New Brew News: Workbench IPA Third Draft & Second Draft Bottles

By Iain Smith

It feels like only yesterday that we were writing about the second beer in the Workbench IPA series, and here we are announcing that you can expect to see Third Draft on tap in your local from later this week!

The Workbench IPA Project has exceeded our expectations in terms of response from you lovely drinkers, so before we get into what makes number three special, a huge thank you to everyone who’s picked up a bottle or had a pint of either of the first two beers in the series.

Workbench IPA Second Draft is one of the fastest-selling keg beers we’ve ever produced, to the point that we sold out of kegs long before the bottles were conditioned enough to sell and the brewery is also empty of Workbench #1 bottles! We are delighted to say, though, that Workbench Second Draft are now available from the Fyne Ales website and should be gracing the shelves of your local bottle shop very soon! Look out for the signature Kev Grey artwork in red on the shelves from later this week.

Buy Workbench IPA Second Draft bottles here.

Now, on to Workbench IPA Third Draft. The new beer in the series is a test of the effects of filtration on hop flavours – one of the key differences between Sanda Blonde and the first two Workbench IPA’s is the level of filtration of the beer before it goes into keg. Of course, both Workbench drafts featured significantly increased hop bills compared to Sanda, so for Workbench #3, we decided to do an IPA with a similar level of hops to WB1 and WB2, but with filtration similar to Sanda Blonde, in the hop of combining the clean, drinkability of our core range beer with the bold hoppiness of the Workbench beers.

Furthermore, we based the recipe for the beer loosely on Sanda Blonde. Three of the four hops found in Workbench IPA Third Draft are the same as those in Sanda  - Citra and Nelson Sauvin during the boil, and a dry-hopping schedule using Cascade, though Workbench uses T90 pellets as opposed to the whole-leaf dry-hopping of Sanda Blonde. The additional hop is T90 Centennial during dry-hop, chosen to give a resinous finish of the beer and offer balance against the fruity/floral Nelson and Cascade combination.

The resulting beer is super-interesting for anyone who’s tried Sanda Blonde; Workbench IPA third Draft offers hints of the beer it’s based on, but everything is amplified and the Centennial cuts across the other hop flavours for a deeper, more satisfying taste. It’s a clean, fruity and satisfying drink and though not as punchy with tropical fruit flavours as WB1 or as earthy and resinous as WB2, it offers a super-balanced flavour profile.

If you pick up a bottle of Workbench 2 or a pint of Workbench 3 in the next couple of weeks, be sure to give us a shout and let us know what you think – we’re still looking for feedback for the fourth (and possibly final) beer in the series!

Cheers!

Workbench IPA: Second Draft

The Mystic

New Brew News: Lost In Time Red IPA

By Iain Smith

2017 has been the summer of new beer at Fyne Ales and we’re not slowing down yet – introducing Lost In Time, our new 5.1% Red IPA that’s rolling out in keg next week.

We’ve always been a fan of red beer, our Vital Spark is a dark red/ruby beer and in recent years both Lismore Red and The Cardinal have been cask special interpretations of the style, but Lost In Time is the very first red beer we’ve kegged, and we’ve made sure it’s a good one to mark the occasion.

Lost In Time is a dark-amber-hued IPA brewed with a mix of eight different malts to give it a full, slightly chewy body. The hop bill includes a combination of three US hops (Citra, Amarillo, Summit) in the brew and a dry-hopping with T90 Columbus which, paired with the complex malt bill give bold resinous and dank flavours of earthy citrus fruits and a peppery, refreshing finish.

Of all the new beers we’ve brewed in the last few months, the brewers are particularly proud of Lost In Time. Brewer Andrea Ladas knew from the brew day that this beer was going to be formidable in flavour, and so suggested that we name it after powerful, “badass” a character from one of his favourite films, Blade Runner. ‘Lost In Time’ is a tribute to the film’s Roy Batty, taken from his incredible dying soliloquy at the film’s conclusion.

We’re really excited about this beer, and hope you enjoy it if you see it around in keg. If you do, be sure to let us know what you think of it on social media or Untappd.

Cheers!

Five medals for Fyne Ales in the International Beer Challenge 2017

By Iain Smith

Fyne Ales beers picked up a handful of silver and bronze medals at this year’s International Beer Challenge, all in the competition’s tasting categories. With the IBC attracting entries from hundreds of breweries around the world, having five beers recognised at this year’s awards is something we’re super-excited about.

In addition to bronze awards for Jarl, Hurricane Jack, Mills & Hills and Fynebank, we were genuinely delighted that Farmhouse Project brew The Witch took home a silver medal. The unconventional beer, a gruit saison brewed using foraged herbs from the glen around the brewery, was a late addition to our entries this year and for it to pick up such a high-profile award is a credit to our talented brewers.

Jamie Delap, Fyne Ales Managing Director, said of The Witch’s (slightly unexpected) victory: “it’s amazing to see The Witch, which was brewed without hops,  being recognised alongside so many modern, hop-forward beers”.

Join us in toasting the success of the beers on social media:

Now Hiring: Packaging & Warehouse Operator

By Iain Smith

Another opportunity to join the Fyne Ales team! We’re looking for a hard-working, beer-loving person to join our team as Packaging & Warehouse Operator.

The role will involve cleaning, steaming and filling casks and kegs with the best craft beers we can make, as well as responsibility for stock coordination and preparation for dispatch. Additional responsibilities will include occasionally joining the production line during bottling days and local delivery runs as and when required. We are always trying to develop as a team, and we are looking for someone who is interested to learn more about making outstanding craft beer.

The ideal person will be a hard worker, who is up to the physical demands of the job. You need to be accurate with a meticulous attention to detail to ensure that every single pint of beer that leaves our premises meets our standards.  You will more than likely enjoy good beer, want to learn more about the process, and enjoy working in a great team.  A driving licence and transport to get yourself to our location at the head of Loch Fyne is essential.

We are offering a competitive salary for the role, together with membership of our profit share scheme, a modest pension contribution if you opt into the pension scheme and 28 days holiday a year, including statutory holidays.

Interested? Download the full role description and please email work[at]fyneales.com with a copy of your CV and a covering letter telling us why you are the right person for the job.

Full job description

Email (CV/Cover): work[at]fyneales.com

Deadline: Monday 28 August, 9am

Fyne Ales’ Jarl wins Silver for golden ales at Champion Beer of Britain 2017

By Iain Smith

Fyne Ales’ flagship pale ale, Jarl, has taken home the Silver award in the golden ales category of this year’s Champion Beer of Britain competition at the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF).

Organised by CAMRA, the Champion Beer of Britain is a landmark competition in the real ale calendar, pitting the UK’s finest cask beers against each other in several rounds of blind tastings.

This is the first award for Jarl in the competition since 2013, when it took home the overall Bronze medal in the competition. Head Brewer Malcolm Downie attributes the win to the continued improvements to the beers that are continuously being made in Fyne Ales; state-of-the-art brewery, “all our beers are improving thanks to the setup we have in the new brewery, with Jarl also benefiting from the excellent quality of the Citra hops we received from the latest crop.”

The beer will pour at the GBBF at Bar B5 until Saturday, or until it runs out. Be sure to stop by to sample our popular 3.8% pale if you’re down at the Olympia in the next few days.

New Brew News: Sunset Blvd 2017

By Iain Smith

Although separated by five thousand (ish) miles, the Fyne Ales estate and California are basically the same. Sure, they get a bit more sun than we do, and we’ve got a few more cows than they have, but both places are famous for their quality beers.

So with that in mind, we’d like to introduce you to Sunset Blvd, our new special which blends the best of both worlds – bold hoppy West Coast flavours in a delightfully cask-conditioned pint. The second entry in this year’s Boulevard series, Sunset is a proper West Coast pale ale, brimming with three of the big guns from stateside – Citra, Amarillo and Summit.

If you caught last year’s Sunset Blvd, you might remember a different hop bill to the ones mentioned above – with the Blvd Series we want to switch up recipes each year around each beer’s central theme.

The three-hop blend in Sunset is all about chunky fruit flavours – peach vs lemon, tangerine vs apricot and just the right touch of bitterness in the finish to keep it moreish, but give it an edge.

Available in cask from next week, expect to see Sunset Blvd in your local in the coming weeks, and don’t forget to let us know what you think of it on our social media or Untappd.

New Brew News: Summer Skies (Summer Sessions)

By Iain Smith

It was 27°C in the glen on Tuesday. Skies were blue, the sun was shining and there was barely a cloud for miles. Perfect conditions for snapping some photos of our next Summer Sessions cask special. We didn’t though. We ran out of time and put it off until today. It’s raining today.

But hey, who cares if it’s raining when you can drink a pint of sunshine in the form of Summer Skies?

Part two of this year’s Summer Sessions series, Summer Skies is an ultra-pale ale featuring a combination of four hops, meaning that despite its 3.5% ABV, it’s absolutely bursting with refreshing flavour.

As with Summer Dawn, Sorachi Ace is the backbone of the hope profile – we’re super into its dry bitterness that ensures a short, refreshing finish and Centennial also returns as an aroma hop (though slightly reduced in volume). Eureka and El Dorado are the two new hop variants introduced to the series with Summer Skies, both designed to complement the super-simple malt bill that gives the beer its pale yellow colour.

Flavour-wise, expect lots of floral notes up front as well a touch of citrus that gives way to sweet tropical fruits. The finish, typical of Sorachi-bittered beers, is short and refreshing.

We’d love to hear what you think of Summer Skies, so keep an eye out for it from next week, and don’t forget that Summer Dusk will be heading your way in early September.

New Brew News: Workbench Second Draft

By Iain Smith

Let’s start with a confession – we nearly killed the Workbench IPA project after First Draft. The beer was so well received that we were very tempted to make it a core range beer on the strength of the feedback alone. Not only is it our highest-rated special of the year, but in a second round of blind tastings, it almost unanimously beat every beer that we put it up against. Not bad for a first go.

However, the aim of the project wasn’t only to find a replacement for Sanda Blonde. When we started the Workbench IPA project we set out to learn more about hops - their flavour combinations and how they can be used – and with that in mind, we’re excited to drop some details for Workbench IPA Second Draft, launching on keg tonight and in bottles in a couple of weeks’ time.

Workbench #2 is the first Fyne Ales beer brewed using Cryo Hops®, concentrated lupulin of whole-leaf hops containing resins and aromatic oils. 2017 has seen a huge growth in the use of hops powders, which if used correctly can not only impart beers with stronger flavours, but also allow for higher efficiency in the brew process.

We really enjoyed the character that Mosaic imparted into Workbench #1 (and so did everyone else, apparently), so we decided on Mosaic powder for the second instalment in the series. Using our fullsize hopback, we recirculated the powder through the wort alongside whole-leaf Simcoe hops several times to ensure the powder was given ample opportunity to do its thing.

The dry-hopping combination of Columbus and Ekuanot (T90 pellets) was chosen to give Second Draft a distinctly different overall flavour profile to its predecessor. While there’s still a solid fruit profile with peach on the nose and sweet melon and grape on the taste, the Columbus and Mosaic combined give a much more resinous, dank edge to the flavours.

Once again, we want your notes on this beer – what you like and what you don’t. Please, send us a tweet, a Facebook message or check Second  Draft in on Untappd or Ratebeer so we can see what you think about the beer. The more feedback we get, the better WB3 and the final IPA will be!

It’d be remiss of us not to thank Kev Grey once more for his beautiful hand-drawn label art, this time in a lovely shade of dark red.

Keep in touch, and enjoy Workbench Second Draft.

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