Fyne Ales Blog

New Brew News: Casarino Blvd & WLTM Young Entrepreneurs

by Iain Smith

We’ve had lots of fun with this year’s Boulevard IPA series, with Atlantic, Sunset and Monterey all proving that hop-forward West Coast pale ales can be supremely enjoyable from a cask over the Summer, and we’re not ready to stop yet – introducing Casarino Blvd, our latest cask special!

Casarino Blvd is also the farewell brew of Paolo Sabatucci, the latest Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs participant to spend a few months in the Glen working with our brewing team. For his beer, he wanted to use one of his favourite ingredients, and one he had never used before – opting for Vienna malt, to give Casarino a big a strong, biscuity body and experimental hop ADHA 529 as a wildcard. The beer was finished with a dry-hop of Bravo, which along with the new-breed hop, gives the beer a soft, mellow fruit character all the way through to the gentle finish.

It’s been a tradition for some time that departing Erasmus visitors brew a beer to celebrate their time with Fyne Ales, and Paolo’s brew, which takes its name from his former home in Italy, is very much representative of what what Paolo came to Fyne Ales to learn about:

“I chose to come to Scotland and work with Fyne Ales as I really wanted to learn more about cask beer and I’m very satisfied with what I found out – it was amazing to work in a brewery that takes care to be both traditional and innovative at the same time.”

With Paolo’s departure, Fyne Ales is once again on the hunt for a young entrepreneur to join us in brewing at the head of Loch Fyne. If you’re based in Europe and think you could follow in Paolo’s footsteps, check out the EYE website for more info and drop an email erasmus[at]fyneales.com to find out more about the application process.

“I had a really good time at Fyne Ales, and really enjoyed working in the brewery with the team. I want to say thank you to everybody for their patience and teaching; I had lots of fun, despite struggling a little with the accents to begin with.”

Keep an eye out for Paolo’s brew on at a pub near you soon.



New Brew News: Fountain Mountain #Collabfest17

by Iain Smith

For the past four years we’ve been invited by our friends in Brewdog’s Glasgow bars to be part of #Collabfest – the Ellon brewer’s annual festival of UK brewing and for the 2017 edition, we were excited to be invited to work with our original co-conspirators in the West End bar and to embrace a new twist on the collabfest party - a three-way with Cumbernauld-based brewers Out Of Town.

Having having hosted Out of Town and their excellent beers at FyneFest 2017, we were excited to get working on this year’s brew, but with time and production pressures on both breweries, it fell to the Glasgow bar team to form the concept for this year’s brew – Fountain Mountain (4.4%).

Once Colin and the team from the bar expressed an interest in doing something sessionable with a lemon sherbet punch, we worked through a few recipe ideas between the breweries before landing on a grisette spiked with the zest and juice of a lot of lemons.

Though fairly poorly documented in history, grisettes can generally be classified as light, farmhouse-style ales, originating from Belgium in the 19th Century. While similar to saisons in several ways, grisettes were traditionally brewed to quench the thirsts of miners working in quarries and mines in the Hainaut province, as opposed to saisons which were brewed for the farm labourers working in fields.

Grisettes typically are brewed with a high percentage of wheat, so for Fountain Mountain, we used a combination of two different wheats from Scottish maltster, Mungoswell, alongside pale and carapils malts and a touch of flaked oats.

To give the vibrant, citrus character of the sherbet fountain, we chose Sorachi Ace and Citra for hops, adding both after flameout and circulating to keep the bitterness low and capture the fresh fruity flavours of two of our favourite hops.

And if that wasn’t enough, then came the lemons… a lot of lemons. In standard Collabfest procedure, we welcomed Jamie and Nicky from the Brewdog Glasgow bar to join us for the brew day and put them to work on over 25kg of whole lemons, zesting and juicing them by hand with the zest joining the hops in the kettle and the lemon juice, over 13 litres of it, going straight into the FV before pitching one of our favourite farmhouse yeasts.

Fountain Mountain, whose name combines its lemony sherbet fountain flavours and gives a nod to its historic style, is a super-refreshing, low ABV, farmhouse-style beer characterised by its fruity estery yeast character up front with a whack of aromatic hops, sliding quickly into sharp, clean zingy lemon fizz that lingers in the finish.

The beer launches this weekend (20-22 October) in every Brewdog bar in the UK (plus Germany and Sweden) – catch us in the Glasgow bar on Friday afternoon/evening and let us know what you think in person, or give us a shout out on social with your thoughts.


New Brew News: New Ragnarök

by Iain Smith

It’s the end of everything. Again.

It’s been just over two years since we launched Ragnarök, our 7.4% IPA that took our flagship beer, Jarl, to the next level.  It was originally conceived as a one-off special to celebrate Jarl, an experiment to find out what would happen if we took Jarl and doubled it – double the malt, double the hops, double the fun (until the next morning), but it’s hung around as a semi-regular brew since that day due to the thunderous reception it received.

But times have changed, so it’s time for Ragnarök to change too – introducing New Ragnarök, a reworking of our hulking IPA that’s rolling out in keg next week.

One of the outcomes of our Workbench IPA Project has been a higher-level understanding of hops, flavours and how to get the most out of them. While the classic Ragnarök was always pretty well received, using a single hop in a strong IPA felt like we’d maybe short-changed the beer a little; higher ABV beers can carry flavour a lot more comfortably than low alcohol ones, and with our new hop knowledge there was no need to be as guarded when it came to hop selection and schedule.

New Ragnarök keeps Citra at its core, with a hella-generous whole-leaf infusion using our hopback, but we complimented it with a dosing of both Warrior and Eureka on the hot side to help bring out an extra fruity dimension in the flavours. Post-fermentation, the beer was tasting light and citrussy, with super-low bitterness, so we chose a dry-hop schedule that would complement the character, using Topaz and Azacca T90 pellets to really power through with the fruitiness and add a hint of pine flavours to the finish. And not to hammer home the point too much, but the total hop billing is over 200% of the previous Ragnarök – it’s a powerful IPA with a slightly sweet, stone-fruit and citrus character that drinks dangerously easily.

For lovers of the original Ragnarök, fear not, it’ll be around in bottles into the new year – New Ragnarök is going to be a relative low-key launch and we’ll wait for some feedback before deciding whether New Ragnarök replaces the current recipe in bottles, which is why it’s super-important you let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter or Untappd.

So, what do you think? Is New Ragnarök fit for the gods, or does the classic recipe need to be avenged? Put a team together and get to your local to try out the new version!