“It’s only round the corner.” Five infamous words used on many an ale trail or trying to justify a stop-off to a brewery whilst out on an unrelated trip. Five words which, as a beer blogger, I seem to utter with great frequency, just ask Ana. But in a complete turn up for the books, our latest non-beer related trip just so happened to see us drive right past the entrance to Fyne Ales. No detour required.
Not quite believing my luck, the five word phrase was safely stowed away for another day with no justification seemingly required on this occasion. It simply would be rude not to call in when you’re passing by, so that’s exactly what we did! After trying to find the elusive Jarl on cask whilst visiting both Glasgow and Edinburgh, I finally felt like my quest was almost complete. In no part thanks to both Steve and Martin from the Beer O’clock show…
When it comes to location, there are probably fewer breweries that are more idyllic than Fyne; nestled at the bottom of the hills on the bank of River Fyne, this is a peaceful place to relax and enjoy a pint or two. Being relatively remote (or seeming so to me at any rate!) I was surprised that when I first set foot inside the brewery taproom, it was pretty full, with us heading for a bench outside. Being in the hills it was no surprise that the sun wasn’t shining but a well-covered outdoor area, with its own bar for busier spells, had our backs.
With a quick glance at the takeout selection for later, my eyes were quickly diverted to the bar. Did they have it? Was my quest in vain, or would I be rewarded for my perseverance? Thankfully, my efforts were to be rewarded; Jarl was in the house!
Described as a ‘Citra Session Blonde‘ I wasn’t sure what to expect; would it be more like a classic blonde, or would Citra be centre stage? It is, after all, my favourite hop. What Jarl does is show how Citra can be used and not need to blow your head off with flavour and aroma, instead bring a wonderfully balanced beer with flavour, aroma and a lingering bitter finish. Given I had some mileage yet to cover in the car, and only being 3.8%, Jarl was the perfect top-up I needed to see me over the line into Kilberry.
The takeout section was the next port of call before leaving and, thanks again to Steve and Martin, I had to pick up a couple of the Origin bottles, particularly the Rhubarb one. Liquified rhubarb and custard sweets sounds like a great beer to me! Having drank the Workbench the day after our visit, I can safely say I may well have found a new fridge filler and I will most definitely be ordering from the direct in the future that’s for sure.
After the unfortunate postponement of Fynefest 2021, hopefully 2022 will go ahead un-impeded and our next visit to Fyne will be as part of this festival. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale in November so for anyone else interested I suggest keeping your eyes peeled and bagging yourself a place at what is sure to be a cracking event.