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Order, order! Getting from barley to barrels to beer requires a good system and great savvy – artisan beers don’t grow on trees. Speaking of wood, it plays an extra special role in our particular process, so watch out for our ingenious Oakerator® and characterful casks.
Quality ingredients are vital for any recipe. Malted barley provides the backbone of our beer, while specially selected aromatic hops impart extra character. Our Master Brewer selects those with optimum flavour from various growers, expertly matching them for maximum taste.
Crushing the grain produces a finely ground grist and releases its inner riches. Compared with big brewers, we get far less beer per kilo of ingredients, but by going against the grain we ensure the greatest flavour.
Mixing the grist with hot water extracts the malt’s sugars to form a sweetened liquid. As beer’s main constituent, the quality of the H2O is most important – luckily, there’s no shortage of soft Scottish water to keep our mash in full swing.
With the leftover grain removed, the remaining liquid, or wort, is heated up for a precise period in a kettle, where we also add the hops which provide bitterness and aroma. This feverish chemistry plays a crucial role in our beer’s final taste.
It’s time for our wort to chill out for a while. Passing it through a dedicated cooling contraption brings its temperature down and readies the precious liquid for the fizzy phase to come.
Cooling is effectively the calm before the storm, as the addition of yeast for fermentation really livens things up. During the frothy festivities that follow, the sugars are converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide and a beer is born.
A happy accident unlocked the key to our unique taste – oak ageing – which bestows our brews with unusually complex flavours. Our technique lets the beer mature in casks, or over oak, for many days at a time, where it mellows into something special.
We use a mix of methods to mature our beer, including casks, but we’ve also pioneered the Oakerator® – an oak percolator rather like an old-fashioned coffee pot. Oak chips are placed within it and our beer is pumped through them, giving it those welcome woody notes.
Our story mixes a dash of serendipity with a good deal of science, and every beer we make reflects that merry combination. Whether you drink it from a bottle or on draught, we trust you’ll enjoy the curiously distinctive taste of Innis & Gunn.See our range