Two Edinburgh businesses have come together to create an unlikely tipple – green tea flavoured beer.
The unusual concoction is the result of a collaboration between Barney’s Beer and Eteaket, and they hope the innovative new beer will encourage drinkers to try something new.
A fusion of beer and tea
Mount Fuji, the new jasmine and green tea pale ale, is a fusion beer which combines the earthy undertones of green tea with floral notes of jasmine.
The tea-based beer is one of the more unusual beers created by Summerhall brewers, Barney’s Beer, who set up their microbrewery in 2010.
“It’s based on our Extra Pale beer but is ‘dry-hopped’ with jasmine and green tea, post-fermentation, in addition to hops,” explains Barney’s Beer founder, Andrew Barnett.
The fruity, citrus hops, used in the original beer base, work well with the herbal character of the brew to create a surprisingly light and refreshing beer.
“This was something we both wanted to do,” says Angela Lyons from Eteaket.
“Barney’s Beer felt that a quality green tea would work well with their beer, and we were keen to experiment with our Japanese Gyokuro green tea as we were about to travel to Japan on a tea trip.”
Collaborating with other Edinburgh businesses
Creating Mount Fuji has been a hugely collaborative project – something which is important to both businesses. The Japanese-inspired bottle label – which features a snowy mountain top from Shizuoka (the region where Japanese green tea is cultivated) – has been designed by Summerhall-based illustrator, Ryoko Tamura.
Edinburgh photographer, Peter Dibdin, and designer, Stewart Armstrong, were also involved in the process of creating the beer. “Working with other businesses is an opportunity to introduce innovation, and potentially reach a new audience,” says Barnett.
“It’s always good to have a natter with a similar sized business, too.”
Lyons feels equally strongly about the benefits of local businesses working together.
“Working together, you can come up with some great innovative products, plus you’re marketing to customers of both businesses which helps drive sales,” she adds.
“It’s good to be able to support each other, and by building relationships we’re able to help each other with general business issues to save reinventing the wheel every time.”
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time the two brands have worked together.
Eteaket and Barney’s Beer previously collaborated in 2013 to create a tea-infused smoked beer, the Eteaket Lapsang Porter, which was available on tap at Tom Kitchin’s gastropub, The Scran and Scallie.
“We’ve collaborated with Barney’s Beer in the past to create our own porter which was very popular. We love his enthusiasm for new ideas – he’s a true master of his craft,” says Lyons.
Barnett has also worked with artist and playwright John Byrne, Scottish band Idlewild and the Edinburgh International Science Festival in the past to create unique beers with a local twist.
Eteaket, too, have previously teamed up with other Scottish businesses to create innovative tea blends.
Recently, their Isle of Harris Gin tea and Tomatin Whisky tea have both proved popular.
Lyons hopes that these creative drinks will resonate with both local and international customers, and bring “the joy of leaf tea to a new audience”.
“We were able to sample the new beer in Japan at the Kyoto Infused With Tea Expo earlier in November,” she says.
“The tea beer was very popular – people loved the innovative ideas we’ve worked on, and our Tomatin Whisky Tea sold out on the first day in Kyoto.”
This article first appeared on our sister title, iNews