Friday, 9 October 2009

October is Cider Month

We at the Grog and Gruel not only like to supply you with very best local produce but also seasonal produce as well. This can sometimes mean going a bit further a field than we would like for products. Sometimes even venturing South of Glen Coe. One harvest that is in full production at the moment is cooking apples for cider. This is why CAMRA have nominated October to be Cider month.

So for the whole of October we will be selling Traditional Cask Conditioned hand pulled Thatcher's Cider. Although in England Cask Cider is in abundance it very rarely travels North of the border. This is something that is changing and with a 13% increase in cider sales in Scotland this year it seems that it maybe something customers are looking for also. At 6% Thatcher's Heritage Cider has been produced in Somerset for over 100 years on a family farm. Originally made to top up workers wages on the farm and now 100 years later it is available in most Supermarkets and now at the Grog and Gruel.

Again I had a small taste (hic!) of the cider once it had settled in the cellar and can say it is very drinkable. It has also proven a great ingredient in the kitchen featuring in our own "Pork and Cider Pie" which sold out the first lunch service it was on sale. Well worth dragging yourself out the house for on a cold October night.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Blaeberry Ale At The Grog

As you know we here at The Grog and Gruel are always trying to find new and exciting beers to tempt our customers. Over the years we have seen many different ingredients added to the brewing process to add interesting flavours. We have seen wheat beer, nut beer, oatmeal beer, seaweed beer and heather beer and these are only in the last couple of years.

As hops were not a traditional Scottish crop we see some great beer recipes coming from old Scots recipes and the Picts. These include heather ale, seaweed and blaeberry ale and many more. If you venture into the Grog this week you will be able to sample two great cask ales from old pictish recipes, Fraoch Heather Ale and Isle of Skye "Cuillingorm" a Blaeberry ale.

I have already tried the Cuillingorm can say it is very drinkable. A smooth tawny ale with a deep fruity flavour. This is a seasonal brew and will only be available for a short time so well worth trying while the blaeberries are in season. As always in The Grog and Gruel we would encourage you to ask for a small sample of the beer as we are sure you will find it hard to resist a full pint to truly taste this great ale.