Loanhead brewer launches new beer to mark university links

Students from Heriot-Watt University have been involved in a brewing project with Stewart Brewing
Students from Heriot-Watt University have been involved in a brewing project with Stewart Brewing

A new beer has been launched as part of a collaboration between a leading Scottish craft brewer, Stewart Brewing, and Heriot-Watt University.

The beer, called ‘Common Ancestor’, has been created by four masters’ students at the university’s International Centre for Brewing and Distilling.

Common Ancestor was unveiled at a special event in Edinburgh last week. It was created as part of Natural Selection Brewing, a collaborative project which is now in its seventh year.

Natural Selection Brewing brings four MSc brewing and distilling students to the Stewart Brewing brewery in Loanhead where they are tasked with trialling beer recipes, brewing 5000 litres of their chosen creation, branding their product and selling it across the UK.

The project takes place each academic year and has a personal connection to Stewart Brewing as the company’s co-founder Steve Stewart graduated in brewing and distilling science from Heriot Watt University in 1993.

This year’s beer is a 5.2% ABV California Common. The style originates from California in the 19th century, and works well in cask and keg format. It will be distributed across Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Newcastle and London in both these formats, as well as bottles.

Jo Stewart, Stewart Brewing co-founder, said: “Natural Selection Brewing is a chance for selected MSc brewing and distilling students to employ their creativity and knowledge in brewing their own unique beer and selling it across the UK.

“We’re proud to be part of this collaborative project and offer our facilities for brewers of the future to produce a brand new Scottish craft beer. The results are always delicious.”

Meanwhile, Stewart Brewing recently announced a deal to supply Majestic Wine’s 14 Scottish branches with four of its beers.