The Hare And The Tortoise
It would be fair to say that over the past three years our production has been somewhat reserved. We always aim for excellence and the road to excellence is a long one.
You can’t cut corners, as the more shortcuts you take, the further away excellence gets. The rod we have made for our own backs in this respect, is a sturdy one. No brewer can rush their beer through it’s process (and expect a good product), but the nature of the beers we make, the yeasts we use, this adds a bit more time to production than other breweries are beholden to. Add to that Robert’s fastidious nature, and we were always going to be the tortoise in this imaginary sales race.
So it is something of a surprise to find that all of a sudden we have six news beers all ready at once, and all but two have been sitting in barrels.
Coupled with our now refined core range it felt like the right time to shout a little bit. We’ve been getting good reviews, we even had someone with rather good standing tell us we were making the best beer in Scotland right now. It feels like the time is right. If we had felt the time was right nine months ago more of you would have known we’d made a beer with Brasserie Alvinne. It was very good, as those who tried it will testify to.
Over the next few months we will be travelling the UK and talking to people about what we do and why we do it. We’ll be at Cafe Beermoth in Manchester on the 23rd of May, and Friends of Ham on the 25th. We’ll be at Salt Horse in Edinburgh on June 9th, and Small Bar in Bristol on July 14th.
The new beers are (almost) all collaborations, which fits well as we are introducing you to our ATC beers (Advancement Through Collaboration). We have made two beers from the dark side, complex and brooding and aged them in Islay and Speyside barrels with one of our hero breweries, De Ranke from Belgium. We have made an Imperial Stout and triple fermented it with different yeasts, and then aged in Spirit of Broadside casks, with Fergus Fitzgerald, head brewer from Adnams. We made a Belgian Sour Brown Ale, aged in multiple whisky barrels then blended back with D'Oude Maalderij, and a Norwegian Raw Ale (unboiled) with Redchurch’s James Rylance. The final new beer has been in the pipeline for a long time, but until we were happy with the rest of our beers, we weren’t about to try making a Pils. We have now, it’s unfiltered and tastes every bit as good as we’d hoped for.
This year we’ll push ourselves a little bit more, tell you all about what we do a bit more often and hopefully you’ll be interested in hearing it. We have some interesting things happening over the next few months; a collaboration beer with Cloudwater in August, for example.
We’re still aiming for excellence, but it’s becoming a more relaxing and enjoyable journey to get to it.