Water. Barley. Yeast. Hops. The four essential ingredients used for brewing beer. Not so long ago the only time a British brewer deviated from this basic recipe would be a with crafty addition of sugar as a low cost way to bump up the alcohol content.
These days brewers are scrambling through hedgerows, raiding larders and blagging grub from artisan food producers to find new items to lob into their brewing pots. New Scottish outfit Fierce have taken this anything-goes attitude to extreme levels, launching a whole range of beers flavoured with ingredients such as chipotle chillis, lemongrass and peanuts. But it’s their very Scottish experiment Cranachan Killer that caught our eyes.
Sold in a bottle adorned with a gun-toting dog and aggressive black & white design, these Fierce folk are no shy outfit and they’ve rammed the flavours of cranachan into every small bottle.
Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert made from raspberries, honey, toasted oats and cream. Three of these ingredients have made it into the brewing process; thankfully, cream is the one that misses out.
From the first sniff you know this murky pink liquid is going to be laden with raspberry flavours, which are quickly joined by some moreish biscuity notes and spiky bitterness. It’s drink that’s sweet on the lips and moisture-sappingly dry in the throat, a top quality beer that carries its cranachan flavours with aplomb.
In fact it’s so good, we started wondering what other traditional puddings could be turned into beer and came up with the following three…
Sherry trifle: the favourite dessert of British Aunties comes laced with mixed fruit, custard and a generous glug of fortified booze. Substitute vanilla for custard, age in sherry casks and Auntie will be getting the rounds in.
Taking its lead from Germany’s Black Forest gateau we’re imagining a rich black brew powered with chocolate and sour cherries. Served with a shot of kirsch.
Travel to Finland and you might just find the traditional pudding veriohukainen. It’s a pancake made with pig’s blood and milk, served with lingonberry jam. Best of luck with that one…
They may not be the best ideas ever, but if Fierce continue to show the fantastic brewing form they’ve started with we’re sure they can successfully flavour their beer with anything they like.
Brewery: Fierce Beer, Aberdeen, Scotland
Beer name: Cranachan Killer
Hops used: Summit
Available from Beer Ritz