Behind the beer: Goodnight, Summer

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Working with Inver on a beer for the first Origins Brewing collection was an obvious choice given our existing friendship with the restaurant’s owners, Pam & Rob, the success of our previous collaboration, and their restaurant’s alignment with the three key parts of Origins Brewing - flavour, creativity, and provenance.

And though Goodnight, Summer  only dates back to Spring 2017, Inver's contribution to the project’s naissance goes back significantly longer.

For those who haven’t caught the Origins of Origins Brewing blog by brewer, Andrea Ladas,  it’s definitely worth a read, as it contextualises the role played by Inver in scaling up the ambitions of the Origins Brewing project - it was Rob's love of Belgian beer that planted the seed that Fyne Ales could attempt lambic-style beers, something we embraced on a small scale during the production of our first collab with Inver (Beer Premiere) and have continued to play with since, with three batches of spontaneously fermented wort tucked away in barrels in different corners of our original brewery.

Goodnight, Summer is the second beer we’ve brewed with Inver. It’s a beautifully balanced, floral and tart wheat beer that is simultaneously complex and approachable and it ties our brewery and Inver’s restaurant together as a collaboration should.

“The creation of Goodnight, Summer felt like a proper collaboration- we used ingredients we use a lot in the kitchem - the camomile, gooseberries and the same wheat that’s in our bread flour,” commented Inver’s Rob Latimer. “Brewing the beer with Andrea was very satisfying - using Inver stapes with new brewing methods to create something - three months later- was a bit of a happy surprise! I guess that's the joy of fermentation, you never know exactly where those microbes will take you.”

The brew day started with the milling of a large quantity of malt and wheat sourced from a small supplier in East Lothian - the base beer of Goodnight, Summer was always intended to be a wit, so a high percentage of raw wheat was in order. Rob and Pam joined us for mashing in, then adding two varieties of camomile to the boil giving the original brewery a super-relaxing sauna vibe for an hour in the middle of the day in late August.  

Post-fermentation, the beer was transferred onto whole gooseberries, including some sourced by Gooseberry John, an Inver regular who forages the fruit from around Argyll. The mellow, soft wheat beer took on a tart, acidic edge, which Andrea then decided to amplify by blending the wit base with a quantity of soured wheat beer before bottling. The 5.4% ale is delightfully satisfying.

Working with local business and friends like Inver will continue to be a key part of Origins Brewing. Argyll is thriving with food and drink producers combining locally-sourced ingredients in creative ways to produce interesting flavours.

Goodnight, Summer will be available for the very first time on Saturday 9 December from Inver Restaurant, as it stars alongside the other Origins Brewing Autumn 2017 collections being paired with Inver’s food for one day only.

“The new Origins Brewing beers are really delicious, with complex  flavours that make them ideal to pair with food, especially the food at Inver Restaurant,” added Pam Brunton, Inver’s head chef. “At Inver, we use a lot of natural fermentation (for our vegetable pickles, sourdough bread, fresh cheeses and charcuterie) and the layers of savoury flavours this process creates really suits the new Origins beers. We're pretty excited about the whole opportunity!”

The four-course tasting menu will be served throughout Saturday 9 December at Inver, with drinks pairing menu including Goodnight, Summer and the three other Autumn 2017 collection beers - Amphora, Pandora and Kilkerran Wee Heavy. Fyne Ales team members will be on hand to introduce and tell the story of each beer, so we hope you’ll join us for this exciting launch event.

Fyne Ales X Inver - Origins Brewing Launch & Pairing Dinner

Goodnight, Summer will be available from the Fyne Ales website as part of the Origins Brewing Autumn 2017 mixed case from Monday 11 December.

Iain Smith