Fyne Ales Blog

New Brew News: Workbench IPA Fourth Draft & The Future

by Iain Smith

Back in the Spring of this year we launched the Workbench IPA Project, an evolving prototype programme to help us develop our understanding of hops and ultimately create the recipe for a new, sessionable IPA to replace Sanda Blonde in our year-round line-up.

Today, we’re announcing the conclusion of the project with the launch of the final beer in the programme – Workbench IPA: Fourth Draft (WB4).

WB4’s recipe is loosely based on Workbench IPA: First Draft (WB1), the most popular in the series so far, with whole-leaf Nelson Sauvin and Citra in the hopback at roughly the same ratios as the original Workbench beer and only one tweak to the malt bill - Caramalt replacing Carapils to offer a touch more colour and body to the beer. Post-fermentation, T90 pellets were used for dry-hop, with Mosaic returning from the WB1 recipe but complimented with two other fruit-forward hops – Belma and El Dorado.

The new recipe has resulted in the fruitiest Workbench IPA yet with a nose of mango and a hint of floral that leads into flavour profile bursting with more tropical fruit and juicy berries. The finish is lean citrus, with the lightest touch of pine to keep the fruit in balance. It’s infinitely drinkable, and beautifully refreshing.

The Workbench IPA Project has been as objective as possible since day one – in addition to gathering feedback from social media and beer ratings websites (#FyneWorkbench), between brews of each draft, the beer development team has conducted blind tastings of the latest version alongside previous drafts and a selection of beers from other breweries that we enjoy. Fourth Draft was no different – last week it was pitted against First, Second and Third Draft and three of our favourite beers in the same space.

We’re delighted to say, it came out on top.

Now, while that got us excited to get WB4 out to pubs for everyone to try, it also raised the question of whether we’ve achieved our original goal – we certainly know more about hops that we did six months ago, but are we close to creating a Sanda Blonde replacement? We think we might be.

So, while WB4 is out being enjoyed in the wild, we’re going to use the next couple of quiet Winter months to hone in on a final recipe for a new IPA that will become a permanent fixture in our line-up for 2018.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the Workbench IPA Project; we’ve had some great feedback over the year and appreciate everyone who has checked out any of the drafts. We sincerely hope you enjoy WB4 – we know we will be at the Brewery Tap!



Fyne Ales’ FyneFest wins Runner Up prize for Best Outdoor Festival in Scotland

by Iain Smith

Fyne Ales’ annual summer celebration of beer, food and music has claimed the title of second best outdoor festival in Scotland at the prestigious Scottish Outdoor Leisure Awards.

The eighth annual FyneFest in 2017 was the biggest in the festival’s history, attracting a record number of attendees and offering more than ever before, with over two hundred unique beers from over fifty breweries alongside twenty five live music acts and street food from eleven Scottish producers.

In a hotly contended category, FyneFest was only edged out by Perth’s Enchanted Forest attraction for the top award at this year’s ceremony in Glasgow. The runner up prize comes on the heels of Fyne Ales picking up the award for Brewery Destination of the Year at this year's Scottish Beer Awards.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that FyneFest has picked up the runner up prize for Best Outdoor Festival at this year’s SOLAs,” said Iain Smith, Fyne Ales Marketing Manager. “Every year the Fyne Ales team works hard to improve on the previous year’s festival and taking second prize this year has inspired us to make FyneFest 2018 the biggest and best ever.”

Tickets for FyneFest 2018 go on sale at the end of November 2017, with limited early bird tickets available. Stay tuned to Fyne Ales’ social media and the blog to keep up to date with ticket news.



New Brew News: The Mystic (Fyne Ales Farmhouse Project)

by Iain Smith

In a deep, dark corner of the glen, The Mystic spends the winter sipping strong brews to warm the soul and inspired the mind. His lightly smoked, ruby-coloured barley wine is the perfect accompaniment to meditation on the mysteries of the universe.

With Winter comes Fyne Ales' final seasonal beer in the Farmhouse Project, They Mystic. Our first ever barley wine, The Mystic is the perfect warming brew to sip as the long nights draw in and the cold winds blow.

At 9.7% ABV, it’s certainly a beer to savour, brimming with decadent, deep and complex caramel and treacle flavours with a hint of warming smoke in the finish courtesy of a touch of smoked malt. Like all good barley wines, The Mystic is brewed with a complex blend of many different malts to give subtle layers of flavour as the sweet, rich beer rolls around the mouth.

Packaged in 375ml bottles with stunning artwork once again produced by GJ Dunbar, The Mystic is now available from the Fyne Ales website (here), and will be out on the shelves of bottle shops very soon. Perfect for drinking on a cold late-summer night or aging, be sure to seek it out.

Following The Farmer, The Witch, The Merchant and The Mystic, the first full round of the Farmhouse Project is complete. Our exploration of unconventional beer styles and ingredients has been a rewarding project and yielded some incredibly interesting beers of which we’re super-proud.

If you’ve tried any or all of the beers in the Farmhouse Project, let us know what you thought on social media!