6 Degrees North, Brevet
Brevet. A Saison suitable for long-distance cyclists. All the way from, err, North East Scotland.
What was it about Belgium that fascinated Robert ‘BrewBob’ Lindsay so much? The regional variation and diversity of beer styles? The brewing heritage and beer culture that surrounds it? The bars, the food they served (even table service!)? Yes, yes and yes, it was all this and more. It was just so far removed from the bar and pub culture he was used to back home.
Robert, founder and head brewer
Inspired, Robert returned from working away in Brussels and in 2002 he set about trying to infuse something of Belgium into the beer scene in his native part of North East Scotland. This started with an opportunity to take over the Creel Inn in Catterline and then later the Marine Hotel in Stonehaven. Here, six degrees North of Brussels, Robert spent the best part of a decade turning the bars into two of Scotland’s finest beer destinations.
All this time Robert and his team had their hearts set on brewing their own beer and, in 2013, it was time and the doors of six°north opened.
For most of us, this would be the culmination of a dream to work in beer. But not for six°north. It was always about more than just the beer. Over the last five years, they have expanded the brewery and opened bars in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh along with the Marine Hotel in Stonehaven. Each of these boasts an impressive lineup of fresh beer on tap and an unrivalled selection of bottles and all with the kind of food and ambience that had originally inspired Robert.
Stuart, trainee brewer
To hold on to and realise a dream over 15 years or more takes real tenacity. The sort you find in long-distance cyclists. The sort that Belgium is also renowned for producing. It’s no coincidence then that Robert, his dad and a few other members of the team at six°north are keen cyclists. They even run their own sportive event each summer as part of a local beer festival that they host.
Apt then that this week’s beer is called Brevet, a core beer and one of the many cycling-inspired beers made by six°north. A brevet is a long distance but non-competitive ride of 200km or more with multiple checkpoints that each rider must arrive at within certain time limits in order to get his or her ride card stamped in order to complete the brevet. It’s likely that having finished you will want a beer.
Six months in the making this beer represents a blend of traditional Belgium brewing styles with modern brewing methods. The result has all the characteristics of a traditional funky, peppery saison which has been given a contemporary feel with the addition of a relatively new German hop (Monroe) for a dry, slightly astringent finish. It’s very drinkable and belies a 6% abv. Definitely a beer for after a bicycle ride.
What six°north have achieved is pretty impressive by any standards but, given some of their recent collaborations, something makes us think that they’ve only just got started. Stay tuned and find out more on their website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.