New Brew News: Rest & Meet The Brewer - Yvonne!

By Iain Smith

There’s something comforting about Autumn – about seeing the red and brown-hued leaves clinging on to branches and dramatic sunsets in the early evenings. Summer’s busy days and heady nights have well-and-truly departed, and it’s time to slow down, get cozy and enjoy a bit of a Rest.

Our latest cask special brew is a beer for the Autumn months – a 4.2% golden amber ale to help stave off bracing winds; with a well-balanced, crisp, fruity hop bite in the foreground and a lingering, soft caramel finish, a pint of Rest by a crackling fire is the dream for those who love this time of year.

Rest is the first brew to which our new Technical Brewer, Yvonne Wernlein, has contributed. Yvonne, who joined us at the tail end of Summer, has an impressive history of brewing science and is instilled with the attention to detail that only someone who trained in brewing in Germany can attain.


What’s your background in brewing?

Well, my parents have their own brewery in Germany and it’s a family business so I’ve always worked in breweries, straight out of school I began training to be a master brewer. I actually did my three-year apprenticeship in a brewery in Franconia, as my parents thought it would be a good idea to spend a bit of time away from home, before moving to another brewery, Rothaus in South West Germany where I worked in their laboratory for a couple of years before moving on to do my brewmaster qualification for two years. Afterwards, I moved to run the laboratory for a brewery in Offenburg doing quality assurance and management before finally heading home to work for my parents brewery and help the family business.

What brought you to Fyne Ales?

The first time I came to Scotland was in 2003 or and I’ve been back every year since, at least once a year. I think it has always been calling me and I knew I’d end up living in Scotland, so when I met a man who lived in Dunoon and I had the chance to move here to live with him, I had to do it. When I moved, I had to look for a job at a brewery and from the first time I visited Fyne Ales for my interview, it felt like coming home.

How have your first couple of months been working here?

I love it. It’s kind of touching; I have never liked Sundays, because I’ve always hated thinking about having to go back to work on Monday, but here, as I said, it’s like coming home. I love my job here and the people have been so welcoming – moreso than anywhere else I’ve been in my life. I mean, there are always friendly people in breweries but here it is something different, it’s special.

How has the transition been between brewing in Germany and brewing here?

It’s a very different environment – this is the first time I’ve brewed without the purity laws being an influence. During my first brew, I was adding something to the copper and I couldn’t help but think about my dad because if he could see me, he would be shaking his head at me! But I’m a technical brewer and I know that these things are serving a purpose when we’re brewing here, they’re only making our beer better so I think it’s acceptable.

Tell us about Rest.

It was a bit of a collaboration between [Head Brewer] Malcolm and I – it’s very much Autumn-inspired with a nice dry finish. I’m not a huge fan of aggressively hopped beers, so I wanted to make something very easy-drinking and well balanced and use some hops that don’t get showcased very often so it uses a combination of Perle, Eureka, El Dorado and Polaris. Oh and I love the colour.

What do you want to achieve at Fyne Ales?

I’m very goal-oriented, so I have a couple of short term things that are achievable – getting some of the new accreditations for the brewery and getting the lab properly set up so I can establish a full schedule, but honestly, I’ll be happy if I do a good enough job that I get to stay here for a long time because I don’t want to leave! 

Keep an eye out for more blogs about Yvonne's processes coming soon!


Fynes Ales wins Beer Destination of the Year at Scottish Beer Awards 2017!

By Iain Smith

“In global terms, Scotland punches well above its weight when it comes to good beer,” stated one of the speakers at Beer Matters industry conference yesterday, and never more so has it been apparent than at last night’s Scottish Beer Awards.

The independent awards, sponsored by beer-championing supermarket Aldi, brought together the best of Scottish brewing to celebrate the wealth and diversity of beer being produced in our country. It was a night of good food, good beer, good conversation and for Fyne Ales, success!

We picked up the prize for Beer Destination of the Year in recognition of our unique location, and what we offer up in our wee corner of Argyll. There’s nothing we love more than showcasing the Achadunan estate to thirsty visitors, whether it be at our annual FyneFest event or any day of the week in our Brewery Tap - where we are is a huge part of who we are as a brewery and there’s no better way to get a sense of that than by stopping by for a beer, a chat and to take in the scenery.

“This is a special place, that’s evident from the moment you set off down the lane towards the brewery - for that to be recognised with such a prestigious award is a great feeling,” commented Fyne Ales MD, Jamie Delap. “We’re constantly working to improve what we do across all areas of the business and have some big plans for our Brewery Tap and FyneFest 2018, but credit for winning this year has to go to all our team who work hard to offer friendly welcomes, perfect pints and make all our guests feel at home at our brewery.”

Elsewhere, both Mills & Hills and Highlander were recognised with awards in the beer categories; our De Molen collab imperial stout taking home bronze in Amplified Beer, and Highlander picking up silver in British Style Ales.

Brewery of the Year, for which Fyne Ales was one of five nominees, went to Ellon-based brewing giants, Brewdog. The full list of winners can be found on the Scottish Beer Awards website.

If you’re keen to see Scotland’s best beer destination for yourself, our Brewery Tap & Shop are open seven days from 10am-6pm, with tours available by appointment only – please give us a call on 01499 600120 if you’d like to check out our brewing setup. Also remember that earlybird FyneFest 2018 tickets go on sale in November!

A huge congratulations to all the winners at last night's ceremony, and a special thank you to everyone who’s been up to see us this year, we hope to see you again soon.


Fyne Ales On Tour: BAF! Borefts After Festival

By Iain Smith

Earlier this year we invited the team from Dutch brewing heroes, Kaapse, to curate one part of the Brewers’ Bar at FyneFest 2017 and, let’s be honest, they knocked it out of the park by bringing us some incredible beers from their homeland.

We didn’t think we could be any more grateful to Tsjomme and his team, but then he went and invited us to BAF 2017!

Borefts After Festival 2017!

Every year, our friends at De Molen host Borefts, a huge crazy two-day festival of amazing beer with an annually rotating line-up of breweries from around Europe. The festival is so big, and draws so many beer enthusiasts to the Netherlands, that two days isn’t enough for most and Kaapse are charged with keeping the party going with an after-festival.

We’re super excited to be representing the UK at this year’s BAF alongside some of our favourite breweries from the continent. Come and see us in Rotterdam and enjoy one of the beers we’ve shipping across!

New Brew News: Summer Dusk (Summer Sessions)

By Iain Smith

September. The nights get longer, the air turns colder, the trees bid farewell to their leaves and sunny days already seem like a distant memory. Summer has departed and it’s time to welcome the embrace of Autumn, but not without one final glimpse of sunshine – introducing Summer Dusk, the final cask special in this year’s Summer Sessions series.

Summer Dusk is the third beer in our trio of sessionable ales packed full of hop flavours, sitting alongside Summer Dawn and Summer Skies at a perfectly sip-able 3.5%. With a slightly fuller body than its predecessor, Summer Skies, thanks to the addition of a touch of amber malt, Summer Dusk is designed for mellow evenings flicking through holiday photos and dreaming about adventures in the sunshine to come.

A combination of three aroma hops share the billing on Summer Dusk’s brew sheet – the floral bitterness of Centennial and stone-fruit punch of Eureka supporting Simcoe’s piney, citrus character for a reenergising flavour profile.

Summer Dusk has been rolling out of the brewery for a week or so already, so expect to see it very, very soon in your local and be sure to catch it before the sun sets on our Summer Sessions series for 2017.


New Brew News: To The Hilt

By Iain Smith

Unsheathing this week, a brand new, deadly IPA 6.1% that doesn’t hold back in flavour or body – To The Hilt!

Brewed using heaps of Scottish raw wheat and flaked oats, on the first taste, our new keg-exclusive IPA offers a solid, smooth mouthfeel that coats the tongue with the delicious hop flavours. With the complex malt base comes a degree of haziness – but don’t be fooled into thinking To The Hilt is in anyway dull.

Hop-wise, it’s a double-edged sword of impact flavours; at the point, the bright, fruity characters of Citra and Motueka lead the charge with slashes of citrus and tropical fruit, before Sorachi Ace runs through the fruitiness with its devastatingly refreshing, spicy, herbal, bitter sharpness.

To The Hilt will be popping up in your local soon and is pouring in the Fyne Ales tap right now. Join us in putting boring beer to the sword with To The Hilt.


New Brew News: Monterey Blvd

By Iain Smith

Part three of this year’s Boulevard cask IPA series is another new entry, following debutant Atlantic Blvd and the returning Sunset Blvd.

Monterey Blvd builds on the success of Sunset Blvd – we were super-pleased with it as an example of a cask version of a modern West Coast pale ale and the feedback we had was excellent on this year’s updated recipe.

The third entry in the series, Monterey Blvd once again takes its inspiration from the Californian coastline featuring a combination of our beloved Citra and Calypso, a super-fresh fruity hop from the United States. The combination gives the beer an aroma of melon and pears and a flavour profile which is packed full of citrus and soft fruits.

Heading out of the brewery early next week, give us a shout if you spot it in your local and be sure to let us know what you think!


Fyne Ales Needs You - Brand Survey 2017

By Iain Smith

Alright, cards on the table, we want your help.

For over fifteen years we've been making the best possible beer in our corner of Scotland and distributing it all over the world for you to enjoy, whether it be in cask, keg or bottle. But it's come time for us to take a step back and look at what we're doing and how we're doing it as we develop plans for the future.

That's where the first Fyne Ales Brand Survey comes in - we want your opinions, not only on Fyne Ales and what we do, but on the wider beer market and how we stack up in this crazy UK beer scene.

The survey should take no more than twenty minutes to complete, and if helping us out isn't enough of an incentive, we're also offering the chance to win £100 of vouchers for either Hoptimism or the Fyne Ales website for completing the survey.

Click here to be whisked away to the survey.

Thank you in advance to anyone who completes the survey - we genuinely appreciate anyone who take the time to share their opinions.



New Brew News: Dunderave

By Iain Smith

They just don’t build ‘em like they used to, eh? 

Our latest cask special beer is a throwback to simpler times and traditional ales – a satisfying, warm hug of a bitter brewed using Belgian Castle malts and named after our local castle, located just four miles around the head of Loch Fyne.

Dunderave Castle dates back to the 16th century, and is the Scottish home of the MacNaughton clan. It’s a humble castle (by Scottish standards), but it’s also a stunningly picturesque building on the shores of Scotland’s longest (and obviously best) sea loch.

The beer that borrows the castle's name is amber in colour and bitter in character – the Belgian malt giving a rich, full body with a simple hopping schedule showcasing British East Kent Goldings and US Comet hops. It’s the kind of beer for dusky evenings and filling stomachs; for sipping in pubs with low ceilings to make you dream of stately rooms full of antiques. It’s a satisfying pint, any which way you want to drink it.

Catch it at your local from next week and be sure to let us know what you think.


New Brew News: Red Berry Ghost

By Iain Smith

In 2015, after an inspiring trip to the USA, Fyne Ales MD Jamie and Brewer Andrea were all-in on nitrogen-rich stouts and couldn’t wait to get their hands dirty in the brewery mashing in a mix of dark malts to create a rich, decadent dry stout kegged with nitrogen for a full, satisfying mouthfeel. That beer was Ghost, and for a good year or so, we kept it around as a keg-exclusive dark beer before calling time and finally packing it off to its final resting place earlier this year.

But not for long.

Ghost has been revived for a super-limited keg release as Red Berry Ghost. We brewed and fermented the exact same base beer before transferring it onto a mountain of strawberries and raspberries to enrich it with sweet, juicy red fruit flavours. The combination of the berries, the dark, chocolatey malt and the creamy-nitrogen kegging give the new version of our classic stout a dark-chocolate-sprinkled-with-freeze-dried-fruit vibe. It’s really good.

Red Berry Ghost will make its debut at the upcoming Beer Makes Glasgow festival this weekend – mon down to The Art School to check it out along with some cracking beers from some of our Scottish brewing pals.


Fyne Ales On Tour: Fyne Ales @ Circus Hub Bar

By Iain Smith

Ah, the Edinburgh Festival. For one month every year, Scotland’s capital turns into a hotbed of culture, attracting comedy, theatre, art and music lovers from all over the world to the East side of the country. Edinburgh is brimming with quality entertainment during August, so we decided that those who make the pilgrimage deserve pint glasses brimming with quality beer, too.

For the entirety of August, Fyne Ales has teamed up with Underbelly to take over the bar at the popular Circus Hub venue. Situated in the centre of a temporary site in The Meadows Park, the Fyne Ales @ Circus Hub bar is pouring a range of our award-winning beer on cask and keg anyone and everyone in Edinburgh – unlike previous years, you don’t need a ticket to a Circus Hub show to enjoy a pint in the bar!

We’ve furnished the bar with a selection of our latest and greatest brews – with Jarl on cask alongside Workbench IPA, North West Hop Lager and Berryliner on keg for the whole month, plus rotating specials on both cask and keg. So far Kurgan and Atlantic Blvd, Fake Tan and Revival Juice! have been warmly received, with Lost In Time and Sunset Blvd coming soon (possibly even now, depending on when you’re reading this).

Additionally, behind the bar there’s even more Fyne Ales beers filling the fridges, so in the (incredibly) unlikely event there’s nothing on the taps that you fancy, you’ll find the likes of Jammin’, Highlander, Naughty and more available in bottles.

We started working with the Underbelly team last year on a smaller scale and it was a big success for everyone involved, so it made sense for us to team-up again this year,” explained Fyne Ales Managing Director, Jamie Delap. “There’s so much energy and vibrancy in Edinburgh at this time of year – it’s great to be part of it and give people the chance to sample some great beers to go with their entertainment.”

Circus Hub Bar Manager Victoria Gebbie is pleased with how the partnership has worked out thus far: “There's a really positive, happy & relaxed vibe at Circus Hub this year; it seems to be a mecca for those just wanting to chill out and enjoy a drink outdoors in pretty surroundings. We’re attracting a lot of educated drinkers who are delighted by the selection and variety of quality beers on offer; it’s been a monumental year for us and we're very much looking forward to more successful collaborations with Fyne Ales in the future!"

We’re super grateful to our friends from Underbelly for inviting us to team up for this year’s Circus Hub bar, and also want to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s already been down and grabbed a pint or a bottle of beer! Circus Hub runs all the way through until 26 August, so be sure to get down to The Meadows and grab a beer and catch a show if you can (Circa: Humans is absolutely incredible).