It’s true that oaks from acorns grow and last Saturday’s sellout beer festival at Stewart Brewing was testament to that. Founder Steve led an informative and enthusiastic tour around the factory based in the outskirts of Edinburgh and explained the process of brewing and production from the selection of ingredients such as malt, hops and grain right down to the hand bottling of each of the thousands of bottles produced. A labour of love indeed, he told the story of his building his own brewery in small steps starting out, as most home brewers do, with a humble plastic bucket and the leap of faith which led him and his wife Jo to invest all their savings into his first brewery and wholesale beer, Edinburgh Number 3 in 2004.
A small section of the brewery is set aside for the Craft Kitchen facility where those thirsty for the personal experience of brewing can come and make a bespoke beer with guidance from one of the twenty six members of staff. Sounds like a great gift option suitable for many occasions.
With over forty beverages to choose from, sampling from over the eight hours, there seems to be no shortage of creative input into the variety of beers and ciders produced here. The ongoing collaboration with Heriot Watt University’s Brewing students and other independent craft brewers such as Cross Borders and Liverpool Craft Beer ensures that there is always something new being tried.
The drinks I sampled included a pink raspberry and chilli flavoured saison, a balsamic, malty and vanilla Elysian Stout (11.5%), the award winning IPA Session Jack Back with tropical fruit aromas and the hoppy Radical Road (6.4%). A number of gluten free options were also available.
A marquee hosted the main bar (one of four) along with musical entertainment from Loanhead Folk Band, Calum Baird, The Daddy Naggins and The Citizens. To soak up the ABV the venue was supported with catering from a great variety of well priced outlets including Well Hung and Tender, The Mighty Mexican, Fresh Revolution and Babu Bombay Street Kitchen .
Priced at £15, which included a commemorative beer glass and a can of beer this event is sure to be an ongoing success. Good beer, good music, good food, good service. What’s not to like? No good review would omit the loos….a novel recycling experience for the guys.
All photos courtesy of Nick Mailer Photography.
For more on Stewart Brewing and their events visit their website.