The Pack Masters

  • Paul Whelan

    Paul (middle left) does the hard work. He is one of the most knowledgeable brewers you will meet. He studied brewing at Heriot Watt University, has been a Master Brewer with the Institute of Brewing & Distilling for over 30 years, worked for many years as Production Manager in the Allied brewery in Alloa, and has worked for 10 years as a craft brewer. He cares deeply about brewing, and produces beers we are all proud of.

How we make our beer

  • 1

    It all begins with barley. Barley contains starches that are the natural sugars that power fermentation so the grains are soaked in water to germinate. To stop the germination at the perfect point, the barley is heated in a kiln – the temperature of which decides the flavour of the malt and the ale. 

  • 2

    We crush the malt into a course grind and mix with hot water in a mash tun to release the sugars into the liquid. Once the sugars from the malt have been converted the remaining 'wort' is boiled with hops for at least an hour in a copper. The hops create the bitter flavour and aroma, and act as a natural preservative. After boiling, we filter through even more hops.

  • 3

    The cooled wort is run into fermentation tanks and we add yeast. Yeast feeds off the sugars in the wort and ferment to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide (the bubbles). Each specific yeast variety produces different flavours, and we go to great lengths to preserve our own uncontaminated yeast variety. We use 4 different types of yeast in order to enhance and enrich the flavour of our ale.

  • 4

    Finally, all our ales are traditionally cask conditioned. Conditioning covers all of the changes that occur in the beer from the time it is primed to the time it is served. This process allows the yeast to continue fermenting slowly, transforming our hand-crafted liquid into a fresh ‘real ale’ worth howling for.