Get Krafty in Linlithgow this summer

Mike Ward is on hand to walk his customers through the beer-making process
Mike Ward is on hand to walk his customers through the beer-making process
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With summer finally here, most days anyway, there is nothing better than relaxing in the warm sun sipping on a refreshing beer, especially when it is one you have created yourself.

That is the newest attraction available in Linlithgow thanks to the micro-brewery located next to the Star and Garter Hotel.

Run by Mike Ward, Krafty Brew allows people the opportunity to become a brewer for the day. He said: “We have parties of people coming to the brewery to make their own beer. Groups range from stag do’s and work days out to birthday parties.”

The brewery has been up and running in Linlithgow for a few months after relocating from an industrial estate in Edinburgh and Mike said the business is reaping the rewards of moving to a better location.

He said: “Now that we are located next to a hotel and in a fantastic town we can offer our customers a far greater experience.

“Instead of people driving to an industrial estate, experiencing our brewery and leaving they can now book into the hotel, have a drink, enjoy the town and make a weekend of it.”

Customers can create their own beer, enjoy a sampling of the variety of alcohol on offer and get a tour of the brewery.

Last week a small team of workers from Peacock Technology in Stirling arrived at Krafty Brew ready for an afternoon of team-bonding, beer and fun and Mike did not disappoint.

After the introductions Mike got straight into educating the group on the first steps in creating their own beer.

They had to choose a malt which is then added to hot water which converts the starch into sugars. The group had to select from pale, chocolate and caramel malts.

Mike said: “The difference between the malts is just how long they are roasted for. The longer they are cooked the darker they become.”

After a taste and a smell of the different ingredients the group decided on a pale malt and 11 scoops were added to the warm water. The group then went to the courtyard to begin their beer tasting session.

Gareth Hughes, organiser of the work day out for Peacock Technology, said: “We tried around eight different beers from standard ones to chili ones. It was fantastic.”

Mike assure his customers that beer tasting is completely different to wine tasting. He said: “You definitely don’t spit the beer out.”

The next stage of the beer brewing process was to add the hops which gives the beer its flavouring. Mike said: “People like to experiment and concoct strange flavours. I have even had people make Christmas pudding flavoured beers.

“We do always try to point them in the right direction to ensure their creation is tasty, but sometimes the flavours people choose leave you with no chance.”

With the hops added Gareth and his colleagues were finished however they spent the rest of their day in Linlithgow. He said: “We went out for dinner in the High Street and then came back to the Star and Garter for drinks. The location of the brewery is great it was right next to everything so we could really make a day of it and everyone enjoyed their time in Linlithgow.

“In a few weeks we will discover if our beer tastes good.”