Blog

Fund our Brewery & join our Beer Testers

Fund Labbrewdor Brewery

Dear fellow beer fans,

Many of you may already know me as a big Whiskyphile, however my first love was Beer. My dream is to make a viable Femto- or Nano-scale brewery and then expand into a micro-distillery, named Labbrewdor Brewery & Distillery.

To acheive these aims I have rekindled my interest in homebrewing to start experimenting with recipes and beer styles and get lots and lots of brewing practice.  I have some fairly basic equipment including fermenters, conditioning kegs and bottling vessels and have been brewing out of the house & garage.

I’ll need some volunteers/beer-testers who would be happy to sample our beers and give me lots of honest feedback to help me improve my brewing – so what better way than to reward my funders

To continue with my dream I’d also like to expand to undertake partial mash and eventually all-grain brewing allowing ultimate recipe control and the ability to make the best beers possible! For this I’ll need:

Stainless steel kettle
Insulated mash tun
Wort chiller
Sparging & temperature control equipment
or:
Grainfather 5 gallon all-in-one- brewing system ~ £750
Brewing Kits, malt, yeast, etc.

Eventually if this takes off I’ll have to move out of the house and into dedicated premises, this will incur other costs such as rental, licensing (although I could license a home brewery), training courses, etc.

In the mean time if you are interested in helping me along and don’t mind trying some small batch craft beer then please donate at:

https://funds.gofundme.com/dashboard/LabbrewdorBrewery

and don’t forget to signup for our Beer Testers Wanted!

Your help will be hugely appreciated and repayed in kindness (and beer!). Thanks

Labbrewdor EB 002-1 West Coast Pale Ale

EB 002-1 FG

EB 002-1 West Coast Pale Ale

Dry hopping with a classic American West Coast Pale Ale:

An American Pale Ale by Young’s reportedly ‘clone’ of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Liquid Malt Extract & 600g Brewing sugar in our 23 litre fermenter with US West Coast Beer Yeast.

  • Makes 40 pints at approx 5.6% ABV
  • APA pours a light copper with a fluffy white head, initial caramel and biscuit aromas give way to a heavy floral and citrus note inviting a sip
  • Tremendous citrus, floral and pine character in both the Aroma and also the flavour
  • Beautiful malt that has lovely caramel and biscuit tones to support two powerhouse American hops: Columbus and Centennial
  • This combination of hops along with a clean yeast character are the building blocks to creating a fantastic American Pale Ale

Brew Date: 04/02/2017

West Coast Pale Ale

OG: 1050

Dry hopped at 1012

FG: 1004

ABV: 6.09%

Day 1 Fermentation at 24°C – a slow starter CO2 bubbles around 48 hours after pitching yeast but remained very active for remaining fermentation.

Day 9 Dry Hopped  I(ntermediate) Gravity 1012

Day 11 Conditioning (pressure barrel), 20g Priming sugar (1g/pint), 3 days at 16-18°C and two weeks ambient > 10°C

Result:

A fruity pale ale with light biscuit and caramel malt and heavy citrus and pine hops and bitterness.

If you’ve tried this one, we would love to hear your feedback

Labbrewdor Experimental Brew 001-1

EB001-1 FG check

EB 001-1

Our first experimental brew:

A traditional bitter ale, brewed from pre-hopped (likely Goldings) liquid malt extract made from a blend of pale and crystal malts using Gervin GV12 English Ale Yeast in our 11.5 litre (20 pint) fermenter.

Brew Date: 06/01/2017

OG: 1044

FG: 1013

ABV: 4.0%

Fermentation 9 days at 22°C – a quick starter with the majority activity in first 48 hours.

Conditioning (pressure cube), 20g brewing sugar (1g/pint), 3 days at 16-18°C and two weeks ambient > 10°C

Result:

Reasonably clear after 2 weeks of conditioning, light brown bitter, reasonably alcoholic in body and a distinct lasting bitterness and a touch earthy, mildly carbonated, slight head formation but didn’t last long. Leaving to condition for longer, some to bottles.

 

A History of Brewing in Edinburgh and the Lothians

edinburgh-old-town

Edinburgh has a long and illustrious history of brewing, with around 40+ breweries back in the mid-1800’s down to 30 or so by the turn of the last century. Edinburgh used to be able to claim the title of the home of real ale (over Burton-on-Trent) with its ample supply of pure fresh water from the Pentland Hills and rolling barley fields of East Lothian, its Ales were famous & consumed worldwide. Edinburgh is also high up on the pubs per capita/square mile list too as anyone who has visited will well know.

However, the number of breweries was almost down to zero after the closure of McEwan’s Fountain Brewery in June 2005, the Caledonian Brewery had been threatened with closure in 1986 after purchase by the Vaux group but a management buyout had rescued it at the 11th hour and Stewart Brewery was established in 2004, starting the wave of new craft & micro brewery operations all over Edinburgh EH postcodes to return the region back to the pride of Brewing in Scotland again.

Timeline:

1550 – Records of Belhaven Ale being supplied to troops stationed at Dunbar Castle.

1719 – Dunbar market gardener John Johnstone purchased a plot of land close to Belhaven Bay near Dunbar and founded Belhaven Brewery.

1749 – William Younger arrives in Edinburgh and possibly gains employ at Robert Andersons Brewhouse in Leith.

1760 – William Younger purchases co-share in a Brewery at Kirkgate in Leith.

1778 – William Younger’s son Archibald Campbell Younger establishes his own Brewery in the precincts of the Abbey of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.

1786  – Younger acquired a second, larger brewery at Croft-an-Righ, an ancient lane bordering the eastern precinct wall of the Abbey of Holyroodhouse.

1793 – Younger opened new and even larger premises in the North Back Canongate (now Calton Road) on a site that disappeared later with the building of Waverley Station in Edinburgh.

1803 – Another of William Younger’s sons, William II started his own brewery in the Abbey precinct and soon moved premises after buying an existing brewhouse, malt barn, kiln house, stables and dwelling house in the narrow lane between the Canongate and the Abbey known as Horse Wynd.

1825 – After Archibald’s death in 1819, William II arranged the sale of his brother’s brewery and in 1825 expanded his own by purchasing property on the opposite side of Horse Wynd. This, together with neighbouring ground acquired in 1829, was the site which developed into the Abbey Brewery.

1856 – William McEwan established McEwan’s Fountain Brewery in Fountainbridge, then a suburb on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

1869 – Lorimer & Clark establish Caledonian Brewery at Slateford Road, Gorgie, where it remains to this day.

1930 – McEwans merges with Edinburgh rival William Younger’s Brewery to form Scottish Brewers.

1956 – Abbey Brewery in Edinburgh, previously the Younger’s brewery, was closed down due to failing export trade after the Second World War.

1960 – McEwan’s merged with Newcastle Breweries, forming Scottish & Newcastle.

1965 – Brewing recommences at Traquair House Brewery (dating back as a domestic brewery to the 1700’s) at first experimental but production expands over the following decades [Scottish Borders].

1972 – Family owned by Dudgeon & Company for over 250 years, Belhaven Brewery was sold to a hotel group.

1979 – Broughton Brewery (Broughton Ales) was founded in 1979 by David Younger and James Collins in Broughton in the Scottish Borders.

1990 – Abbey brewery demolished ending the 200+ year association of brewing within the environs of the Abbey of Holyroodhouse.

1993 – During tumultuous times, management buyout of Belhaven Brewery to keep it operational & independently owned.

1998 – Willams Bros Brewing Co. build the Craigmill brewery in Strathaven [Lanarakshire].

2003 – Innis & Gunn setup offices in Edinburgh, though beer is produced at Wellpark Brewery, Glasgow.

2004  – Scottish & Newcastle announced the closure of the Fountain Brewery, production of McEwans and Youngers transferred to Caledonian Brewery. Steve and Jo Stewart establish Stewart Brewing and mash their first beer in a 10 barrel brewhouse at Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, Loanhead. Willams Bros move to Forth Brewery in Alloa [Clackmannanshire].

2005 – Greene King of Suffolk purchase & operate Belhaven Brewery.

2010 – Full to the brim and brewing round the clock Stewart Brewing invest in an upgrade to a 50 hecto-litre brewing kit. Former Stewart Brewing employee and Herriot Watt Brewing and Distilling Graduate Robert Knops establishes Knops Beer Company, brewing beer at Traditional Scottish Ales in Stirling. Barney’s beer founded. Tempest Brewing Co. established in Kelso/Tweedbank [Scottish Borders].

2011 –  Heineken sold the McEwan’s beer brands to Wells & Youngs and production moved to Bedford, England. Belhaven Brewery invests in £1 million new brewhouse. Natural Selection Brewing established by four Herriot Watt MSc Students. Scottish Borders Brewery (now Born In The Borders Brewery) established in Jedburgh.

2012 – James Davies establishes Alechemy Brewing at Brucefield Industry Park, Livingston. Knops Beer Company setup Archerfield Fine Ales at the Archerfield Walled Garden Brewery. Barney’s Beer move to new premises at Summerhall recently vacated by Edinburgh University Veterinary School. Black Metal Brewery founded in 2012. Pilot Beer established by Matt Johnson and Patrick Jones, fellow Herriot Watt MSc Students studying Brewing & Distilling.

2013 – Top Out Brewery established at Dryden Road, Loanhead. Black Metal Brewery share facilities. Pilot establish new brewery at Jane Street, Leith.

2014 – Black Metal Brewery share facilities at Top Out Brewery.

2016 – Bellfield Brewery established brewing gluten-free beer at Stanley Place. Edinburgh Beer Factory established at Bankhead.

I hope to keep this list updated, however the period 2012-present has seen a huge increase in startup breweries in Edinburgh and the surrounding regions both virtual (brewing under license elsewhere) and actual. Some sadly have been quite short-lived and others are healthy, happy and hopefully here to stay – as the passage of time decides the fate of each of these ventures I hope to note down those that last. If you feel you should be on here or want to update anything please get in touch.  In the meantime head over to The Beercasts review on 2016 – The Year Scottish Brewing Changed Forever.

Cheers,

Barry