Normally these posts focus on just one or two beers produced by individual breweries. Mainly this is because breweries tend to stick to a standard range and simply introduce one or two ‘weird’ beers for those looking to drink outside the box.
Today though, we’re focusing on not one, not two, but FIVE beers from the same brewery.
Before we begin though, by now the addition of berries to beers shouldn’t strike you as being particularly unusual. Raspberries, strawberries and blueberries are frequently used to make – or add flavour to – a variety of Belgian lambic beers and wheat beers.
However, this brewery decided it wasn’t enough to simply take well-known berries and use them in the brewing process. They want to take berries (and other ingredients) you’ve either never heard of or never tasted and use them to make beer.
This brings us to the Williams Brothers Brewing Company (http://williamsbrosbrew.com) located in Alloa, Central Scotland.
As well as brewing the standard range of beers (red ales, pilsners, pale ales etc), the Williams Bros also brew a range of historic ales using a variety of unique ingredients.
Harking back to the traditional Scottish beer styles, their eclectic range brings drinkers everywhere a taste of the good old, old, old, days.
Starting with their famous Fraoch Heather Ale (referred to as the oldest style of ale still produced in the world) which incorporates flowering heather, you can partake in an Alba Scots Pine Ale (an ale introduced by the Vikings and brewed with the addition of spruce and pine), a Kelpie Seaweed Ale (which is fairly self-explanatory, suitably bizarre, and one I intend on tracking down in future), a Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat Ale (first brewed by 16th Century Scottish Monks) and finally the Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale (a style first introduced to Scotland by Welsh druids in the 9th Century).
This my friends, is one brewery that deserves full marks for being different. And it’s not just that they’re different and are producing ‘weird’ beers simply as a gimmick. These Scottish brewers are up there with the likes of Dieu de Ciel and Unibroue – both breweries in Quebec, Canada – in terms of producing an exceptional range of ‘out-there’ beers.
Each of the brews I’ve tried (to date I’ve managed to find the Heather Ale, the Grozet, and the Ebulum) have been quite well-made beers. The addition of those extra ingredients separates their beers from your run-of-the-mill wheat ales or dark ales without overpowering the ‘normal’ beer flavours.