71 Brewing, Ferrous Red
Duncan Alexander (below) has a confession to make. His passion WAS for wine. He was fairly obsessed with it too.
It was a visit to see family in Melbourne, and a quick stop off at the city’s White Rabbit Brewery, that brought him over to the other side. “Watching the ingredients go in at one end and turn into something quite special at the other was inspiring” he recalls. After returning home from Australia, Duncan quickly managed to get his hands on a small 1BBL homebrew kit and began experimenting. It wasn’t long before he was running a community brewery venture in Edinburgh in his spare time. In 2015 the community brewery fizzled out but Duncan had by then decided he wanted to pursue a career in brewing.
He quit his job as a software engineer and set his sights on opening the first brewery in Dundee for nearly half a century. Why Dundee? Well, first and foremost, Duncan is a proud Dundonian. He could also see that his hometown, Scotland's fourth-largest city, was undergoing a period of significant regeneration. Towering out of the heart of what was known as ‘Hell’s Half Acre’, 71 Brewing’s premises were once a powerhouse of production that churned out thick black smoke and world-class metalwork in equal measure. “The creative pulse and industrial heritage of this city have always been here, it’s just now coming into its own. We can’t wait to see where it takes us” explains Duncan excitedly.
71 Brewing opened its doors in June 2017 after securing more than £650,000 in funding, most of which has been ploughed into some pretty impressive and pioneering brewing equipment. The biological makeup of the water in Dundee is very similar to that in Pilsen in the Czech Republic, and so Duncan’s focus has been on producing the kind of rarer style of lagers he has tried from the continent.
This week’s beer, Ferrous Red, is a Munich Dunkel with a decent, sweet, malty backbone. It’s brewed using a blend of pale, Munich, toasted and crystal malts with Noble and American Mount Hood hops giving a nice hint of bitterness. It’s cold fermented for a clean, crisp finish.
It’s still got some catching up to do with Pilsen, but thanks to Duncan and 71 Brewing, Dundee is back on the beer map.
They also feature in our brand new Ones to Watch for 2018 case.