There is something brewing in the quiet, unassuming North East village of Insch, and it’s going to tell some great tales.
Beer Story, the latest in Aberdeenshire Craft Breweries, is now available and I had the opportunity to meet the guys behind the scenes.
Arriving at lunchtime on a warm, sunny day, the Beer Story Brewery is part of the Insch Business park, to the North of the village just off the A96, around 45 minutes North of Aberdeen.
I was met by Phillip, one half of the team working on producing their three core range beers. Phillip started working life as a Porter in the Marcliff Hotel in Aberdeen, before working his way up the chain of command to Management. When the opportunity arose to take on his own Brewery, it would have been foolish to say no.
Phillip gave me the whirlwind tour, the Brewery is bright and fresh, a very welcoming reception area and boardroom set up for future business expansion meetings.
Through the back is where the magic happens. Currently set up to focus on the three current beers, the space has plenty to offer in terms of expanding the range. Tests are already in place for special edition beers, with a Wimbledon beer and an Italian style Lemon Wheat Beer in the planning stage.
Here I meet John working on their Californian IPA, which is in its conditioning stage, where it will work away for up to four weeks. John started his brewing career at the Keith based brewery Beermeister, before taking up the challenge of Beer Story.
The pair have a love of travelling and books, their aim is to tell an individual story with each of their beers, but not just a story of beer. A story of origin, the produce of a country and it’s journey into their bottles
The first of the range is On The Road, a hoppy, zesty Californian IPA. Created using Maris Otter, Caramalt, Carapils, Crystal and Wheat Malts, Hops including Cascade, Simcoe and
Mosaic and Californian Ale Yeast, we are presented with a big hop aroma with citrus and floral notes. To taste is crisp and dry, with notes of Grapefruit, Lemongrass and Pine. A very refreshing hot day session beer.
Outsider’s IPA has a New Zealand influence with a slightly lower ABV of 4.1%. This Red IPA contains Maris Otter, Light Crystal,
Roasted Barley and Wheat Malts and Chinook, Sticklebract, Waimea Hops amongst others. The Yeast used is West Coast Ale. Outsider’s IPA presents
Toffee, Dried Fruits Ond orange on the nose, with a taste of Caramel, Orange, Bitters and a Waxy mouthfeel, prolonging a lovely finish.
Lastly, we present Clockwork Zest, an African influenced Chocolate Porter. Chocolate Malt is added to the mix here, with Bravo, Magnum and Cascade Hops combined with Cocoa Nibs, Coffee and Orange. The aroma is jam-packed with coffee. The rich roasted malt is obvious and a chocolate cake comes in to say hello. The taste is dry, bitter, and rich. Chocolate and coffee dominate with hints of orange peel, burnt toast and a dry, moreish finish.
The beers consistently score highly on the Beer Community websites and are definitely worth a try. I have a feeling there is a lot to come from this great, currently small, craft brewery. Much like a good book, they will have you hooked within the first few pages and with more chapters to come, I can’t wait to see how the Beer Story will unfold.