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.

New Brew News: Ich Bin Ein Berryliner 2017

By Iain Smith

Despite what you may have read in beer blogs, bottle labels and a million Untappd check-ins, kettle-sours are not just “perfect for drinking on a summer’s day” – they’re perfect for drinking all year round.

Which is why we’re super-happy to let you know that Ich Bin Ein Berryliner is back, and back to stay. We’re adding our favourite fruit Berliner weisse to our year-round brewing schedule in both keg and bottles.

For the first 2017 batch of Berryliner, we tweaked the recipe slightly from the 2016 brew. It’s still a soft, sparkling and slightly sour beer, but with a much bigger raspberry kick. We upped the fresh fruit content on which the beer was aged by 20% to give Berryliner a more luscious, juicy, red-fruit flavour profile. Fruity, crisp, refreshing, no matter what season you’re drinking it in.

Expect to see the beer on draft from this weekend (including at the West End Beer Festival) and bottles in a couple of weeks’ time (we’ll give you a heads up on social).

New Brew News: Fake Tan

By Iain Smith

Don't most people like to spend a bit of time soaking up the rays during the summer months? Stretching out by the pool, sipping a cold drink and maybe picking up a bit of a healthy glow to impress your workmates, friends and family? Of course, it can be a bit difficult to do any of this if you’re stuck in Scotland over the summer, but you can always fall back on a bit of Fake Tan.

Our latest cask special is inspired by the unpredictable weather we get on the West Coast of Scotland; it’s 4.7% beer designed trick the eyes and mind, just like those who indulge in a bit of artificial tanning (and it’s just as orange in colour). Fake Tan is white stout brewed with coffee, cacao nibs and toasted coconut – it’s got a dark beer’s soul, a light beer’s heart and the colour of someone who choose the wrong setting in the spray tan booth (never count Mississippi-ily).

The beer drinks incredibly smoothly – soft aromas of coconut and coffee are followed by a taste that is rich and full-bodied, with the coffee reappearing in the moreish, creamy finish.

Brewed in the original Fyne Ales brewery, Fake Tan is a small-batch brew that will be rolling out of the brewery on Monday. It’s one of the more interesting cask beers we’ve produced in a while, and definitely one of the tastiest, so be sure to keep an eye out for it in your local in the coming weeks.

Of course, you can follow us on social media as we often share when beers are tapped, and be sure to let us know what you think of Fake Tan!

New Brew News: North West Hop Lager

By Iain Smith

We’ve always believed in making small, iterative improvements to our recipes to make sure our beers are the best they can possibly be, but sometimes it’s better to start over again. So with that in mind, we’ve torn down the Haus and built something new in its place – introducing North West Hop Lager.

Brewed in the North West of the UK using hops from North West(ish) New Zealand, our new 4.7% pilsner arrives next week. This isn’t your typical mass-produced affair – North West is brewed using two of our favourite new world hops, Nelson Sauvin and Motueka, both known for their fruit-forward characteristics.

The slow-fermented lager offers green grape, gooseberry and a whack of citrus fruits on the nose and in the taste, with a super-clean finish that will quench the thirst of even the most parched drinker.

We’re very proud of Haus Lager as our interpretation of a modern helles-style beer, so don’t rule out it making a return appearance down the line, but for now, keep an eye out for North West in the pub or at one of our many (many) events this summer. If you do give it a shot, let us know what you think of it on social media or Untappd.

Legal Disclaimer: Any similarity between the name of this beer and the offspring of any famous rappers is purely coincidental. Please don't sue us Kanye.

Now Hiring: Part-time Brewery Tap Team Member

By Iain Smith

Fancy working at one the most beautiful brewery locations in the world? Now’s your chance!

Fyne Ales is seeking someone to join our Brewery Tap & Shop team on a part-time basis. The position offers around 20 hours per week (flexible), including the possibility of working weekends and external events.

We need someone energetic, enthusiastic and ideally passionate about beer to help tell our visitors about our award-winning beers, help them pick bottles from the shop to take home and lead tours around our two brewing facilities.

Ideal for someone located in the local area, the position will include training, but bar experience is preferred.

If you think this sounds like something you’d be ace at and you’re keen to learn more about what we do, drop us an email with a CV and a short cover letter (just a quick hello) to sam.bennett[at]fyneales.com.

Deadline: Monday 24/7/2017

New Brew News: Fyne Ales X Brewdog Glasgow Shakers In Paris (& Revival Juice!)

By Iain Smith

We’re tight with the good people from Brewdog Bar Glasgow, we go way back, all the way back to October 2013 when we were invited by them to work together on the first of Brewdog’s Collabfest events in 2013to produce the acclaimed 48 Miles Later chilli black IPA.

So when they approached us with an idea to brew a special beer to mark their sixth birthday, we were more than happy to oblige. We worked with the team from down the road to create Shakers In Paris, a 6%, ultra-small-batch French Martini-inspired IPA brewed with pineapple, raspberries, oats and lactose.

We were delighted to have Ross and Leanne from the bar join us for the brew day; both first-time visitors to the brewery, they weren’t afraid to get stuck in, helping with every stage of the brew, starting with chopping a whole heap of fresh pineapples.

 

Of course, to sure we were going the right way with the brew, we had to knock up a round of French martinis during the boil and compare tasting notes. At 11am. Serious brewing business.

As is tradition, brewing guests are required to get their hands well and truly dirty by cleaning out the mash tun. With the size of our original brew kit, around 6% is the highest ABV we can squeeze out of a brew, so this particular clean-out took a fair bit of work.

We also had time to take the guys on a quick guided tour of the glen, giving the guys a run through the history of the brewery, the estate and how the land was being used today outside of brewing activities.

Shakers In Paris, whose name is inspired by both the cocktail origin of the beer and the hiphop playlist that soundtracked the brew day, has turned out really well - the combination of the oats in the grist and dissolved lactose capture the creamy-sweet vibe of the cocktail really well, with of course plenty of juiciness from the raspberry and pineapple additions. As it is an IPA, we've made sure there's a hop backbone behind all the fruitness, with Sorachi Ace and Summit used to ensure a satisfyingly clean finish.

We’re super excited for the beer’s launch on Friday 21 July as part of the bar’s birthday celebrations We. Are. Six. We hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it down, don’t worry as the beer will also be popping up at the following Brewdog bars in the coming weeks (with possibly a few more to be added): Stirling, Aberdeen Castlegate, Dundee, Glasgow Doghouse, Camden, Soho, Clerkenwell.

 

But wait, there’s more. The base beer from the batch was actually split into two separate brews – one infused with pineapple and raspberry for the Brewdog-exclusive brew, and the other given a week on a mixture of lemons, limes and oranges to become Revival Juice! – a citrus oatmeal IPA with a refreshingly sour edge that conjures up ideas of a breakfast parfait. Revival is going to be more widely available than its sister beer, so expect to see it around as well as popping up in some Brewdog bars.

Keep up to date with the latest by following Fyne Ales and Brewdog Glasgow on social and be sure to check out the full gallery from the brew day – Fyne Ales X Brewdog Glasgow – Shakers In Paris Brew Day.

Facebook: Fyne Ales / Brewdog Glasgow

Instagram: Fyne Ales / Brewdog Glasgow

Twitter: Fyne Ales / Brewdog Glasgow

New Brew News: Original Brewery, Kurgan & Atlantic Boulevard

By Iain Smith

We recently announced on social media that, after a few months of renovation works, the original Fyne Ales brewery was back in action.

The plan was always to keep the original brewery as an additional, supplementary 10BBL facility once the new 40BBL brewery was complete, but getting it working efficiently was proving to be a challenge, as the equipment aged and the building itself began to show signs of the thirteen years of hard graft it had put in brewing our award-winning beers.

In early 2017, we decided to close the original brewery down to make some much-needed improvements. The first renovation was replacing the original 2001 boiler with a steam-link to the one powering the new brewery. The second was to improve drainage – the building’s original drains had been installed during construction to support the building’s original purpose of being a dairy, so it was high time to get a better solution dug into the floor.

The good news is that these renovations are now complete and we’ve been brewing like crazy on the old kit, knocking out more beer than we can cope with (literally, one of the FVs was a right state last week as fermentation carried about a fifth of the beer over the top).

The first two beers out of the brewery are launching this and next week!

First up, Kurgan, a 4.4% traditional amber with a hoppy, bitter finish. We’ve had increasing demand for old-school styles in keg, so we took the base recipe of our award-winning cask ale Highlander, brought the ABV to a slightly more sessionable level and played with the hop additions to create a keg rival to our first ever beer. There can be only one. But probably not because we’ll keep making both for a while if you like Kurgan. Let us know.

Secondly, the first small-batch cask special from the original brewery in quite some time and the return of our series of American-style IPAs on cask. The Boulevard series will see the return of Sunryes (Rye IPA), Long Beech (Smoked) as well as a couple of new entries including the first beer – Atlantic Boulevard! The 5.6% Atlantic uses hops from both sides of the ocean in a trans-atlantic showdown, with the British bruiser East Kent Goldings facing off against the formidable tag-team of Simcoe and Warrior in a handicap match for the ages (and happy stomachs).

There’s a lot more beer on the way out of the original brewery (*cough*BrewdogGlasgowBirthdayBeer*cough), so keep an eye on the blog and social media for the latest.

 

P.S Our pals at Wild Beer Co rebrewed Cool As A Cucumber and it's tasting better than the first time round. Go find it.

Pages