Black Isle reared lamb – just in time for Easter!

These little beauties have been born and raised on our own organic farm.

They feed on natural grass pastures supplemented by the draff (spent grains from the brewery mash tun) and complete the cycle whereby we; grow barley, make beer, feed the bi-products to our stock, they then fertilise the ground and keep the weeds down so that we can grow more barley!

We are selling the lambs whole or half. They come as legs, chops, shoulder, shanks etc. ready for the freezer.

Price £10/kg.

Available from Thursday 5th April.

There is only a limited amount available. We and our family and friends will all be tucking into it this Easter so contact us now on 01463 811871 to avoid disappointment.

(Purchases can be picked up from the brewery.)

To fine or not to fine?

Unless we are very much mistaken, the world of beer appears to be changing quite dramatically. Some well preserved myths surrounding our national drink are being given a right royal kicking, the latest being that clear beer is good beer. Should we use finings in our cask beer, or should we leave it ‘au naturelle’?

The Stockbridge Tap, a haven for great beer and tasty food… and we’re not just saying that to be nice, it’s a great pub.

Still unconvinced? Go and seek out an unfined beer, ignore your predisposed objection to hazy ale and taste with your mouth not with your eyes. You’ll be rewarded, we promise.

If you want to help push for unfined beer through SIBA, Justin presents his case most eloquently here .

Evolution not Revolution. Exciting times ahead.

From ground to glass

Here’s Beer Maker in Chief, Colin standing in a room with some barley. He likes that sort of thing.

We’re hoping the malt will arrive in time for the Imperial Pale Ale brew schedule, so that will be a double whammy of palate-whetting excitement.

Happy New Beer!

As it turned out 2011 was a great year for great beer, but 2011 was so last year!

We’re determind to make 2012 the new 2011 and to prove it we’ve bought a calender, some brewing shoes and cake (we have to eat too).

Whilst scrabbling around under cupboards, conditioning tanks and the occasional sheep looking for beer recipe books it suddenly dawned on us that we have a world class brewing team, may be they’d have some idea’s? This is what Head Brewer Colin has cobbled together… 

1. Hops hops and just to make sure, some hops

Our first new brew of 2012 (Which should be mashed in by the end of the week) is an Imperial Pale Ale. The aim is for a 6.8 – 7.3% big beast of hop led yumminess. True to our roots this will be full of flavour but balanced and a bit too moreish for a beer of that strength.

2. Back to the beginning. Again.

Anyone who tried the original Export Scotch Ale should be pretty excited at the prospect of a second batch, which is this time being brewed on the big kit. The first run (which produced about 750 bottles despite the bottle numbering going up to 1400+) of this 7.9% gem was made in our old brewery with mains water.

Just in case anyone was in any doubt…

Colin did tell us what style it is but it’s such an obscure sounding project we thought we’d leave it until nearer the time. It’s a double pilsner with a twist, we think?

3. And if that wasn’t enough…

We will also be collaborating with some other UK breweries we admire plus making a very special beer for our friends in Sweden, with some friends from Sweden.

We also have one other very different project which we will release on to the world in the next couple of months. Stay tuned.

Of course during all this fun we will be ensuring that we have plenty of the core range and that the quality is kept high and consistent. We have every intention of brewing all the beers in that list, but if they don’t all make it to bar or bottle the reason is because we won’t compromise what we do.

If you have a great idea for a Black Isle beer, please keep it to yourself until next year. We have our work cut out already!

Happy New Beer folks. Let’s make 2012 the year of UK beer!

Our Year in Beer

Well as years go 2011 has been a cracker. Our industry is in the throws of a hugely exciting time for well crafted beer, which we have seen reflected in our growth over the past 12 months. We are 50% up on last year and we have seen some hugely exciting developments.

Below, in no particular order, are our top Black Isle Brewing Co. moments of 2011.

Our beer went foreign!

Every ambitious company wants to see a demand increase, and we saw it this year as we began to export our beers to lands afar.

One of the bands on our now iconic stage

Again the weekend was a smash, with even more people turning out despite the threat of severely average weather. The weather behaved and we had the most excellent Saturday night, with the tagline ‘Beers, bands and bratwurst’ we fully intend to do it all again next time around.

 

Our deal with Adnams!

We like Adnams, a big regional brewer with a real social conscience and commitment to the environment. We like Adnams a lot in fact, and we were thrilled when they agreed to distribute the kegged Organic Porter across their vast network. We already have several installations in London and the number is growing. Watch this space! 

Tapping_the_admiral

Our kegged Porter can be found at Tapping the Admiral in Camden

 The only way is up as they say, except geographically speaking, in which case the way forward for us is down.

 

The beers!

You can’t be a brewery and not mention your beers in your end of year highlights. Certainly not when your new brewer has been whipping up a storm.

It would be fair to say that we’ve changed tack a bit on the beer front this year. Nothing showcases this more than our collaboration with Masterchef winner Tim Anderson. Tim came up with a bonkers idea for a Smoked Weizenbock with Chilli, and we let him brew it. Turns out his pallate is pretty good, because the beer was a winner. Tim then did us the great honour of matching his food to our beer and cooking for 80 people at the Caley Sample Rooms in Edinburgh.

Rhcb

Following on from that Colin came along and whipped up his Black Stout, at 7.4% and destined for aging in Bruichladdich organic whisky casks we managed to rack off 2 casks and 1 keg and show the beer world where Black Isle Brewing Co is heading! The aged version we called Black Islay and is available now on our online shop. Enjoy. Sensibly.

As for 2012, well we’ve had a few ideas and expect to see the first very early in the new year.

 

Other gems fro 2011 include our new website built by our friends at Gecko New Media, our new merchandise provided by our friends at Vektor, two great events at Cloisters Bar in Edinburgh and the arrival of yet more spaniels. It’s been a blast and if we listed every great moment we’d be here all night.

Thank you all for your support, custom, help and any other way you may have contributed to such a great year. We’re already looking at 2012 being something of a landmark year and we hope you’ll join us on the journey.

If you have any memorable Black Isle Brewing Co. highlights and you want to share them, feel free to comment on the bottom of this post. We’d love to hear from you!

Have a fantastic Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

 

From all of us at Black Isle Brewing Co.