The Six Nations has kicked off, and Stewart Brewing have “crossed the line” with their new limited edition beer, named precisely that, Cross The Line.

The Fountain spoke with Head Brewer, Craig Scotland about his career, this new beer and where we might get our hands on this beverage.

TF: What inspired you to go into brewing particularly Craig?

With a background in hospitality, I have always worked closely with the drinks industry and developed a growing interest in the way that drinks are made. Working in Edinburgh, cask beers were a main focus of the bars I worked in and I enjoyed ordering, looking after and tasting them. Whilst working in hospitality I also used to homebrew in my spare time, enjoying learning how different ingredients and processes impacted the final product (and having beer readily available in my flat!).

A friend of mine recommended I look into studying the Brewing and Distilling Course at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, as he was a former alumnus of the course. Upon being accepted onto the course I looked into starting work in a local brewery and gained part-time employment at Stewart Brewing, working in their shop.

This lead on to a full time job with Stewart Brewing where I ran The Craft Beer Kitchen, a brew-it-yourself 100L brew kit which members of the public can use to brew their own beer, the first of its kind in the UK. I then moved into the main brewery where I worked as a production brewer until I became Head Brewer in October 2016.

TF: Where has the inspiration come from for new addition, Cross The Line? Is this one of your gluten-free beers?

Cross The Line was inspired by many of the great tasting bitters that have been brewed in the UK by breweries such as Timothy Taylor’s, Samuel Smith’s and Fullers. No, it is not a gluten free beer.

TF: Is this only going to be available during the extent of the Six Nations or will it be available beyond that?

Cross The Line will only be available during the Six Nations, but may be brewed again next year if proven popular.

TF: What type of beer can we expect from Cross The Line?

Cross The Line is a classic bitter, which is designed to be an accessible beer which has a balanced malty sweetness and bitterness from the hops. The combination of British malt and European and American hops contributes a light sweet fruitiness to the beer.

TF: Where did the thinking for the flavour come from? Is it at all related to the sport?

The idea behind the flavour has come from attempting to create a beer which people from all of the countries that are competing in the Six Nations would enjoy.

TF: With an excitingly optimistic beginning for Scotland in the Six Nations you must be excited about not only the sport but the success of this launch? Where can customers presently purchase this edition and are there plans in the pipeline for more pubs across the country to pick this up?

Cross the Line is now available in select bars across Scotland including Bennets in Edinburgh, Criterion in S. Andrews and Vulcan in Glasgow and is available to take home from Stewart’s Dockside Tap in Leith, Edinburgh.