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.

What was your favourite Fyne Ales beer of 2013?

By Chris Black

2013 was a bumper year for Fyne Ales; Jarl won Champion Beer of Scotland and Champion Golden Ale of Britain, Sanda Blonde and Black won their first awards, Fyne Fest 2013 was a huge Success and we brewed over 30 different beers.

With the year coming to the close we wanted to find out what your favourite Fyne Ales beer of the year was. Below is a list of all of the new and special beers that we brewed in 2013. Let us know your favourite in the Comments box below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Wee Stoater – 4.3% Oatmeal Stout

Ruby coloured stout with a creamy head, a silky smooth texture and a clean finish. Aromas of earthy oats with hints of liquorice and flavours of cocoa and grain.

Sanda Blonde bottle – 5.5% Blonde IPA

Light golden IPA with aromas of grapefruit and passion fruit. Flavours of gooseberry and citrus fruits are prevalent with a good citrus and hop bitterness to make a deliciously easy drinking IPA.

Sanda Black Bottle – 5.5% Black IPA

A black IPA with a light creamy tan head. Aroma is of roasted malts with hints of gooseberry. The beer has a sweet fruity flavour with a good roasted malt and coffee bitterness. A very sessionable black IPA.

Life of Ryely – 4.6% Golden Rye Ale

A golden rye beer with sweet fruity hop aromas. Apricot and earthy flavours with a peppery spice dominate the palate.

Muckle Flugga – 5.5% IPA Hop experiment with Riwaka

This is a full bodied, highly hopped IPA with sweet aromas of tropical fruits. Sweet tropical fruit flavours dominate the palate is followed by a moderate bitter finish.

Aonoch Mhor – 4% A mistake that turned out quite tasty

A strong citrusy floral aroma followed by bittersweet flavours. The hints of dry orange leave a dry finish.

Bell Rock – 5.5% IPA

A golden IPA with light biscuit and citrus aromas. Crisp pear flavours with a good body and a long dry finish.

Bell Rock & Hop – 6.5% IPA with extra hops

Golden IPA with aromas of Biscuit, orange and apricot. A very hoppy beer with flavours of sweet toffee and orange followed by a strong bitterness.

FyneBank – 4.6% Peat Smoked Golden Ale, Collaboration with Springbank distillery.

A collaboration beer with Springbank Distillery. A golden beer with a slight peat aroma, nice mellow peat taste and very drinkable.

Rune – 3.5% light session ale

Light yellow golden coloured ale with a soft floral lemon nose. Light fruity body with notes of soft fruit and a dry finish.

Freya – 5.5% Strong Blonde Summer Special

A strong golden ale that has been made for Fyne Fest 2013. Aromas of tropical and citrus fruit with a bitter citrus flavour and a strong bitter finish.

Cool as a Cucumber – 2.9% Cucumber and Mint Saison, Collaboration with Wild Beer co

Strong cucumber aroma and flavours with underlying peppery notes. A fantastically refreshing and sessionable beer for summer.

Kellaa – 4.7% Tropical and Bitter Blonde Ale

A Golden ale with a strong aroma of tropical fruit. Flavours of pink grapefruit dominate with a long bitter finish.

Feast Black Ale – 5% Fyne Fest Collaboration Brew

A dark ale with aromas of chocolate and prunes. Light chocolate flavours with a light mouthfeel and a liquorice finish.

Wee Jaggy Gruit – 3.8% Nettle and Bog Myrtle Ale

A light golden coloured ale. Strong zesty and inviting aroma with citrusy tones. Flavours of rocket and citrus fruits dominated the palate.

Sublime Stout KEG – 6.8% Imperial Stout

A dark, deep ruby red stout with an aroma of bitter roasted malt and a hint of liquorice. Taste is of a mellow sweetness then a large malty fruitiness followed by a long smooth dry finish.

Zombier KEG - 6.9% Porter

A deep black porter with a caramel tan head. Big aromas and flavours of treacle, toffee and liquorice with hints of chocolate and coffee. A lingering roasted malt bitterness returns from the dead with bite.

Hurricane Jack KEG – 4.4% Hoppy Blonde Ale

A pale golden beer with an aroma of sweet malt and light fruity hops. Citrus flavours are prominent with tangerine notes with a subtle lemon kick on the end. Great thirst quencher and a delicious session beer.

Sanda Blonde KEG – 5.5% Blonde IPA

Light golden IPA with aromas of grapefruit and passion fruit. Flavours of gooseberry and citrus fruits are prevalent with a good citrus and hop bitterness to make a deliciously easy drinking IPA.

Fladda Rock 5.5% IPA

Golden IPA with aromas of Biscuit, orange and apricot. A very hoppy beer with flavours of sweet toffee and orange followed by a strong bitterness.

Fladda Rock’N’Roll – 5.5% Belgian IPA

A golden coloured IPA with a slight haze. A strong aroma of  banana and cloves with a vibrant flavour of banana and melon. The beer has a very slight acidity from the Belgian yeast and a lasting bitterness.

Snotty IPA – 6.3% IPA, IBD Competition Winner Brew

Aroma of melon and kiwi fruit with a sweet honey and tangerine pith flavour, followed by a lingering bitter finish.

48 Miles Later – 6% Smoked Chilli Black Ale, Collaboration with Brewdog Glasgow Bar

A black ale with nose of roasted malt with a soft smokiness. Flavours are of smoked malt and dark fruits with a building subtle chilli heat.

Spaghetti Western – 5% Hoppy Brown Ale

A rich red and brown coloured beer. The beer has a very inviting aroma of chocolate, roasted malts and jammy fruits. The palate is of fruity hops and dark roasted malts with a smooth bitterness and hit of citrus fruits.

Holly Daze – 5% Dark Amber Ale

Clear amber coloured beer with a white head. Aroma is malty and fruity with some caramel. Flavour is of caramel malts with fruit, has a good bitterness and a slightly dry finish.

Let us know your favourite in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Loch Fyne Christmas Beer and Food Matching

By Chris Black

With Christmas day fast approaching many of you will be planning your festive eating and contemplating what to have as part of your Christmas dinner. With Loch Fyne being world famous for outstanding produce we thought we would team up with our friends and neighbours at Loch Fyne Oysters to give you some ideas of pairing their amazing produce with our great beers.

The process of pairing food dishes with wine has a relatively long history whereas pairing food with beer is a fairly new phenomenon. Nowadays the diversity of craft beer provides so much potential for mouth-watering pairings which can dramatically enhance a dining experience.

 To go with LFOs smoked salmon starters we recommend a cold bottle of Jarl. The low abv and full citrus flavours complement Loch Fyne Oysters elegant smoked salmon perfectly and work well as a starter combination for Christmas dinner.

Another fantastic combination is Sublime Stout or Superior IPA with some oysters from Loch Fyne. The sweet flavour of the oysters goes wonderfully well with the rich and smooth flavours in both beers.

LFO have shared a recipe for Smoked Salmon Pate which we both agree will work fantastically well with a chilled glass of Jarl. Well worth trying this festive period.


Smoked Salmon Pate


Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until desired consistency is achieved.

Chill for 1 hour.

Serve with lightly toasted brown bread, a wedge of lemon and a cold glass of Jarl.


Loch Fyne Oysters have a wide range of gift packs and products that can be ordered online in time for Christmas. To ensure a Christmas delivery orders must be placed by the 16th December.

All of our beers can be ordered from our online shop and last orders for a Christmas delivery is the 19th December.

48 Miles Later Label Design

By Chris Black

48 Miles Later is a collaboration brew between Fyne Ales and Brewdog Glasgow, all in the spirit of Brewdog’s #Collabfest. Each Brewdog bar elected their favourite local brewery, Fyne Ales being the choice of the Glasgow venue.

Upon accepting the invitation, the Fyne Ales team made the trip to the Glasgow bar to sit, have a beer (or 5) and brain storm ideas for the brew which eventually was decide a Smoked Chilli Black Ale should do the trick. It was also decided the beer would be named 48 Miles Later, which relates to the distance between the bar and the Fyne Ales brewery.

We asked our designer Matt Burns to do something special for the label of this limited edition beer.

Speaking of the design Matt said,

“I was engaged by Fyne Ales to develop a label for a limited edition 750ml release of the beer. In collaboration with design studio Freytag Anderson, we developed a concept that would incorporate the two locations as well as the breathtaking drive required to reach the brewery from the Glasgow bar. Anyone who has experienced the route will know exactly what I mean. Once you leave Glasgow you soon hit the shores of Loch Lomond, which takes you along to the peaceful Tarbet. Beyond Tarbet the road weaves and climbs along the cliff face into the Rest and Be Thankful. At this point you start to wonder whether you are part of an episode of Top Gear. Once the climb eases, you descend and enter into views of Loch Fyne, and eventually the brewery. The incomparability and beauty of the journey was enough to inspire us for a meaningful and appropriate label for the beer.

Much to our joy we decided to get our hands dirty with a little ink. With the ink we began to interpret the route with a roller onto A1 board. The most successful and interesting lines where photographed then crafted into the label design.”

This is a beer that marks a special occasion between the two breweries, located in unique parts of the world and may be never brewed again … we hope you think the label captures this moment and adds to your drinking experience. If all else fails I am sure the Ancho and Chipotle chillies will keep you satisfied.

Bottles of the beer will be available in our regular independent beer stockist and from our online shop for a limited period.

De Molen Brewery Beer For Sale

By Chris Black

Recently we took delivery of some beers from our friends at  De Molen Brewery in The Netherlands following a visit to their brewery. After some scrupulous taste testing by ourselves we have put together a box of our favourites for sale on our online shop. Full details and tasting notes of the beers in the box are below.

Contents – 12 bottles  for £37.95

2 x Single Hop Apollo - 4.8% Single hopped IPA - Aroma of tropical and citrus fruits with a lasting bitterness

2 x Single Hop Chinook - 4.8% Single hopped IPA – strong hoppy aroma with flavours of grapefruit and a medium bitterness

2 x Vuur & Vlam - 6.2% Double IPA – Aroma and flavours of citrus fruits and yeast with a smooth bitterness

2 x Brood & Spellen -7% Rye IPA - Amber coloured beer with malty and fruity hop aromas. Palate has a light pepperiness with fruity hops.

1 x Mooi & Meedongenloos – 10.2% Belgian Strong Ale- Aromas and flavours of dried fruits and coffee with a balanced finish.

1 x Bommen & Granaten - 15.2% Barley Wine - Grapes and a hint of mandarin in the aroma. Malty sweet flavour, immensely full bodied, with mandarin. Thick mouth feel, with just a touch of yeast in the aftertaste.

1 x Zwart & Wit -8.4% Black IPA – A pitch black IPA with an aroma of dark malt and grapefruit. Chocolate, coffee and grapefruit flavours dominate in this excellent beer.

1 x Rasputin -10.7% Russian Imperial Stout- Very rich aroma of chocolate, coffee and liqueur. Flavour is of dark fruits, chocolate and coffee with a smooth finish. An outstanding imperial stout and currently a favourite of our Head Brewer.

You can get these guest beers for a limited time here.

SIBA Scotland Vital Spark Milds and Old beers Gold

SIBA Scotland Jarl Champion Bottled Beer Gold

SIBA Scotland Jarl Bottled Golden Beers Gold

SIBA Scotland Vital Spark Champion Beer Silver

SIBA Scotland Sanda Black Bottled Beers Above 5%