Some of you might remember that way back in October 2013 we gave a talk at the Manchester Indyman Festival about a new distilling project we were involved with. We’d been approached by some Heriot Watt graduates about the possibility of distilling some of the beer/waste product from our brewing process.

The idea was to take some beer including the yeast/hop waste off the bottom of our fermenters post dry hop, then distill it, in the hope that the hop matter and flavour contained in the liquid would transfer through into the final product.

We sent 1000 litres of High Wire north of the border and working in conjunction with Strathearn Distillery, the graduates, Paul, Christian and Abi distilled the liquid and then set about cutting it to a desirable ABV. We were really impressed with the final product, the hop character has really carried through and what we now have is a 50% clear alcohol – ‘Sideshow Hop Spirit’. In flavour its probably most similar to Gin with a lot of floral qualities and some bitterness also present.

After a number of tastings we decided the spirit probably works best as a longer drink, and so with the help with our friends at Gonzo Bar Holmfirth (cheers Luke, Mike & Lucy!) devised a number of recipe suggestions which will accompany each bottle. We’ve packaged the spirit into just over 100 x 70cl bottles,  and with so little qty we decided it’d best heading to our friends in the trade where they can work their cocktail Magic and more people will hopefully get to taste it.

If you’re an existing bar/pub customer please let us know if you’d like to buy a bottle, and If you’re a drinker and see it on the bar (it’ll definitely be available at our new Magic Rock Tap) give it a go and let us know what you think!

Sideshow: Hop Spirit 50%

Our first foray into the world of distillation. ‘Sideshow’ is a collaborative project with Herriot Watt University and Strathearn Distillery. The spirit is a pure distillation of High Wire our best selling ‘West Coast Pale Ale’ and also recycles the waste hop matter used in its production. The distillation process concentrates the hop aroma and flavour of the pungently floral/citrus US hops used in the original beer to create a floral explosion of flavour. Drink neat for an extreme hop hit or use as a cocktail mixer for a new and unique drinking experience.

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