Sunday, 12 May 2013

Natural Selection Brewing is back!

Hello and Welcome to Natural Selection Brewing 2013!

Heriot-Watt’s Brewing students are back with the third incarnation of Natural Selection Brewing.

Bruce sparging the mash
The team has been working tirelessly to design the beer that will be next in line to those that have gone before. We are now pretty close to our final recipe, which is going to be a single hopped rye Saison. Delicious! We are still experimenting with hop varieties and we will let you know how that turns out but be sure to expect something that smells fantastic and is from New Zealand.

We have named our beer ‘Origin’ after Charles Darwin’s little known publication ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’. The project is continually evolving from year to year so we felt this was an appropriate name for our beer.
Charles likes his new hop beard
So far we have made an appearance at the 2013 Heriot-Watt beer festival, which was great fun. We didn’t have our recipe ready at this stage but the Anorak and Finch teams kindly gave us their recipes and we did our best to recreate them for the festival. They went down well but as we were giving it away for free it didn’t last long!

The project is really picking up pace now and all the planning we have been working towards is taking shape. The label is almost ready, beer orders are starting to come in and our events list is still growing – our launch is not to be missed! We have one of Edinburgh’s very best bands performing live at Bannermans, it will be a great night of beer and music.
Proof that beer makes you happy

This year the team is a Canadian, American and Scottish collaboration and we are all from very different backgrounds prior to our studies in brewing. We thought you all might be interested to find out more about us, so you can find our biographies below.

So that will do for now I think, please subscribe to this blog (over on the right) to keep tabs on our progress and to find out where you can get your hands on our tasty brew!


Dave Ross
Campbell Morrissy 
Patrick Howell
Bruce Smith

Team Bio's 

 Born and raised on the ruthless upper-middle class streets of suburban New Jersey, Campbell was weened on Guinness from the multitude of Irish pubs that dot the landscape. It wasn’t until he moved west to seek the great outdoors did he discover the plethora of craft beer that has made the U.S. the greatest brewing nation of all. Colorado was an excellent place to sample amazing beers. There are few greater pleasures than sipping a pint of an ultra-resiny IPA after a day of snowboarding.
Cam is a fan of hops

However he was not content with only drinking good beer and eventually talked his way into a brewery, leaving the high-energy world of environmental NGO’s behind. Eventually his thirst for knowledge led him to Edinburgh. He is excited to be working on such a unique project that will give him experience to help him to one day open his own brewery.

Outside of brewing Campbell is very passionate about the outdoors and loves spending time hiking, biking, snowboarding, and camping. He also gets very fired up about politics and loves nothing more than a good night of pints and debate. When not in the pub you can probably find him listening to the Allman Brothers while expertly cooking a dead animal. 

Patrick is considered to be one of the most handsome, intelligent, and talented people to come out of his native Canada since Terrence and Phillip. Originally from the town of Kitchener, Ontario, Patrick's love of brewing started out just like any other wildly talented young Canuck’s did, Molson Canadian. It was soon after that he found that beer has flavour and he started to explore the wonderful world of craft. The aroma, the flavour, the look, it seemed that the possibilities were endless.
Pat is a shy boy

One night, after humming his favorite bedtime song, ‘Life is a Highway’ by the great Tom Cochrane, he saw a majestic beaver and as all Canadians do when they have a rare sighting of a beaver, he wished, and wished, and wished that he could get a job at a brewery. The next day he got that job in the brewing industry at a company called Brick Brewing Company in Waterloo Ontario. He couldn’t thank the beaver enough. It was soon, however, that he found out the summer placement consisted of putting dirty, empty return bottles on a conveyor belt for 12 hours a day. It was a harsh introduction to what he thought had been a wonderful, joyous industry as shown by the great Pawtucket Pat in the documentary ‘Family Guy’.

Nonetheless, he was resolute and rose through the ranks over the next two years to become one of the full time brewers and cellarman. Loved by the local community for the affection that he showed for his new craft, Patrick put everything he could into brewing for many years.

Soon he grew weary of the monotony of brewing the same beer day after day, and yearned for more. “MORE MALT, MORE HOPS, MORE HEAD *wink*” he proclaimed. And so he set out for the far away land known as Scotland, to the International Center for Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University. This was where he would learn his craft, this was where he would brew his hopes, and distill his dreams.

Patrick and the other 3 members of Natural Selection Brewing are excited to showcase their talent and provide the United Kingdom with a fantastic product. Looking forward to the product launch!!!

Patrick Howell 

Bruce is a typical guy with one exception; he spends most of his time making (or drinking) beer. Originally of Scottish decent; Bruce grew up in England and Germany before finally finding a permanent home in his motherland of bonnie Scotland. His younger years were spent at Beaconhurst High School in Bridge of Allan; academic and sporting achievements were plentiful but soon enough it was time to head out west to Glasgow to pursue a career as a Physiotherapist; or so he thought…
Gunshow tickets available now
Time passed with many a beer drank and enjoyed but none made by his own hand. That was until one fateful day when a summer vacancy appeared in his local brewpub the “Allanwater Brewhouse” and “TinPot Brewery”. There he was trained by Masterbrewer Douglas Ross in the art of craft beer. His life was changed forever and he swapped the stethoscope and acupuncture needles for malt and hops.

Now as the head brewer of this establishment and with experience in brewing everything from Scottish heather honey blondes aged in Edradour Whisky and Sauternes Wine casks to chocolate-orange infused imperial stouts, Bruce believed it was time to set out into the wider beer world.

Along with his fellow classmates Pat Howell, Campbell Morrissy and Dave Ross from the International Centre of Brewing and Distilling at Heriot Watt University; Bruce looks to do this with Natural Selection Brewing. With all of their journeys to this point being so varied and their expertise so diverse there can be no doubt that they will be releasing one of the most exciting new beers in the summer of 2013. So come one, come all; follow their Facebook, Twitter and Blog to find out when and where you can get your hands on what will undoubtedly be a beautiful and “highly evolved” new beer!


Bruce Smith 

Dave has been a resident of Edinburgh all his life and has known Beer for many years now, a relationship which began with a teenage interest in homebrew kits. For those that don't know, these are Beer concentrates that you dilute with water and then ferment. Also readily available to those not yet of age. Excellent! This turned out to be an exceptionally inexpensive way for Dave and Beer to get to know one and other a bit better.

After fuelling a few campfire sing-songs with the results of these early brewing experiments, Dave decided that Beer kits were just not cutting it and so armed with plastic buckets, his mum's cooker and an inexhaustible naive patience, he decided to embark on the mighty all grain brewing. There was no turning back for Dave and Beer now.

After a short period working as a Drayman, Dave got the opportunity to shadow John McGarva at the Tryst Brewery, which gave him his first hands-on experience of being a brewer in the real world. John helped Dave design his own nano-brewery where he is continuing to experiment with homebrew recipes.

Dave missed a spot
Around the same time Dave met Beer he was also introduced to Drums, another relationship which has stood the test of time. Meeting Drums has led to Dave playing in bands for most of his adult life and Drums have proved to be every bit the companion that Beer has been. Neither Beer or Drums ever get jealous, in fact, Beer and Drums get on just fine even when Dave isn't around.

And so all this has led to Dave being part of the 2013 Natural Selection Brewing Team at Heriot-Watt University. Dave says, "We've got a lot to live up to! But we're determined to give it our best shot and hopefully have some fun along the way. It's a great project to be involved in, a great experience."

So there you have it. A drumming brewer. God help us.

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