Going local: Bilberry Beer

This week we welcomed ITV Wales in to the microbrewery to film the story of our Moel Arthur Bilberry Beer, a limited edition seasonal craft beer that we produce from the small bilberries (or winberries) which grow locally in the Clwydian Range, north Wales. If you’re wondering what on earth a bilberry is then you wouldn’t be alone! Put simply they are a small native relative of the blueberry and grow wild on high ground in the UK.

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Bilberry picking up a mountain is a pretty time-consuming and sticky activity; when you add that together with the potential for falling down a slope or in to the many gorse bushes, some people might wonder why we bother making a bilberry beer. We think the resulting beer is worth it: a copper-coloured ale, with a touch of bitterness, a subtle malty fruit finish and a nod to the beautiful local mountain range.

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Crafting small batch beers like this one is something we started out doing three years ago; the Bilberry beer sits alongside our other locally inspired beers, Moel Famau dark ale (infused with heather from the Clwydians) and Moel Fenlli honey ale (made with heather-honey from hives up in the same hills). Since then we’ve obviously moved on to brew many other types of beer, from pilsner, trappist-style, and IPA to stout, amber and pale, but we’ve always kept the locally inspired beers in the range because of local demand. People like to know the story behind their beer and we’re proud to share it. When you’ve spent the day hiking up that mountain, quenching your thirst with a pint crafted with ingredients from that same hill is quite a novelty!

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If supporting and buying from local producers is your thing then take a look at the many fantastic producers and retailers who’ve linked up to form the Clwydian Range Food & Drink Trail: http://www.foodtrail.co.uk/horizontal/  We can vouch for the freshness and deliciousness of the products they make and the stunning scenery of North East Wales you’ll get along the trail is an added bonus! The Food Trail news report will appear on ITV Wales at 6pm, Friday 14th August. meanwhile it’s back to cask washing for us – don’t worry, the fame hasn’t gone to our heads. A brewer’s work is never done…