Food and drink is just as important to the travel experience as the scenery, history and visitor attractions. There has been a huge growth in craft beer producers in Scotland and I always try to find a local beer in the areas that I visit. Tempest Brewing Co. is located in Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders and they produce a wide range of exciting and innovative drinks. The Borders Railway makes it easy to visit their retail shop.
Having taken many trips on the Borders Railway to Tweedbank I noticed sings for Tempest Brewing Co. at the station. I decided to follow the signs into a nearby industrial estate to pay a visit to their shop.
The shop is located within the brewery. There is a rather functional entrance, distinguished only by the signage outside the door. When I went inside a staff member welcomed me and directed me past the stores of beer barrels to a small office area where there is a fridge filled with bottles of the entire Tempest range. I was excited to see everything in one place, as supermarkets and shops usually have just a selection of the range on offer. The shop also sells the clothing range, which includes cycling tops.
Tempest is one of my favourite craft beer producers. I love all of their creations because they use innovative flavour combinations that make this a unique and exciting product. They even have a beer for cyclists.
During my visit the staff were very excited because Tempest had just won 7 awards at the Scottish Beer Awards, including Scottish Brewery of the Year.
I bought half-a-dozen bottles of beers and stuffed them into my panniers to try them out when I got home. The member of staff who served me was particularly enthusiastic about Marmalade on Rye. He said he just loved it and described it as 'so moreish.' I couldn't agree more. It is another delicious creation from Tempest.
There are many exciting cycling routes in the Scottish Borders and taking the train to Tweedbank is one of the best ways to access them. With Tempest Brewing Co. just a few minutes walk or cycle from the station it would be foolish not to pop in and take back some fine craft beers.
Striking artwork make this bottle of beer standout. As does the taste which is rather like continental fruity beers, but it is brewed in Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders. It smells and tastes of passion fruit, but it is not overwhelmingly sweet or fruity. It is perfectly balanced and I loved it.
My first thought on tasting this beer was 'interesting.' It certainly tastes of passion fruit, but it is not as sweet as I expected. There is a dry hop taste that tempers the sweetness. This is what makes it different to continental fruity beers, which can be intensely fruity. I do love Belgian fruit beers, but I also loved Passionfruit Berliner. I found it very refreshing and I will definitely be having this again.
Tempest Brewing also produce Totally Radler, another fruit beer with continental influences. It is great that they are trying these different tastes and doing something a bit different to other Scottish beer producers.
The label on Passionfruit Berliner makes the beer standout from the crowd in your local bottle shop. It was designed by an art student from Glasgow. I think that the bottle label is a vital element in a customer's decision to purchase a beer and you do see plenty of innovation from small breweries with their design.
Tempest Brewing has a shop in the brewery, located in an industrial estate that is adjacent to Tweedbank station, the last stop on the Borders Railway. There is great cycling to be had in this part of Scotland, so there is no excuse for not trying a Tempest beer. There are stockists throughout Scotland, mainly in the east and the Borders. The Tempest website lists all the stockists and you can also buy online.
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.