Craft Beer Clan brews up speciality beers with Williams Brothers

Clan Brewing Company beers

The Craft Beer Clan of Scotland has formed a new brewing venture with craft brewer Williams Brothers of Alloa with the release of a series of whisky barrel-aged beers.

Clan Brewing Company has produced four new beers using barrels from four whisky regions – Speyside, Highlands, Lowland and Islay – and is already exporting to markets in Japan, Singapore, Beijing and Hong Kong.

The company was formed by craft beer veteran Chris Miller, also a director of the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland, in partnership with Scott Williams, founder and brewmaster of Williams Brothers Brewing Co, and international whisky expert Charles PB MacLean.

The beers have spent up to nine months maturing in the casks, with each recipe carefully developed to complement the character of the regional whisky. Fewer than 2,000 cases across the four expressions were packaged from the first batch.

“This series of four whisky barrel-aged beers shows off Scotland’s regional whisky variations, the variety and depth of beer styles plus the brewing excellence of Scotland’s craft brewers,” said Miller.

The second and third batches of the four brews – double the size of the first – are now maturing in whisky barrels and will be packaged later this year to meet demand.

Miller continued: “We’ve wanted for some time to bring something of our own to the market, which is why we launched the Clan Brewing Company. We’re excited about these new beers, and what they say about Scottish brewing.” He added that the casks used were rare and sought-after, making the premium beers “that little bit more special”.

The Clan Brewing Company’s initial output consists of –

  • Spruce Ale: aged in Islay casks for almost a year, this beer is “a classic combination of smoky peat on a sweet, resinous full body”.
  • Imperial Stout: rich and dark, Imperial Stout “explodes with flavours of burnt coffee and lemon scents, skilfully balanced by sweet sherry and raisin flavours derived from a short period in Lowland whisky casks.”
  • Red Rye Ale: a “wonderfully complex” ale finished at length in Speyside whisky casks and warm-fermented to increase its fruity character that’s balanced by a blend of citrus dominant hops.
  • Golden Ale: carefully brewed to allow sweet malt and tropical fruit aromas to emerge. Finishing in Highland whisky casks adds subtle sherry and fruitcake notes.

The four beers are all 8% abv and retail at £5 per 330ml bottle.