Schiehallion

Pronounced: she-hal-i-on

One of my favourite breakfast places in London is Bill’s. After the first time I went, all I ate was breakfast food for about a week after. Recently, I went at lunch time and it was just as good. I had a chorizo burger and almost went into a hooded falcon state I was so happy whilst eating it. I was slightly disappointed with the beer selection however. There were a meagre 5 (one of which was Heineken) compared to an extensive wine list. I decided to go for the Schiehallion which I’ve had my eye on for a while but never quite got round to trying. It’s brewed by the Harviestoun brewery (they have a really nicely designed website, I highly recommend checking it out), who are most famous for Bitter and Twisted.

 Schiehallion

Schiehallion is a light, refreshing lager and is named after one of the most easy Munros to climb. The name is very fitting as the lager itself is very drinkable. At 4.8% and available in 330ml bottles, you don’t need to feel too guilty about returning to the office after a couple at lunch time. It pours a light, golden colour and didn’t have too much of a head. It was quite citrussy and a lot hoppier than some lagers, so if you’re looking for something inoffensive and light, then this is the guy for you.

 

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60 North!

I FINALLY GOT MY HANDS ON SOME 60 NORTH!!!

I was so excited to eventually see the bottle for real after looking at designs and pictures for so long. I’m so pleased with how it looks, it’s even better than I imagined!! Obviously tasting it was pretty great too 🙂

For anyone who hasn’t read any of my other posts, 60 North is the first beer brewed by The Lerwick Brewery, which is owned by my Dad and his two brothers. We wanted to brew a high quality, tasty Pilsner style lager which I definitely think we’ve managed to do (albeit I’m a bit biased 🙂 ).

Dad only had two spares and I wanted to take one back down to London with me to keep so that left only the one for drinking. Anticipating my excitement to try it, he’d already put it in the fridge so it was nice and cool for me after my plane journey. I was so eager I didn’t even bother with a glass, just glugged it straight down (apologies for the pictures, I nearly forgot to take any in my excited state). It’s pale and fizzy but not overly so, and has a stronger taste than most commercial lagers which can be really watery. I’m the first to admit that describing tastes isn’t one of my fortes in life but I thought it was quite citrusy, floral and very crisp. Perfect for the current heatwave!!

Even if you normally refuse to drink lager, I really urge you to give this little guy a go as I think he packs more of a punch than some of the other varieties on the market.

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Lerwick Brewery Website

Hello! I just wanted to let you know that the Lerwick Brewery website has finally launched!! I’m so, so excited to be part of this and I can’t believe we’re so close to launching our products too! We have our final bottle and label designs which you can see below, and I think they look amazing (I know I’m biased but they’re exactly the kind of thing I pictured way back when it was just an idea and words floating about).

 

We’re starting off with two kinds of beer, and have decided on the names 60 North, the latitude at which they were brewed and Skipper’s Ticket which refers to the license you need to drive (?!) a boat. We really want to focus on the fact we’re brewing in Shetland as it’s just such a fantastic place (see my previous Lerwick Brewery post if you want to read about my love for the island!). Both of the beers will be available in 330ml bottles and will be 4.8% and 4% ABV respectively. They’re also both free from isinglass so are suitable for vegans 🙂

 

We’ve suggested some foods that each beer will compliment as we feel that beer is a fantastic alternative to wine when having a meal. We also recommend the serving glass and temperature so you can really get the best out of them.

 

I’m going to hold off describing the taste of the products for now as I haven’t been able to taste the final recipes just yet (living in London does have its disadvantages!). However, there are full taste descriptions on the website…and they sound bloody delicious!

 

More info will be coming soon once we’re at the product launching stage, and once I’ve got my grubby hands on a couple (or 10) to try!

 

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Lerwick Brewery!

As I may have mentioned in a previous post, I am currently doing the marketing for an up and coming brewery which is what inspired me to start this blog. That brewery has now begun to make beer! The Lerwick brewery was founded by my dad and his two brothers who all have a passion for beer. My family is from Shetland so we have decided to begin our company where our roots lie! Our brewery finally has the go ahead from building control and all the other permits and so we can finally begin the fun part – the brewing itself!

Because we are mainly focusing on the Shetland market to begin with, we have decided to start with a Pilsner style lager and an 80′ dark beer. These are the most popular styles in Shetland. Once we expand to the mainland, we are planning to introduce a variety of different ales into our product range.

Shetland has recently been in the limelight with the new Three dancing Shetland pony advert which is obviously fantastic news for us…the timing couldn’t have been better! Do you think he’s celebrating the launch of our brewery??

I think Shetland is an absolutely fantastic place and we really hope to promote it through our beers. The landscape is beautiful and the wildlife is incredible. I grew up here as a child and I didn’t really appreciate how lucky I was. I got to see orca whales, seals, puffins, otters and loads more animals regularly which most people are lucky if they’ll see even once in their life! There are also amazing beaches, albeit the weather maybe isn’t the best if you want to sunbathe, but if you enjoy nature and clean air, I definitely recommend visiting!

I have digressed slightly from the topic of this blog, beer. Because we haven’t started to sell anything yet and are still in the experimental brewing processes, I don’t want to give too much away. I’ll be providing updates on here regarding our progress because I’m so excited that it’s finally happening!!

In the mean time, please check out our facebook page 🙂

 

Samichlaus

I know it has been a long time since I last posted and this particular one is very overdue but I’d like to take you back to a couple of weeks ago. Back to Christmas! Doesn’t it seem so long ago now? That week filled with meat, rich sauces, cakes, chocolate and alcohol seems like a lifetime ago from the current detox diet most of us are on! Since it’s now snowing, lets cast our minds back to that festive morning and pretend we’re there…

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What better way to celebrate Santa’s visit than with this little bottle of festive fun which is 14% ABV! It’s only brewed once a year on the 6th of December (Saint Nicholas’s Day!) so relatively rare and definitely worth picking up if you ever see it. It’s aged for 10 months before bottling and is actually a lager rather than an ale.

Although the taste is really nice, I kind of struggled to finish the whole bottle because of the richness and definitely couldn’t manage a second. Probably a good thing considering the alcohol content! It’s well suited to being a Christmas beer since it’s sweet and dark, perfect for a sipping during the annual family monopoly game in front of the fire. You are definitely aware of the high alcohol content and also the fruitiness and because of this, kid of reminded me of a Christmas pudding with brandy.

Happy (very belated) Christmas one and all!

The difference between ale and lager

When I first started getting into beer, I found all the different terminologies very confusing. To begin with, ‘Beer’ is an all-encompassing term which can be used to describe both ale and lager. Now I’ll try to explain the difference between the two main sub-categories of beer – ale and lager.

 

Ales are made by using a kind of yeast that rises to the top during fermenting (Saccharomyces cervisiae), hence the name top-fermenting yeast. Their fermentation period is generally shorter than that of lagers, often a week is sufficient, and the yeast needs a warm temperature to ferment. They are generally not chilled at any point during the process and most ales are served at room temperature. They tend to have a stronger taste than lagers and the colour range can vary from light and golden to dark browns.

 

Lagers use a type of yeast which sinks during fermentation (Saccharomyces Uvarum) and needs a cool temperature to ferment. Their fermentation process also takes longer than ales, around 3 weeks or more. They can also vary in colour, light kinds being the most popular but there are also dark lagers e.g. Dunkel. They have a crisper and less fruity taste. They are always served chilled and are the most popular and mass produced types of beers in the world.