Fyne Ales Blog

New Brew News - Cold Brew Mills & Hills

by Iain Smith

How does an award-winning imperial stout brewed in collaboration with Brouwerij De Molen, infused it with a gourmet coffee blend from award-winning Scottish roastery, Artisan Roast, sound to you?

Say hello to Cold Brew Mills & Hills – coming next week in keg and bottle.

We love Mills & Hills, it has a special place in the hearts of everyone at the brewery - being brewed with our good friends from The Netherlands, being the first beer brewed on 40BBL brew kit and frankly, being delicious. This year we wanted to do something new with Mills & Hills – to play with the recipe and introduce a new dimension of flavour – coffee.

We immediately thought of approaching Edinburgh-based roastery, Artisan Roast to see if they’d be up for working together – their coffee is some of the most interesting and exciting in Scotland - and we were delighted that they were keen to team up.

We spent an afternoon with Piotr Kozuch, the man in charge of getting the amazing flavours out of Artisan Roast’s ethically-sourced beans, where we were introduced to the process of cupping (formal coffee tasting). We sampled five different single-origin coffees and blends alongside bottles of Mills & Hills before settling on Trigonometry, a blend designed by Piotr specifically for cold brewing.

The cold-brew process involves steeping coffee in cold water over a long period, usually a minimum of 24 hours. Compared to brewing using hot water, less oils, fatty acids and caffeine is extracted from the beans by water at colder temperatures, meaning the resulting brew is far more mellow than traditional brewing methods.

Having previously used espresso during the brew process and experimenting in the brewery, we were confident that cold-infusion would be the best method to get smooth, complimentary flavours into Mills & Hills and Trigonometry’s flavour profile was exactly what we were looking for. The coffee has a lovely red-berry and biscuity character, which balances nicely against the sweet dried-fruit and molasses flavours of the base beer.

“Given the amount we get through in the brewery, coffee is a flavour we’re all very familiar with and enjoy,” explained Malcolm Downie, Fyne Ales head brewer. “The flavours in Artisan Roast’s coffees are outstanding, and I was delighted when they were up for working together. Their Trigonometry and our Mills & Hills – it just works incredibly well.”

The next stage was to run trials with Trigonometry and the freshly-fermented Mills & Hills. Drawing beer straight from the tank, we cold-infused three sample bottles - one with finely crushed, one with coarsely smashed and one with whole beans, tasting at intervals to determine how flavours were progressing. The outcome was opting for a full week of cold-infusion using whole beans, which we felt offered the most nuanced, soft and rounded flavours.

“Scotland is making a reputation for high quality coffee and ales," added Artisan Roast's Gustavo Pardo. "It was a great experience working with Fyne Ales to combine both in one delicious product!"

The beer has now found its way into bottles and a limited number of kegs, which you can expect to see out and about from this weekend – including at Craft Beer Revolution in Edinburgh from 23 November!


New(ish) Brew News – Holly Daze

by Iain Smith

2002, a landmark year in history. We said hello to the Euro, the Queen celebrated fifty years living in her big house in London, Spider-man swung onto the big screen (the first one) and somehow Robbie Williams had the biggest selling album in the UK. It was also the first time that small farmhouse brewery in Argyll brewed a special Christmas beer, a delicious 5% amber ale called Holly Daze.

Fifteen years later, it’s back.

It’s not the first time that Holly Daze has made a return during the festive season, but it is the first time it’s been back on the taps in a couple of years, rolling out of the brewery in cask and mini-casks from Monday.

Holly Daze is a dark amber ale that we’ve always proudly believed is the best non-Christmassy Christmas beer you’re likely to come across – no gimmicky spices, no cartoon Santas, just a solid, robust pint of satisfying, hoppy amber. A trio of hops Challenger, Perle, Spalt on the hot side and a touch of Mittlefruh in the dry-hop give a lightness to the flavour profile, while crystal malt and roast barley give the beer a rich body.

Keep an eye out for mini-cask pre-order posters in your local bar or bottle-shop soon, and the Holly Daze pump clip gracing the taps in the next few weeks!



New Brew News: Carved In Fire

by Iain Smith

A few weeks ago we were delighted to welcome our friends and members of the team from Italian artisan deli and craft beer pub Pork'N'Roll to the brewery a special collab with a unique ingredient. Brothers Valentino and Gerardo travelled from Rome armed with a suitcase full of dried and triple-smoked chestnuts to use for a brew the original Fyne Ales brewery – introducing Carved In Fire – a 5.1% triple-smoked chestnut porter available in cask from next week.

The dark-brown ale was brewed with a combination of five different malts and flaked oats to give the beer a formidably powerful body, with a light addition of British Pioneer hops and the aforementioned beech-smoked chestnuts during the boil to infuse the beer light smokiness in the aroma and initial taste, which is followed by a rounded sweetness before a dark chocolate finish.

With a good amount of the beer heading back to the continent for use in Pork'N'Roll’s pub, Carved In Fire is unlikely to hang around long, so catch it at your local soon!