Big Ideas Series 24
A fruity, floral Belgian Wit brewed with fresh elderflower sprays harvested from the tree next to the brewery door.
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
Deep golden straw in colour with a slight haze and white head. Light, sweet aroma of elderflower and sharp orange citrus with hints of spice. True to the Wit style it’s refreshing and well balanced; elderflower leads the flavour without dominating and there’s lemonade and honey too, providing a real thirst quenching quality that belies the sturdy 6.2% ABV. The finish is crisp and dry with a modest but lingering bitterness.
What The Hell Were We Thinking?
The folks from the Brewdog Bar in Stirling very kindly asked us to help them brew a beer for Collabfest 2021. This was back in May/June when the elder tree just outside the brewery - planted to ward off evil spirits when the building was built to be used as a bakehouse - was in full flower. We’d been thinking of ways to employ this tasty local ingredient in a beer and the collab provided an ideal opportunity. Belgian Wit seemed a good choice of style, offering a fruity sweet foundation for complimentary flavours.
The key to getting this beer right is achieving the right balance of yeast esters and any other added flavours. For a straight Wit, it’s traditional to include orange peel and coriander seeds, but neither should be prominent flavours in the end product. For an Elderflower Wit, it’s obviously important that the elderflower flavour is making a significant contribution, but as part of a harmonious balance that’s still recognisably a Wit. I’d managed to pull this off previously with a Rose Petal Wit that won the Thornbridge/Waitrose home brew challenge back in 2016, so we used that recipe as the starting point for a 20 litre pilot batch with an estimated amount of elderflower heads in place of the rose petals. The ABV is on the higher side for a Wit and this extra alcohol helps to enhance the flavours, while keeping everything in proportion.
The pilot batch came out tasting great so with a few tweaks we brewed a full batch - two full batches in fact; one for the kegs to go to Brewdog bars and one to be bottled (our last bottled beer of the Big Ideas Series, as it turns out). We’re really pleased with the end result, and it’s a wonder there aren’t more Elderflower Wits out there. It’s a great match of flavours. There’s an element of competition to Collabfest with a ‘Beer Leaderboard’; apparently we’re the only Wit available, and apparently Wits are becoming a very popular style, so who knows…?
Can conditioned, vegan friendly
Malts: Maris Otter, Wheat
Hops: Columbus, Mandarina Bavaria
Other: Sugar, Elderflower, Orange Peel, Coriander