Scottish Borders Brewery Prepares for Wild Harvest
Plough to pint microbrewer, the Scottish Borders Brewery, is gearing up to produce a new range of beers made from naturally foraged products created with the help of volunteer foragers and home-brewers.
The brewery, which has just celebrated its second anniversary with the sale of its 500,000th pint will work in partnership with the community woodland group the Big Tree Society on the project. A new website www.wildharvestscotland.com was launched this week to enable volunteer foragers and home brewers to register an interest in becoming involved.
The foragers will be encouraged to gather a wide range of plants, herbs and berries that will then be trialled by both the Scottish Borders Brewery and the home-brewers to discover which flavours work best in brewing as part of an open experiment.
John Henderson, owner of the Scottish Borders Brewery said: “We are a farm-based brewery making beers using our own home grown barley and for us this is an extension of our efforts to bring new, exciting and natural products to the real ale market. Ultimately we want to launch six different beers over the next 12 months flavoured with products foraged from the Scottish countryside and the collaboration of home-brewers and foragers will be critical to making this a success.”
The new range of ales will be titled Wild Harvest reflecting their foraged origins and the first product is expected to go on sale in early summer.
Miles Irving, the foraging expert and author of the “Foragers Handbook” is acting as an advisor for the project. He said: “Anything that makes the living environment part of people’s everyday life and culture has to be a good thing. Brewing with wild plants is an ancient tradition that we may have lost but if this initiative sees a new commercial avenue open up in the brewing industry for foraged products that tradition can become contemporary again. “
The Wild Harvest project has received £13,000 of funding from the Caledonian Best Seed Project. All profits from the commercial sale of the each Wild Harvest brew are being donated to The Big Tree Society to re-invest in furthering the development of foraging activity in community woodlands in Scotland.