Welcome all to this year’s Natural Selection
Over the next three months we’re going to be getting to grips with the UK beer market and commercial-scale brewing, to bring you the next leaf on the Natural Selection family tree.
We’ll be developing a brand new beer from scratch, drawing on the success of the previous years – proud descendants of a red ale, 'Finch', a summer wheat beer, 'Anorak', a New World Saison, 'Origin', and an all-British IPA, 'Mutiny on the Beagle'.
Sarah will be project managing, and Rich will be making sure the beer is out on the market. Reade, our Texan brewer, will be bringing his experience from the Peticolas brewery in Dallas, and I’ll be bringing five years of immersion in Belgian beer from my adopted home Brussels. For all of us this will be the first time we champion a recipe from the brewer’s paddle to the bar taps.
This might be our first post, but it’s not the beginning of the project. We’ve been hard at work since January. We’ve already test-brewed a New Zealand pale, an Extra Special Bitter, a Black IPA and an Irish red ale. We’ve narrowed down to a single style, although we’re not going to tell you which one yet. We’ve refined a pilot recipe in the Stewart Brewing craft beer kitchen, and on the Heriot-Watt one-barrel kit, and We’ve already tested out four variants.
We set out on an, as yet, unsuccessful search for unique yeast amongst the Edinburgh Museum’s archives, swabbing for spores amongst the old ceramic bottles, barrel heads, cask taps and brewing clogs from now-extinct Edinburgh breweries. We’ve also been getting an idea of what people want to drink, with trips to Aberdeen, and around Edinburgh, to scope-out potential sales. We need to project our sales before we even set a brew date. All this while trying to keep on top of brand development, project-planning, test-brews, finances and exams. A very enviable baptism of beer.
With thanks to Stewart Brewing, Heriot-Watt and the International Centre of Brewing and Distilling, we’ll be brewing on the full kit in June, and bringing you a brand new beer in July. Watch this space!
Sam, Reade, Sarah and Rich
If you want to read more, then check out the last two editions of Ferment and an update in the sltn