Transatlantic Beer: Old World Traditions, New World Techniques

A team of brewing students will combine the best of old world and new world brewing in a specially created limited edition beer available over the summer.

Natural Selection programme

The project is part of Natural Selection brewing, an annual project designed to give students on Heriot-Watt's MSc in Brewing course an opportunity to develop transferable skills by producing, branding, and marketing and selling their own beer.

This year's beer, Origin, takes the best of brewing cultures from the USA, Canada and Scotland. It combines the creativity currently demonstrated in the rapidly developing craft brewing scene in the USA and Canada, and marries it with traditional Scottish real ale techniques.

The recipe involves traditional barley and yeast, but new world hops, and adds rye and wheat, to produce a beer which is a little drier and spicier with a distinctive creamy head.

It also has the distinction of being able to be served either as a cask beer, with a hand pump, or as a keg beer, with gas supplied, and part of the exercise will be an audience survey to gauge what difference the serving method makes to the taste and the drinking experience.

ICBD's official  25th anniversary beer

David Quain, Professor of Brewing at ICBD, said "The Natural Selection programme offers our Masters students an opportunity to demonstrate their transferable skills in a real-world scenario, devising their own beer, branding, marketing and selling it.

"This year's recipe, Origin, will get an extra outing, as the official beer for the celebrations to mark the twenty fifth anniversary of the International Centre of Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt, although of course we have been training brewing students at Heriot-Watt for over a century."

Steve Stewart, MD of Stewart Brewing, who sponsor Natural Selection Brewing, said, "We are delighted to be working with a group of high-calibre brewing students. They are all forward thinking, progressive and keenly aware of what is happening in the world of brewing on both sides of the Atlantic.

"As a graduate of Heriot-Watt's ICBD myself, I know how important a wide range of transferable skills is in brewing today, and I hope that this very practical project gives the students practical experience and thereby the confidence they need in their future careers."