Hot Rocks

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Hot Rocks

Brewed in very limited quantities, our latest Limited Edition bottle-conditioned brew: Hot Rocks is a modern-day adaptation of the oldest British ale brewed by our Stone Age ancestors in 4, 000BC.

In recreating the 6,000-year-old recipe, we used evidence gleaned from ancient archaeological artefacts - including shards of cook pots found in the Isles of Rum and Orkney in Scotland - and skillfully combined these ancient ingredients and traditions with its modern brewing expertise to develop Hot Rocks. This brew evokes all the flavours that Neolithic man – and woman – would have enjoyed for the modern man – and woman – and their palate.

Rooted in the rich brewing heartland of Scotland, Hot Rocks owes its unique name to the brewing process whereby hot granite rocks are used to caramelise the cereals at the heart of this ancient ale, extracting the delicious malt sugars.  We selected the historic bere barley alongside raw barley and malted barley to make Hot Rocks.  As hops were not used widely in Britain till the 1500's, we have - like ancient man - used none.

Leading Beer Historian Martyn Cornell, author of Amber, Gold and Black, a history of beer styles in Britain, said: “We’ve been enjoying beer in Britain for 6,000 years, and it’s great to think we can now enjoy a beer inspired by those of 6,000 years ago. This gives a completely new meaning to the expression ‘old ale’, and I very much look forward to drinking it.”

Merryn and Graham Dineley, the Orkney-based experts on historic brewing, added: “I think the recipe is spot on. A proper prehistoric ale. It would actually do for an ale made in neolithic, bronze age, iron age or Viking times as well. Hot rock heating of water is fascinating, though it is quite hard to boil the water despite the hissing and sizzling of the rocks. We are looking forward to sampling the result.”

To remain as true to the original brewing process as possible, sweet gale and meadowsweet have been added for bittering and to preserve the ale, as well as horehound and pink heather, all naturally-occurring botanicals in the British Isles since 4,000 BC.  A touch of honey, not commonly used in brewing until Victorian times, lends a soft sweetness.  The beer is bottle conditioned to allow it to mature nicely…but we advise not leaving it for another 6,000 years!

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