the brewers. Before they had the chance to taunt us too much we duly accepted the challenge. Stewarts usually hold their battle of the brewers event in Edinburgh but to ensure that there was no home field advantage we thought it best to hold the battle in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The premise of the battle is each brewery brews a beer in keeping with a set style and ABV. The team at Stewarts set the style as a flavoured stout and ABV at 5%. Our crack R&D team set about the challenge and have brewed a beer that we have been thinking about for quite a while. We even got some local help for a secret ingredient, which will be revealed on the night!

There is more to this event than merely settling old scores. Both breweries have chosen a local charity to raise some money for at each night. Fyne Ales have chosen Yorkhill Children’s Hospital and Stewart Brewing have chosen Aberlour.

Both the Glasgow and the Edinburgh events will be held on the 6th of February. The Glasgow battle will be held in Inn Deep Bar and the Edinburgh event will be held in The Holyrood 9A. Tickets cost £5 and include a half pint of each beer, all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to charity.

Tickets can be purchased in each bar and from Stewarts Brewing's website.

We look forward to seeing you all at the battle on the 6th!


Brewer's Favourtie beers of 2013

by Chris Black

As what has been a stunning year for Fyne Ales comes to a close we thought we would take the chance to ask our in-house brewing experts what their favourtie beers of 2013 have been. Each brewer has picked their favourite Fyne Ales beer and favourite beer from the plethora of other beers around the world from 2013.


Favourite Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 - Kellaa

Kellaa was my favourite Fyne ale of the year.  It had just the right amount of full bodied bitterness and a tropical fruit aroma all coming from a single experimental hop.

Favourite Non Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 - Odell Brewing – Mercenary

I like the extremely oily resinous bitterness and pungent floral aroma, a top beer!


Favourite Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 - Fyne Bank

I was a little surprised just how well we got Fyne Bank, for my palate it was just enough peated malt to let you know it’s there. The light smokiness was complimented by my favourite hops, Pearl and Mount Hood, giving it a rich piney flavour. A perfectly balanced beer for me.

Favourite Non Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 - Black Jack Brewery – Place Bet

I was told the sign of a good beer is one that you go back for a second glass of when you have a great selection in front of you. This hit home with Place Bet. A lemony, very zesty, pale beer almost like homemade lemonade. Superb!


Favourite Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 – Cool as a Cucumber

In my opinion the best beer Fyne Ales released in 2013 was ‘Cool as a Cucumber’. This sessionable cucumber and mint saison was brewed in collaboration with the Wild Beer Company from Dorset. Using a strain of Belgian saison yeast, added with the addition of selected strains of brettanomyces wild yeasts, which add; funky, peppery, spicy and earthy flavours and make for a surprisingly different and immensely enjoyable beer, especially on a hot summer’s day. I’ll certainly be looking forward to seeing this one brewed again next summer!

Favourite Non Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 – Russian River - Pliny the Elder

In my opinion the best commercially available beer I tried in 2013 was Pliny the Elder by Russian River brewery from San Diego county in California. This imperial IPA is on every beer aficionado’s hit list and is widely touted as one of the best beers in the world. After searching long and hard I finally managed to get a bottle brought back from the US. As a lover of big, bold and hoppy American IPAs I was expecting to enjoy this very much but was cautious that its excellence might have been overstated, I was not disappointed at all! At 8%ABV and with more hops than you could shake a stick at, Pliny was surprisingly drinkable and extremely well balanced.


Favourite Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 - Bell Rock and Hop

Really good levels of hopiness, not too strong that you couldn't have a couple of pints. From a geeky point of view, first time we'd tried dry hopping in Fermenter with pellets rather than cones in conditioning tank. Still not so much hops that it was green though! Possibly try that next year... ;-)

Favourite Non Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 – Magic Rock – Unhuman Cannonball

Someone else's is harder, partly due to never taking notes. Defo not a Ratebeerian me!! Probably have to be Unhuman Cannonball from Magic Rock. Strong, and hoppy enough to make you twitch. Just what the doctor ordered!

Tell us what your favourite beer of 2013 has been in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.