Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tänään on Kalevala-päivä, joten 'Eläköön ja kippis!'

Sammon taonta
Tänään on Kalevala-päivä, joten minä annan teille neuvoa oluenpanosta, viisaus, jonka antoi Osmotar, kaunis impi, luvussa kaksikymmentakolme:

''Keitä ohraiset oluet, makujuomat maltahiset
yhen ohrasen jyvästä, puolen puun on poltakselta!
Kun sa ohria imellät, ma'ustelet maltahia,
elä koukulla kohenna, kärryksellä käännyttele:
aina kourilla kohenna, kämmenillä käännyttele!
Käypä saunassa use'in, elä anna iun paheta,
kissan istua ituja, kasin maata maltahia!
Eläkä sure susia, pelkeä metsän petoja
saunahan samotessasi, kesken yötä käyessäsi!''

Ja tietysti, muistakaa Lia Fail ja Blackfriar teidän juhlastanne ja mietiskelystä saunassa pois metsästä eläimet!

Eläköön ja kippis!

A wee prècis for the non-Finnish speakers - Today (28 February) is Kalevala Day in Finland, a celebration of the great epic of Finnish oral folklore, compiled by Elias Lönnrot and first published on this day in 1835. It played a major role in the movement towards Finnish independence and has inspired Finns ever since.
The first picture is 'Forging the Sampo' by Aksel Gallen-Kallela, who painted many scenes from the Kalevela. The Sampo is the stuff of legends, a fantastic prize, a talisman, a magical quern with 'its bright lid' with a salt-mill on one side, a grain-mill on the next and a money-mill on the third.
What follows are some of the words of wisdom from the Fair Maid Osmotar to a young bride in how to brew beer ''from one barleycorn and half a tree's burnt wood...when you malt it with its honey-sweetness, do not turn it with a hook, but use your hand cleverly...go to the sauna often and keep the cats off the floor of malt...fear not the hungry wolves nor beasts of the forest as you go to the sauna at midnight!''
Still sound advice in these modern times.
Then finally, I counsel minding of the Lia Fail and Blackfriar for celebration and contemplation in the sauna.
Long Live and Slàinte! Ken

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Brewery tours are go at Inveralmond Howff!

Tours have been running hot at the brewery here and top of the bill on the tasting charts is the lovely Duncan's IPA with its charming aroma from Czech Saaz and East Kent Goldings hops following up with a full malty palate and ending up with a lingering dry bitter finish. Yum yum.
On Friday we had a fine group from the Central Bar in St. Andrews gracing our wee howff - their pub was having a refurbishment so they came through to see how we make beer here and go through a tutored tasting. Here they are enjoying the atmosphere -
On Saturday we were host to a great group from the State Bar in Glasgow. Next time you are in this neck of the woods, do drop in and see Jason and his mum. They run a great old-fashioned pub which is a joy to be in. On Holland Street just near the Kings behind all the Sauchiehall Street madness.
Finally our triptych of tours ended on Tuesday with visit from the Milnathort Round Table with their super motto - Adopt, Adapt and Improve. We've taken this to our hearts and are looking forward to welcoming more to the howff (our adopted nickname for the brewery tap) to show off our scrumptious brews.
Slàinte, Ken

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lia Fail in Keg gets Bronze Medal and goes globetrotting!

We've had a busy time of it at the brewery these last two months - plenty of kegs of Lia Fail have been got ready to go off to customers in Finland and Australia. This is the first time we've sent off kegs to these places - bottles yes, but draught is a different situation, so it means plenty of cold-conditioning at -1 C, followed by filtering out the yeast and unwanted protein hazes, before racking the beer from the Bright Beer Tank into our PET recyclable kegs. The Finnish shipment will be arriving in a week or so but the Australians in Perth, Western Australia, will have to wait 6 weeks after the slow sea voyage.

A wee plus for us is that our keg Lia Fail for export garnered a Bronze Medal at the SIBA National Craft Keg Competition held at Hereford this weekend.
So I'm going to crack open a bottle of Lia Fail in celebration right now and settle down to a good read of Kalewala, taikka Wanhoja Karjalan Runoja Suomen kansan muinosista ajoista ('The Kalevala, or old Karelian poems about ancient times of the Finnish people'), the English translation admittedly, with the sounds of The Night of the Wolverine from the great Dave Graney, fab Australian musician, on the stereo.
Gippis & Slainte, Ken