What sort of beers do you do?
We like to get things right so we weren't going to start off with a plethora of wild styles and quirky labels. We just started with the one beer and then when we were happy with that we moved onto our next. We're now producing our third beer and have high hopes of making an 80 Shilling at some point. We don't like to rush though. Consistency and quality are our two biggest aims so we'll get on to the quirky fruit beers, kombucha, ciders and various other brewing possibilities at some point. Ideally a low alcohol beer and a gluten free but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
Where did the beer names come from?
We're a bunch of East Neuk locals and we're very proud of our heritage. Also, you might be surprised at who and what has come out of Fife and the surrounding locality. So all our beer names will have something that should hopefully make you go 'Oh... that's interesting. From where? Really? Never would have guessed!'
OK, so let's start at the beginning. Our first beer was called this for a number of reasons.
In Latin it means 'New Land' and let's be honest, our brewery is new territory for us.
More importantly, Terra Nova is the name of the ship that Captain Robert Falcon Scott commanded for his infamous south pole attempt where he was beaten to the pole by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen.
What you might not know is that Terra Nova was built just up the road in Dundee!
Also, the expedition, known as the Terra Nova Expedition, wasn't just to reach the pole. It had several scientific objectives and being a bunch of scientists and engineers we get excited by that sort of thing.
So, Terra Nova is a world famous scientific expedition to reach uncharted territory on a ship of the same name built only a few miles from here. It just had to be the name of our first beer.
Sticking with our 'Oooh... I didn't know that!' name aim. The Fifie isn't a windmill. It's a type of traditional fishing boat that was developed on the east coast of Scotland and used by Scottish fishermen from the 1850s until well into the 20th century. Sail powered, these boats were mainly used to fish for herring using drift nets and were a very common sight in East Neuk harbours for many years. If you want to see what one looks like then we can highly recommend a visit to the Fisheries Museum in Anstruther where you can see a real Fifie, the 'Reaper'. Click here for more info.
So why the windmill? Well, the windmill has its own interesting history. It was used to pump seawater up into a number of salt pans on the shore where a roaring salt trade once existed in the mid to late 1700s. A little walk along from St Monans will get you to the windmill and the remains of the pans. Right.... but why the Fifie?! Well, the windmill is in St Monans but what you might not know is St Monans was also the home to J W Miller & Sons Ltd. Boatbuilders who had a worldwide reputation for quality and craftmanship... and among the various types of boats that were built by this iconic East Neuk boatbuilding firm was none other than the Fifie.
St Ayles Ale
Anstruther is home to The Scottish Fisheries Museum.
Situated in a wonderful collection of historic buildings on the harbour they are a charitable trust which has become a national institution with an international reputation. We can wholeheartedly agree that their tag line 'It's bigger than you think' is indeed accurate. They have a wealth of historical fishing memorabilia, boats and exhibits on show and are well worth a visit!
2019 is their Golden Anniversary and they asked us if we could join forces to produce a 'quaffable' beer to celebrate their 50th year. We duly obliged and produced St Ayles Ale.
The name comes from the 15th century chapel to St Ayles which was once built on the same ground as the museum. It then went on to become a cooperage and malt steading so there is a very good historical connection with brewing.
Our ale has complicated malt and hop additions but scaled back to give a very balanced, refreshing and enjoyable pint.