At long last, the inaugural beer of our Seasons collaboration project is finally bottled, labelled, kegged, and hitting shelves and taps this week. We might be just hitting the tail end of Spring with our Spring release, but what better way to say bye to Spring and hello to a hopefully bright, warm summer?
To recap, the Seasons project started off as a sort of personal mission to showcase Scotland’s best breweries in a more modern, interesting way than what we’re usually portrayed as when taken abroad. No bagpipes, no tartan, just great brewers making great beer. And even more, we wanted to show that sense of community and camaraderie that we feel is at the heart of the Scottish beer industry, by having all four breweries be part of all four brew days. We also wanted to work with peers in our industry that we respect and are friends with, so we invited Pilot, Cromarty, and Fallen along for the ride.
The first spark to come from this collaboration is our Rhubarb & Citrus Sour; a beer we feel encapsulates the seasonality of this time of year, and a style we want to drink.
Picture this: a predictably cold Scottish morning. Patchy rain, grey clouds, the works. And yet, we’re all inside the brewery with Paul Fallen from Fallen, and Patrick Jones from Pilot getting things going on what could rival Mango Berlinner as “sunshine in a bottle”. We tried to over-prepare by getting two juicers ready to break down a couple loads of fresh rhubarb, but in typical fashion the commercial grade juice breaks and Doug is left to man the last juicer standing.
Paul, Gavin, and Patrick are nearby discussing all things brewing; different techniques, how different bits of kit work that the other doesn’t have, how they control quality in different environments, and everything you could think of. It’s something that doesn’t get to happen often, although you can see the massive benefits. It’s so easy in brewing to get caught up in a bubble; you have your own recipes, equipment, techniques, and even the relationships you have within the brewery itself. And it’s so busy all the time that rarely are you offered the chance to really talk to other brewers you respect and just natter away about what you do and what they do and how if differs and why and what you might change. It offers new perspectives, new ideas, and can lead to some really interesting changes. This is a big part of why we wanted to do this project in a “round table” kind of approach instead of “round robin”.
But, back to the beer. It does what it says on the bottle. Rhubarb in a beer isn’t anything new, but we feel it’s one that doesn’t get done right frequently enough. We wanted to pull out even more tart, sour flavours that fresh rhubarb is famous for to lend that along with a zingy freshness. The citrus added just elevates it that bit more.
The artwork for our new project was created by Glasgow-based student artist Catriona Logan.
“This concept’s a bit more abstract, simply using the colouring and the vector shapes to portray how the beer tastes. Using this same method over all 4 beers will give people an idea of what they’re getting before they even taste it.”
We’re all really looking forward to seeing the other 3 beers that this project comes up with; so far it has been a brilliant experience, and we hope that you join us in toasting to Springtime, and enjoy the beer we’ve created.