Top Scottish independent brewers
THE launch of Edinburgh’s first craft beer festival this Thursday, the Edinburgh Independents Beer Festival, will see some of Scotland’s finest independent brewers given a platform to introduce their wares to prospective connoisseurs.
Over the last few years, independent brewers such as BrewDog have done much to raise the profile of craft beer in Scotland, and the advent of EIBF2012 will do no harm to Scotland’s burgeoning microbrewing industry. With that in mind, we raise a glass to some of the nation’s most innovative beer producers.
Highlands-based brewer Black Isle produce a dizzying array of beers and ales characterised by rich, intense flavours, and do so with a staunch committment to sourcing their ingredients through organic means. All-rounders such as their Red Kite beer are firm favourites, and their award-winning Yellowhammer is a session beer to savour.
Though best known for their Fraoch Heather Ale, a recipe brewed in Scotland since 2000 BC, family brewer Williams Bros have also embraced more contemporary craft beers. Midnight Sun and Kelpie Seaweed Ale are among some of their more esoteric concoctions, but for the less adventurous of you the Williams Ginger and Harvest Sun will likely do just fine.
One of the more high-profile independent brewers in Scotland, BrewDog have been producing robust craft beers since 2007. The north-east brewery is equally renowned (or, if you prefer, ‘notorious’) for a series of bold marketing campaigns, the most infamous of which saw a £500-per-bottle, 55 per cent strength beer called End of History, pictured, enrage politicians and animal rights groups. But, whatever your take on their PR strategy, you can hardly call it ineffective - BrewDog is now Scotland’s largest independent brewery. More importantly, though, they’ve very good - the Punk IPA is currently the fastest-selling alternative beer brand in the UK.
Innis & Gunn
Unlike most other craft beer brewers, Innis & Gunn arose more by accident than design. Then-whisky distiller and Innis & Gunn founder Dougal Sharp had been tasked with creating an ale finished whisky by seasoning oak barrels with beer, but in the process discovered that the beer itself was good enough to take to market. The Edinburgh brewer has since added to its range; the deceptively strong rum cask version is well worth seeking out.
Cromarty Brewing Company
One of the newer independent breweries on the scene, Cromarty was founded late last year by Craig Middleton, who had only graduated from university in 2010. The Highlands-based brewer has already garnered praise for its coffee-infused stout, Brewed Awakening, and the Rogue Wave pale ale looks pretty interesting too.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
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Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
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