Brewing up a Storm

5th February 2018 Blogs

Britain is undergoing a resurgence in craft beer now with more than 1,700 breweries and micro-breweries in the UK, that’s the highest number in 70 years. And as you’ll know there are some wonderful home-grown beers being produced right here in the Borders.

As advocates of the finest food and drink from around the region, we highly recommend that you try some of these locally produced beers as the perfect accompaniment to your food too. We are proud to stock a range of these beers and ales here at Seasons and are happy to help you to match them with your meal.

As you know we love our wine at Seasons and thanks to this renewed interest in craft beer, we’re also starting to see an interest in food pairings with beer too. Just as wine has Sommeliers, beer has Cicerone, these are certified professionals in the art of beer and food pairing. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional Cicerone to find the right pairings, and with a few tips, you can substitute any wine for a unique craft beer.

Since starters are generally lighter, you would tend to pair these with a light style beer that compliments but doesn’t overpower. The adage “white wine with fish, red wine with meat” does also tend to apply when it comes to beer pairing as well. When serving fish or shellfish, a Blonde Ale with a dry finish will help bring out the natural sweetness. When serving meat, you’ll want to take into consideration the level of fattiness of the dish. Meats like chicken, turkey or duck benefit from pairings like Pale Ales or Brown Ales, as the natural fats balance out the hop bitterness. Steak and beef are rich and should be paired with a dark Porter or Stout, while fatty pork needs a strong IPA to offset the intensity of the fat with hops.

Here’s a quick hop around some of our favourite beer producers here in the Borders.

BORN IN THE BORDERS – Lanton, near Jedburgh
The Born in the Borders Brewery is a multi-award-winning microbrewery creating real ale using barley grown in the neighbouring fields.

Founded in 2011, and originally known as the Scottish Borders Brewery, the brewery distributes in cask and bottle across the UK, and its strong “plough to pint” ethos has seen it grow rapidly.
Beers include Foxy Blonde, Game Bird, Holy Cow, Dark Horse, Flower of Scotland and Gold Dust, and the brewery also runs a unique project called Wild Harvest, which uses locally foraged ingredients to flavour a separate range of beers.

Winner of Scottish Brewery of the Year at the Scottish Beer Awards 2016, Tempest Brewing Company is dedicated to brewing high quality beer with respect, and the best ingredients, and is supported by a passionate team. In its short history Tempest has gained recognition for its cutting edge approach, and for producing award winning beers.

The team are inspired by things you might expect like different hop regions, yeast strains, and malt varieties…and then what you might not expect, like making a beer that tastes like marmalade on toast, or like a Mexican chocolate cake, or a craft version of a snakebite and black.
Red Eye Flight- Cold infused with locally roasted coffee beans for a rich porter with depth.
Long White Cloud – Flagship pale ale with their favourite NZ hops.
Brave New World IPA – Ideal IPA with big pine, resin and citrus notes. A modern classic.
Soma IPA – Winner of best IPA at the Scottish Beer Awards 2017.
The Pale Armadillo – West coast hops meets Scottish barley in their session IPA.
Easy Livin’ Pils – Effortlessly enjoyable modern pilsner lager, dry hopped and laid back.

Traquair is the oldest inhabited house in Scotland and employs 2 full time brewers and its rich dark ales are now exported all over the world, although production remains tiny at only 1,000 hectalites a year.

Traquair House Brewery lies in the wing of the house directly underneath the Chapel. It dates back to the early 1700’s and was originally a domestic brewery serving the house and the estate. It was disused in the early 1800’s but never dismantled. Production was started again by Peter Maxwell Stuart and since the 1970’s, the ales have gradually gained recognition as “real ales” became rediscovered by organisations such as CAMRA. Traquair is now deservedly recognised as a pioneer of micro-brewing.
Signature ales that are brewed at Traquair House Brewery include Traquair House Ale, Traquair Jacobite Ale, Bear Ale and Spring Ale.

FREEWHEELIN BREWERY – Peebles Hydro, Peebles
Freewheelin’ Brewery is a community-owned Brewery in Peebles, now happily housed in the grounds of the Peebles Hydro Hotel. They have a small brewhouse in the former joiners shed, and sell both bottled and cask beer – The Blonde, The Ruby and XX IPA – while Dizzy is on draught only. They also do specials like rugby editions for the Six Nations. They now produce the equivalent of 3000 bottles per month.

Campbells Brewery was established last year in Peebles by Murray Campbell. The team are dedicated to producing the finest ales in Scotland and their mission is always to source top quality malts and hops to produce the very best cask and bottle-conditioned ales.
Gunner Blonde is the first beer that they have brought on to the market and are having so much success with this that they have had to increase the number of fermentation vessels to keep up with demand. Gunner Blonde is a lovely well balanced blonde ale brewed with German bittering hops and finished with delicious American hops. Flintlock Golden Ale is the second beer that Campbell’s have launched and at 3.7% ABV it is much more like a session beer.

We hope that this article has inspired you to discover some of these wonderful Borders beers and ales and that you try them with dinner too. Next time that you are in Seasons, do ask us about the local beers that we stock in the restaurant, we are more than happy to help you choose.