Leading female brewers collaborate with Heriot-Watt university to create limited edition kettle sour craft beer

An industry first collaboration between students and lectures at Heriot-Watt University and leading female brewers will soon see the creation of a limited edition beer that celebrates the craft and creativity of past, present and future female brewers.

Published 15th Mar 2018
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Jenn Merrick, former head brewer at Beavertown Brewery and founder of community based brewery Earth Station spearheaded the project, which was hosted by Katie McCain, brewer at Pressure Drop Brewing.

The team, comprised of 14 female brewers, seven undergraduates and three lecturers/former students from Heriot-Watt, will work together to create a limited-edition kettle sour beer.

Female brewers

Katie McCain, brewer at Pressure Drop Brewing. Picture: contributed

The brewers involved will hail from breweries such as Pressure Drop, Truman’s Brewery, Cloudwater, Wiper & True, Fuller’s and Burnt Mill, to name but a few.

The group of industry leading brewers will work closely with the next generation of female brewers from Heriot-Watt University to combine the seasonal fruits, herbs and botanicals to produce the special beer – and all those present on the day will be working in partnership to decide its flavour profile, final recipe, and name.

Greg Wells, founder of We Are Beer, the company behind the London, Edinburgh and Bristol Craft Beer Festivals, who commissioned the project, said: “We identified that 35 per cent of our festival attendees were female and this is growing year on year.

"We believe most people still perceive ‘beer’ as quite masculine, but in actuality, that is changing dramatically, which is good for this fast-growing sector and something we’re striving to push forward.

"We want to profile the incredible female talent and influence on modern brewing by creating a collaborative beer with past, present and future female brewers from across the industry.”

The kettle sour will be available at each of the craft beer festivals being hosted in Edinburgh (25th-28th May 2018), London (3rd-5th August 2018), and Bristol (14th-16th September 2018) and will be released in limited edition small pack.

Heriot-Watt has become one of the UK's leaders when it comes to brewing education and offers the first and longest running degree on brewing and distilling. Half of its lecturing staff are female and speaking of the collaboration, assistant brewing professor Rachel Sutherland said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our female students to collaborate with some of the leading female figures within the craft beer industry. Beer has, throughout history, been crafted by women.

"Our students are proudly upholding this tradition, showing the next generation what they can look forward to. There’s a real community in craft beer and our kettle sour collaboration is testament to that – and definitely not one to be missed at any of the craft beer festivals happening across the UK.”

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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