THOMSON'S TAP TAKEOVER
Monday, April 1 2013
We're taking over the taps at Thomson's Bar, Edinburgh this Friday 5 April!
Beers on offer will be:
Orkney Best 3.6
Perfect session beer and current Champion Beer of Scotland.
Island Hopping 3.9
American Citra and NZ Nelson Sauvin dominate this incredibly drinkable hoppy pale beer.
Dark Munro 4.0
A refreshing dark beer! Single-hopped with UK Goldings.
Scapa Special 4.2
Exceptionally balanced pale ale - maris otter malt with German, British and American hops.
SWO Stout 4.2
Always perfectly conditioned and mostly El Dorado hops.
Pale Ale 4.7
Our newest core beer and already world class - wonderful [2011 batch] Simcoe hops!
Duke IPA 5.2
An Orcadian nod to American IPAs!
@HighlandBrewKev will be around to answer questions and share a beer with you. @HighlandButch, Rob and @HighlandBrewLew could not make the epic voyage to Edinburgh for the event. Please let us know what you think of the beers with the Twitter hashtag #HighlandTTT.
DRAUGHT BEERS IN ORKNEY
Friday, June 10 2011
The following draught beers, so far as we know, are available this weekend in Orkney.
: Ayre Hotel - Scapa Special
: Helgi's - Scapa Special, Orkney IPA
: The Shore - Scapa Special
: Ferry Inn - Scapa Special, Orkney Best, Orkney IPA
: Stromness Hotel - Scapa Special, Dark Munro, Orkney IPA
ORKNEY IPA - INTERNATIONAL CASK CHAMPION
Monday, April 18 2011
We are delighted to have won arguably our most prestigious award yet – overall cask beer Champion at the Brewing Industry International Awards 2011, widely regarded as the pinnacle of brewing achievement.
Further to the judging in February where Orkney IPA and Orkney Blast were awarded Gold in their respective categories, the overall championship winners were announced at a luncheon at London’s Guildhall last week. The category medals were collected by Harvey and Lewis Hill, who then waited on stage whilst the overall results were announced. In a fitting testament to the family-run company, owner and head-brewer Rob Hill then took to the stage as Orkney IPA was declared overall winner.
Rob commented: “This really is our highest achievement to date, it puts us on the world brewing map and officially confirms what we have always said: our beers are World Class.” Robust judging took place over three days by selected brewers from around the world who narrowed down 800 beers from six of the seven continents. Of the nine overall category winners, three were from the UK, two from the USA, two from Japan, one from Burma and one from Indonesia.
Below, left to right, Lewis, Rob and Harvey Hill with the two gold medals and championship trophy.
image © Simon Dewhurst Photography Ltd
Full list of winners www.brewingawards.org
TWO GOLDS AT 'BEER OSCARS'
Tuesday, February 15 2011
Following a rigorous three day judging process, two of our beers have been awarded gold medals in their respective categories at the Brewing Industry International Awards in Burton-upon-Trent. Unofficially dubbed the ‘Oscars of the brewing industry’, the awards are the oldest international brewing awards in the world – they were first held in 1886.
- Orkney IPA sailed to a GOLD in cask conditioned ales 4.4 - 4.8% ABV
- Orkney Blast exploded into the GOLD spot in cask conditioned ales 4.9 - 6.9% ABV
* ABV being alcohol by volume
Owner and head-brewer, Rob Hill, stated: “This is an astounding result for such a small brewery. To win two medals on a truly world stage, against the biggest breweries in the world, is just stunning. It’s an incredible honour.”
The competition is judged by practising professional brewers, who are selected from breweries of all sizes from around the world. Likewise, the competing beers come from every corner of the globe, this year there were around 800 entries. As such, it is generally accepted that an award in the competition shows that a beer is an outstanding commercial example of its style. We have always felt our beers were "World Class" - now we have credible confirmation.
There are four categories in the cask conditioned ales class, of which we won two. The winners of each category go forward to compete for the ‘cask conditioned ales championship trophy’. The odds for us are good, but we are by no means confident, the competition is tough.
The championship result and medal presentations take place at an awards luncheon at London Guildhall in April – we’re already biting our nails!
ORKNEY PORTER VINTAGE 2010
Monday, November 15 2010
image © www.beerreviews.co.uk
Last week we brewed the first of 2010's Orkney Porter vintage. After the initial batch in 2008, this is the third time we've brewed the beer and as usual it will be aged before release.
Brewed on our 'baby' brewplant, like it was in 2008, the blend and amount of the three malts needed to achieve the 9% gravity quite literally fills the mash tun - pouring every bag in by hand and continuously mixing with our worn wooden paddle is no mean feat.
As well as multiplying the malt we also needed to up the sugar, the hops and the boil duration. Compared to a 'normal' brew, We use roughly four times as much sugar, three times as much hops (a blend of British and German) and boil it all for almost twice as long.
After that we sacrifice some of our finest yeast to convert the toiled-over sugars into some lovely, complex alcohol. Why is it sacrificed? The yeast works so hard creating the high-strength beer it pretty much dies and cannot be reclaimed as is our usual course of action.
Upon tasting the beer, in its fresh state it is evident they died for a good cause. Try a bottle at home or a half at the pub in memory of the billions of saccharomyces cerevisiae who died, mutated or became generally unwell in the process of their finest work.
2008 - Small amount of cases in reserve at the brewery.
2009 - A few casks left, dwindling bottle stock.
2010 - Maturing. Will be available in cask and bottle.
Click to view Orkney Porter tasting notes
HIGHLAND TAP AT BACCHUS, NEWCASTLE
Saturday, October 23 2010
Introducing the latest handpump dedicated to our world class beers - Bacchus in Newcastle.
It's not the closest pub to Orkney; in fact it is some 400 miles away and probably the furthest south you'll regularly find our ales, but fear not: Andy, Phil, Rich and team work hard to make sure the beer is in the best condition and that we're delivering it fast enough. No mean feat when it's all done direct and it sells so damn quick!
Bacchus, located on High Bridge, is a city centre gem - it's a haven from the shops, the perfect place for a pre or post theatre drink, a high-quality meal (see if the bar staff can recommend a food pairing from our recent event) or maybe even just a beer. Voted CAMRA Tyneside Pub of the Year 2009/2010 there are eight handpumps, a real cider/perry pump, a keg line dedicated to strong, imported European beers and the only Meantime tap north of York, indeed one of the very few outside of the 'big smoke'. Not to mention the impressive wine list.
Of the eight cask lines, three are permanent: Jarrow Rivet Catcher, a rotating seasonal from Yorkshire Dales Brewing Co and ours. At the time of writing it's Scapa Special on the bar, it is anticipated the beer will change every four to five weeks.
Where else sells Highland beers in the toon I here you cry, I'll tell you where - The Newcastle Arms. A fantastic pub in the shadow of St James' Park that once sold nine gallons of our Orkney IPA in 48 minutes(!), you'll regularly find our beers on the bar.
Finally, if these two aren't refuge enough, hop on the train to Wylam and chill out in the country-pub-like, regular Highland haunt, The Boathouse Inn. Two rooms, 14 handpumps, bliss.
SEVEN MEDAL HAUL AT SIBA REGIONAL 2010
Sunday, July 25 2010
We are pleased to announce our seven medal haul at the SIBA regional competition 2010. With 98 beers entered from all over Scotland, the judging took place at the Scottish Real Ale Festival (Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh) on Friday 25 June. The judging panel consisted of individuals selected by SIBA and was separate to that of the CAMRA Champion Beer of Scotland award, which we had proudly won overall the day before.
Of the seven awards, four were gold, two were silver and one was bronze - including silver and bronze overall. Orkney Blast (6.0% ABV), recently crowned ‘Champion Beer of Scotland 2010’, won its category of ‘Strong Ales’ and also placed third overall. At the other end of the alcohol-strength spectrum, Orkney Best (3.6% ABV) won its category of ‘Bitters and Pale Ales’ and placed second overall. Dark Munro won in ‘Milds’, and Orkney IPA won 'Premium Bitters'. We're especially pleased that such varying styles of beer have all done so well, especially against such testing, generally well-established, competition.
Full breakdown of results (click here for full competition results):
|CATEGORY ||BEER ||ABV ||MEDAL |
|Overall ||Orkney Best ||3.6% ||silver |
| ||Orkney Blast ||6.0% ||bronze |
|Milds ||Dark Munro ||4.0% ||gold |
|Bitters & Pale Ales ||Orkney Best ||3.6% ||gold |
|Best Bitters ||Scapa Special ||4.2% ||silver |
|Premium Bitters ||Orkney IPA ||4.8% ||gold |
|Strong Ales ||Orkney Blast ||6.0% ||gold |
As it turned out, Rob, owner and head brewer at the Highland Brewing Company, was at the festival making a top up delivery of Orkney Blast when the competition results started being announced. After hearing the brewery name read out seven times, and subsequently being called to the stage four times, he admits he was almost embarrassed.
It’s the third year in a row Orkney Blast has placed first in its category at the SIBA competition – we’ve got the hat trick! In our opinion, this, coupled with the fact that we’ve taken the Champion Beer of Scotland title for the third time in four years, highlights our ultimate commitment to the consistent quality of our beers. We’re immensely proud.
Order cask beers by contacting the brewery, buy bottles from your local stockist or buy bottles online now.
CHAMPION BEER OF SCOTLAND 2010
Friday, June 25 2010
Orkney Blast has been voted Champion Beer of Scotland 2010 - the third time in four years we’ve won the title. Judged at the Scottish Real Ale Festival (Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh) on Thursday June 24, the judging panel consisted of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) members along with selected brewers and beer writers from around the UK. We also won the accolade in 2007 with Dark Munro and in 2008 with Scapa Special.
It’s absolutely fantastic for a beer of this strength to win a major CAMRA award – we’re delighted to receive the recognition – we feel it is well deserved.
Orkney Blast is 6% ABV (alcohol by volume) and really has everything you could ask for in a glass of beer - full in flavour whilst not overpowering; it achieves a clean maltiness with a luscious, spicy hop middle that builds to a refreshing hoppy finish - leaving you wanting more!
The pump clip design for the beer is part of the masthead from the original ‘Orkney Blast’ newspaper which was published in Orkney for the Forces during the Second World War.
Life’s a Blast
Buy Orkney Blast in cask by emailing here; have the beer delivered to your door by ordering here, find your local stockist here
OLD NORWAY - A NEW BEER
Sunday, January 31 2010
The first news of the New Year is the announcement of our new beer: Old Norway. At 9% ABV it sits nicely beside our Orkney Porter, also 9%, and is the first time we've brewed a barley wine. A lovely deep amber in colour, we loaded it full of American hops - and then we put some more in! All in the interest of balance, it also contains a small mountain of Maris Otter pale malt.
At the moment it is only available on draught; bottles are hopefully coming soon. So far we have made deliveries to The Anderson at Fortrose, The Newcastle Arms in Newcastle and The Bacchus, also in Newcastle.
If you'd like to try Old Norway in your local, please ask for it by name and tell them we deliver direct!
THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Thursday, December 31 2009
2009 has been a great year for the Highland Brewing Company.
We have doubled the number of employees (from one to two), we've managed to brew two new beers (we'd have loved to have made more but didn't have the spare capacity), we've doubled the number of casks we have in circualtion, we've beaten all of our growth targets (not because we underestimated) and we've bought a new van (sort of by default). The most exciting event, however, was the inaugural brew on our new 20BBL brewplant, thus increasing production by four times and giving us lots to look forward in the coming twelve months.
For now, wishing you a happy and prosperous 2010, Lewis and Rob.