The phrase “Great minds think alike” was certainly the case on a cold winter night earlier this year. As I sat in the house drinking from a Craig Allan glass the idea of doing a collaboration brew with the old friend came to me. A quick email later and it transpired that Craig had just thought the same thing! Craig used to live on the Black Isle but moved out to France where he now produces an awesome range of beers.
Next the beer style was discussed and guess what, we were both thinking the same thing - a Saison (French farmhouse ale for those who are unfamiliar). However a few difficulties were discovered in attempting to organise logistics for a specific yeast strain whilst we had a set date Craig could make it over and I was away for the weeks before the brew day. Therefore, we decided to use our house yeast strain and create a new beer style – the Unstout. A pitch black beer with a creamy white head (the “stout” part) coupled with very low alcohol content and a massive American hop charge (the “Un” part).
To make this small beer with huge flavour we used a large proportion of flaked barley and oats into the mash to give plenty un-fermentable sugars which help provide body to the finished beer – a well-known challenge to brewers making low alcohol beers. Also in the mash was roast barley and roast rye to give us the black colour and slight roast flavour.
We then hopped it radically using an awesome mix of Cascade, Columbus and Chinook. The final beer is 2%abv and crammed full of flavours! 2 Craigs Unstout will be released in bottle and keg only - hitting the shelves and taps this week. Perfect for a session, this beer really doesn’t taste how it looks!
Enjoy Craig & Craig