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Whisky barrel-aged beers spark international interest

Published:  19 July, 2016

A Scottish beer producerd has attracted the interest of key international markets by combining two of Scotland's best-loved drinks.

A Scottish beer producer has attracted the interest of key international markets by combining two of Scotland's best-loved drinks.

Craft Beer Clan of Scotland - whose parent company is Glasgow-based independent wholesaler JW Filshill - has branched out into the speciality beer market by partnering with craft brewer Williams Brothers and releasing a series of whisky barrel-aged beers.

The Clan Brewing Company has produced four new beers using barrels from four whisky regions - Speyside, Highlands, Lowland and Islay - and has attracted strong orders from growing Scotch-loving markets such as Japan, Singapore, Beijing and Hong Kong.

The company is headed by craft beer veteran Chris Miller who grew Harviestoun Brewery into one of the UK's top craft beer producers.

Miller, who is also a director of the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland and its parent company JW Filshill Ltd, has formed the new venture in partnership with Scott Williams, founder and brewmaster of Williams Brothers Brewing Co, and international whisky expert Charles PB MacLean.

"This series of four whisky barrel-aged beers shows off Scotland's regional whisky variations, the variety and depth of beer styles plus the brewing excellence of Scotland's craft brewers," said Miller.

The beers have spent up to nine months maturing in the casks, with fewer than 2000 cases across the four expressions packaged from the first batch.

The second and third batches of the four brews - double the size of the first - are now maturing in whisky barrels and will be packaged later this year.

Miller confirmed that the Clan Brewing Company had already received "a healthy number of orders", and the bulk of the beer, about 80%, would be exported to key markets internationally where there is a strong demand in Scotch whisky and Scottish brewing, thanks to partnerships already established by the Craft Beer Clan as well as the continued support of Scottish Development International (SDI) and Scotland Food & Drink (SFD).

"With the help of SDI and SFD, we've worked hard over the past two years to showcase Scottish craft brewers and their beers to international markets such as China, Hong Kong, UAE, mainland Europe and South America, and we've enjoyed great success, helping Scotland's craft brewers export and expand, benefiting their local economy but also the Scottish economy overall," Miller added.