Big Ideas Series 22
Scottish Export matured for 12 months with a mixed culture of brettanomyces yeast.
Celebrate variety. Reflect a sense of place. Brew modern takes on traditional styles. Brew contemporary styles with a twist. Avoid overused hop varieties. Full flavour spectrum brewing.
This is the Big Ideas Series, the first set of releases from the brewery. The beers are all unfined, vegan friendly and conditioned in package: bottle, keg and cask. We love our beers and hope you do too... let us know!
Description and Tasting Notes
Ageing a robust Scottish Export with wild yeast evolves this humble and too-often overlooked style into a deeper and more complex experience. Layers of malty sweetness are gently deconstructed and enhanced by the brettanomyces over the course of a year to create a truly exceptional and refined beer.
Pours a dark amber/mahogany colour with a persistent off white head and good lacing. The aroma is fruity funk with clear wild ferment aromatics; raisins soaked in sherry, sour cherries, blue cheese, earthy in a refined, floral way. There’s an underlying smooth malt sweetness, as you’d expect in an Export, but chocolate, caramel and toffee flavours are now part of a much broader flavour spectrum. Moderate bitterness and a dry, tangy and slightly salty finish.
What The Hell Were We Thinking?
Full credit to Ciaran from Acid Brewing Cartel here, this was his idea! Though I think he thought of us because he knew it would be right up our street, which it 100% is.
When we first brewed our Scottish Export last summer we split the batch after primary fermentation, taking about a third off into a separate tank and pitching a yeast starter that we’d created from the dregs of some of our favourite bretty beers. We then left it alone for 12 months, with periodic tastings to see how it was coming along, of course...
Ciaran’s suggestion appealed because taking an innovative approach to traditional styles, especially Scottish styles, is a passion of ours (of course it’s likely that all Export/80 Shilling-style beers were infected with wild yeast before modern hygienic practices were commonplace so we’re not claiming to be doing anything brand new here). We’re big fans of Flanders Red and this combination of darker malts and wild yeast seemed likely to take us to a similar place.
Around May, when the spruce tips are ripe for harvesting, we rebrewed the Export and judged the aged version to be good to go, by which time the wild yeast had consumed a whole bunch of the sugar the brewer’s yeast didn’t touch and elevated the alcohol content to a hearty 7.2%. We bottled the lot and refilled the small tank with fresh beer. We couldn’t have been happier with what we put into the bottles; there are still recognisable 80/- elements but the year-long maturation has brought an entirely new dimension that’s both a glance backward to how this beer might have tasted in a previous age, and a fresh, novel version of this classic style that is (to our knowledge) commercially unavailable anywhere else in the world.
Bottle conditioned, vegan friendly
Malts: Maris Otter, Aromatic, Wheat, Rye, Black
Hops: Fuggles, Magnum
Yeast: Nottingham, Brettanomyces