The Scottish real ale festival (SARF) kicks off today at the Adam House on Edinburgh's Chambers Street. I was lucky enough to secure an invite to the beery preview last night for a sneeky peek at some of the beers on offer.
I arrived just in time to see my favourite Scottish Beer, Jarl and my favourite Scottish brewery, Fyne Ales secure the overall Gold SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) award. The sheer delight on Fyne Ales' Tuggy's face as the result was announced was a joy to behold. In celebration of their victory, my first pint had to be Jarl. As always, it didn't disappoint. If I was a betting man, I'd put a fiver on Jarl being the Champion Beer of Britain at this year's Great British Beer Festival in that there London this August. If there is any beer justice in the beer world, that is.
Whilst at the SARF, I wanted to sample some of the sharpest and brightest breweries on the go in Scotland at the moment. That meant I dipped my toe into the likes of Kelburn, Fyne, Black Isle and Orkney. I was also keen to try a few beers from a brewery that is currently turning heads and wagging chins, The Tempest.
I was fortunate enough to get my beery paws on a few pints of Tempest's Emanation Pale Ale, Elemental Porter and their RyePA. The outstanding beer of the three was the Rye. It is a 5.5% IPA that is a blend of Rye and Maris Otter malt dry hopped with U.S. Columbus hops that is loaded full of tangy orange citrus hop flavour undercut with a sweet, caramel malt and subtle spiced pepper. It was an intriguing and very moreish pint and proof that Tempest brewery are definately one to watch.
If you are in Edinburgh over the next three days, then a trip to the SRAF might well be worth a visit.
Just make sure you get there early to get a taste of Tempest's beers before they run out. It's going to be sooner rather than later.