At the point where ancient brewing heritage meets a group of modern day businessmen making beer and growing an industry within a country, you’ll find yourself at the Williams Bros Brewery.
While remaining humble to their homebrew beginnings, Williams Bros has steadily grown and has become the leader in Scottish craft beer. Based in Alloa, which was once known as “Scotland’s Beer Capital”, the brewery itself serves as a central hub for the bottling and packaging of many of the country’s craft beers.
The Williams Bros portfolio not only includes the traditional and eclectic, craft beers any enthusiast would appreciate, but it also includes the historic. In fact, the inception of Williams Bros began as a home brewed batch of Fraoch Heather Ale that Bruce Williams made from a 4000 year old recipe he acquired from a woman of Gaelic descent. This woman came into the homebrew shop owned by the Williams’ family with a translation of the recipe handed down to her from previous generations. Williams Bros and its Brotherhood are now the guardians of this ancient Gaelic recipe for “Leanne Fraoch”.
And Williams Bros is doing a lot more than brewing up fantastic and uniquely Scottish beer; they’re also busy challenging the mainstream market by introducing their “craft keg” range.Taking a cue from the US craft beer scene, Williams Bros is leading the way in the UK by offering up artisanal alternatives to mass produced beers in the form of its craft keg range. Examples of what Williams Bros brews for its craft keg line are its award winning “Caesar Augustus” lager, its “Joker IPA”, its “Williams Draught”, and its “Black Ball Stout”.
In bottle, Williams Bros is also forging forward. In addition to some well known standards, Williams Bros also produces an assortment of eclectic limited edition offerings such as the Stillwater Artisinal Ales Saison Collaboration “Stravaigin” & their “Vintage Cask” collaborations (beers aged in Whisky barrels, Fraoch 22 – In Auchentoshan & Alba 23 in Bowmore), and small experimental keg/casks i.e. Fraoch Export (a 7% version of Heather Ale for the USA market), Double Joker IPA, Nollaig, Citra Sitka and various monthly specials.
To find out what is currently brewing and available, visit the brewery’s “BeerBoard“.
And for a little blast from the past, check out this fun video from a 1995 episode of Cook On The Wild Side where Bruce Williams shows host, Hugh Fearnley, the ins and outs of producing a batch of Fraoch Heather Ale.
Williams Bros is joining Fyne Ales on Saturday 13 June and hosting EBBC beer bloggers for a brewers dinner at the Ghillie Dhu. We want to thank them for sponsoring this year and for sharing their beers and story with us! Please connect with Williams Bros on Facebook and Twitter @WilliamsBrewery