Common Ancestor is an uncommon brew



From top left clockwise: Patrick Smith (Marketer), Phil Sisson (Coordinator), Luis Valdez (Salesman) and Mark Ritchie (Brewer).

This year's Natural Selection Brewing creation, Common Ancestor, will be launching in Edinburgh at the end of June.

Now in its seventh year, the collaborative project between selected MSc Brewing and Distilling students at the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling and Stewart Brewing, sees the student team challenged to trial beer recipes, brand their own product, brew 5,000 litres of their chosen creation and sell it across the UK.

California Common…..gave us a lot of scope to play around with and add our own twists.

Mark Ritchie

The programme name, Natural Selection Brewing, stems from the project's evolutionary developments which take place each academic year, with the new students adding their own creativity and innovative ideas to drive the project in a different direction. 
This year's beer, called Common Ancestor, is a 5.2% ABV California Common. The style originates from California in the 19th Century, where lager strains of yeast were fermented at higher than normal temperatures due to a lack of viable temperature control options.

Patrick Smith, Project Marketer, describes the beer as “An effervescent ale/lager hybrid, with caramel, citrus and pine notes, thanks to a liberal dosing of Dr. Rudi and Chinook hops. A slight hint of juniper complements this nicely. Our beer has evolved from the traditional California Common style to be fit for modern day consumption”. 

Mark Ritchie, Head Brewer for the project, said, “A California Common, being relatively unexplored by the craft beer scene, gave us a lot of scope to play around with and add our own twists. It's a slightly unusual, but still very drinkable style”. 

Common Ancestor will be launched at OX184 In Edinburgh's Cowgate, 29 June '17. Tickets can be purchased at the Stewart Brewing website, either just for the tasting at 7.30, or at 6.00 to include a talk by beer journalist Roger Protz.