Somehow Eric Steen persuaded everybody that his idea for a Beer Project ought to be part of the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts, which is how I found myself at the Market Gallery on Duke Street, sampling some fine Alloa ales.
Williams Brothers work out of Alloa making a fine range of beers, including some historical oddities like Fraoch (Heather Ale), Ebulum (Elderberry), and Grozet, which is infused with Gooseberries. Made with lager yeast, it's a light soft beer, which seemed quite vegetal to me, as if there might secretly be parsnips in it. There was a nice touch of spice too. Good, -4.
The best beer of the evening, for me, was the Williams Midnight Sun, a black porter style. It had an intense savoury nose, which also reminded me of seashells, warm attic dust, and toasted oats. The palate was dark and creamy, slightly sweet but balanced by good hoppiness, a drying finish, and a suggestion of saltiness. Excellent, 4+.
Gordon Gelsthorpe, brewer, and Des Mulcahy, PR, came along from Williams Bros to present the beers and field the questions from home brewers. A very interesting evening, and I'm looking forward to April 30th when the Beer Project will present a selection of home- and craft-brewed beers. The best of these will be made commercially for a small production run by Williams. I intend to vote with my palate.