Stewart Brewing St Giles (330ml, 5.0% ABV)
Brewing in Loanhead, just south of Edinburgh, Stewart Brewing have been going from strength to strength since 2004, and now employ 25 people. If you find yourself in the vicinity of Edinburgh with nothing else to do, you can visit their taproom, or even brew your own beer on their equipment.
St Giles is a very deep ruby in the glass, with little head and an aroma of toasted grain. It features fashionable US hops wedded to a traditional Scotch ale recipe. Six malts vie for attention on the grain bill (including oats and wheat), providing a big coffee-and-chocolate malt profile and a sweetness characteristic of the style.
Hops are provided by the Magnum and Cascade varieties. The presence of the famous Cascade might suggest a lip-smacking dash of grapefruit, but where the Americans might have thrown hops at the beer until it begged for mercy, these Scots have shown a little restraint. Instead you get a subdued but noticeable twang of Cascade in the background, like the slightly incongruous but not unpleasant sound of rock and roll echoing across the glen.
A very quaffable brew, it’s reminiscent of a English strong bitter or stout, but definitely goes its own way.
Written by Richard Salsbury
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