Beer of the Week – Williams Bros Seven Giraffes

The weekly calendar has flicked over to Friday once again so that can mean only two things. Firstly, it’s pretty much the weekend so you can start turning attention towards beer (as if you haven’t already) and secondly your recommendation on what to go for is right here. Every seven days I’ll be picking a beer from the Scottish brewing scene that is perhaps flying under the radar and deserves to be discovered if you haven’t already.

This week’s unsung hero is an elderflower and lemon IPA. The first of those ingredients is used by a few breweries as a late infusion of flavour into the process but the undoubted kings are the boys from Alloa, Williams Bros. At least three of their regular beers feature it (Good Times and Birds & The Bees are the other two) but this particular brew involves the addition of lemon to really bring home the flavour qualities of a bright, zesty IPA. I’m talking about the fantastic Seven Giraffes.

19. Seven Giraffes (5.1%)
Williams Bros, Alloa
Style: India Pale Ale
500 ml bottle

Pick it up here:
At The William’s Bros online shop (as individual 500ml bottles or 330ml cans)

In reality the reason this beer works so well is probably not down to the elderflower and lemon at all. The backbone of seven different malts (which are responsible for the name, as chosen by the daughter of Scott Williams) includes Munich, Rye and Crystal and these leave an element of sweet caramel on the palate which combine with the floral flowers in a really unexpected way. Also the stars: the C-hops (Cascade and Chinook) and in particular the first of those which work with the lemon to add that crisp, pithy bitterness to the finish.

It’s as if each of these added ingredients has been paired with a series of supporting elements to really make the beer as a whole come to life. You can’t drink a pale ale that features Cascade without drawing comparisons to Sierra Nevada and Seven Giraffes does have the same intense drinkability about it. Yet for me it’s the influence of the malt bill that pulls everything together and makes this particular beer a brilliant depiction of the balancing act that brewers go through on a daily basis. And when they get it right, the results can be spectacular.

Beer of the Week Series:
1. Fyne Ales Highlander
2. Swannay Old Norway
3. Broughton Old Jock
4. Traquair House Ale
5. Tempest Easy Livin Pils
6. Cromarty Brewed Awakening
7. Fallen Chew Chew
8. Black Isle Hibernator
9. Isle of Skye Red
10. Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve
11. Orkney Skull Splitter
12. Windswept Wolf
13. Kelburn Dark Moor
14. Alechemy 5ive Sisters
15. Loch Ness Light Ness
16. St Andrews Eighty Bob
17. Harviestoun The Ridge
18. Orkney Dark Island

One thought on “Beer of the Week – Williams Bros Seven Giraffes”

  1. Seven Giraffes is one of my favourites and I really should drink it more often. Always says “complex malt bill” to me rather than the other stuff. Especially good that it is generally available for £1.50 in Aldi. Good beer doesn’t have to cost silly money.

    Cycled by the brewery on Friday, had a look round the outside. Saw some Bowmore casks of Clan Brewing Spruce Ale stacked up. (At £4.00 for a 330ml I doubt I’ll be sampling that one though.)

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