‘Twas a night in November and delicious smells filled the air. The silence broken by a crunch; a boot tramping on the snow? No, it’s yours truly eating a pretzel. But snacks aside, attention was wrapped, and cringe-worthy Christmas puns were coming to mind as we talked festive boozing. Or should that be how to ‘have a hoppy Christmas?’ (*groans*)
It will surprise no one to hear that Christmas is just around the corner (tourists and visitors are in the city in their droves already), but for this particular Festive Cheer we’re out at Loanhead, more specifically at Stewart Brewing’s brewery finding out about their new festive beers.
We’re big fans of Stewart Brewing – we toured the brewery last year and had a great time at their summer festival – and as their tradition dictates there are Christmas beers to be tried. This year’s Christmas beers are the Weiss Christmas Blanc and the Weiss Christmas Noire – shockingly one is the ‘white’ and the other ‘black’ beer (who would have seen that coming?). We tried the Blanc on the night and it is delicious (and way too drinkable), flavoured with festive spices and orange notes – a great alternative to heavy winter porters and stouts. We’re yet to try the Noire, but have high hopes (high hops?) for it. Aside from the new beers we were taken on a tour of the Brewery and told about all of the present options you can get the beer lover in your life this Christmas.
The best of these of course (and if anyone fancies buying me a £200 Christmas present, just let me know) is brewing in The Craft Beer Kitchen – Stewart’s ‘brew your own’ experience. Here you get to choose your recipe and flavours, design your labelling, brew and bottle your very own craft beer. Need a way to justify this to yourself? The £185 experience will give you 80 500ml bottles of your very own beer – that’s about £2.31 a bottle. Bargain.
Aside from the biggie and the Christmas Beers, here are our other highlights from the Stewart Brewing present options (you’ll find all of them and more on their website):
- Beer gift packs! There are three available (Traditionalist, Newbie and Explorer), but The Explorer caught our eye – it includes beers with ‘triple hopped’, ‘packed with new world hops’ and ‘an oxymoronic ale’ in their descriptions, who wouldn’t want that?
- Growlers filled in their on-site tap room (although why no one thought to rename these beer flagons when we imported the idea from the States is beyond us)
- Beer merchandise: Stewart rebranded this year and now have the merchandise to prove it. Surely dads across the city would much rather these socks than novelty snowmen this year?
Of course if you’re a beer-lover then there’s no reason not to head out to the brewery to buy yourself a well-earned present. The shop may be small, but will cater for all your beer needs and can be reached by bus, so you can even sample one or three of the beers whilst there. It’s also handily located if you need a recovery beverage after a trip to IKEA…
Want to know more? Visit the Stewart Brewing website for all gifts, gift vouchers and ideas, we highly recommend it (and not just because they fed us beer and pretzels).