BITTW: Fraoch

Beer I Tried This Week is back! None of my new year resolutions involve cutting back on alcohol, so that’s good for me. Beer is important. Food and drink review has always been a favorite of mine, from way back in the beginning of my blogging days with Okazu. I like the idea of beer reviews with a feminine touch. Is that my so-called niche?

Hm. No, probably not. But I like it.

Williams Brothers Brewing Company, UK (Scotland)

5% ABV

available year round


This is a Scottish ale. I’ve tried a couple different imported Scottish ciders over the last few years but, weirdly enough, never an ale. While I do like to focus on New England brews in this feature, and tend to go for Maine beers when we’re out and about trying new things, Fraoch Heather Ale definitely had my name written all over it. I am a sucker for label art. I first tried this at Novare Res, a beer bar in Portland, ME (which you should absolutely visit if you’re in the area). Perhaps it’s my Scottish heritage, but I immediately felt transported. And in love. Williams Brothers Fraoch is available by the pint bottle at Tully’s in Maine, so we bought a couple before the holiday to enjoy at home.

This ale is brewed with heather flowers and Scottish malt. It’s one of the oldest styles of ales still being produced, based on an ancient Gaelic recipe for heather ale, “leann fraoich.” It’s floral with light carbonation and a dry finish. Floral without hoppiness is a beautiful, beautiful thing for a girl who bursts into sneezing fits at the mere sight of hops.

I recommend this if you want a light ale colored by ancient history (and who doesn’t). I found it very easy to drink; it has become a new favorite.

Fraoch Heather Ale bottles and kegs are vegan friendly, according to Barnivore. Casks are fined with isinglass, though this practice is being phased out.

Suggestions for beer/beverage photography? I’d greatly appreciate it.

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