The word ‘Cult’ can be used in many different ways; it is sometimes used to describe a minority, something strange or special, something that is followed by a small select few that are fanatical.
At The Queens Head we have many bottled, kegged and casked liquids that inspire the emotions of drinkers, fanatical and blind to other drinks. Followers will come in specifically to taste and talk about the cult they feel they belong to, they drink to be part of a family.
I joined a new cult soon after we opened TQH back in June, it didn’t take long for Schiehallion to indoctrinate me into its sect and I have been a loyal follower ever since. When I’m asked ‘What do you recommend’ Schiehallion will be the first thing I suggest and a small sample taste is usually all it takes to convert.
Brewed in Scotland by Harviestoun it’s not just the taste of the beer that has me talking/blogging about it. Harviestonun have created familiar looking branding, the attractive bottles (500ml) seem to have made it the most approachable of our specialist products (Take note Brew Dog). It’s been so popular in fact that last month we switched from bottles of Schiehallion to kegs and then the little cult really saw it’s following grow. Even our most hardened Kronenbourg regular has now dropped his mainstream religion to follow the one true God.
With Schiehallion, Harviestoun have managed to brew a really superb lager, a 5% abv Pilsner not quite as light in colour as most but just as fresh and easy drinking. Flavours’ are mostly floral and hoppy but subtle too with something new to savour in every drop. The beer is brewed using Hersbrucker Hops which are known to provide flavours of honey and grapefruit, these may be present but more likely found only after suggestion. However it’s the mouth feel of this beer that I really love, something that really stands out as you enjoy a pint is the amazingly creamy texture of this lager, it has great body which may come from the light carbonation used.
Harviestoun Brewery was founded 1985 by Ken Brooer after he decided that designing for Ford motors was not for him, back then their beer was little known and following was maybe only Ken himself. In 2008 Schiehallion earned the title of World’s Best Pilsner at the World Beer Awards, this accolade joined the list of awards that Schiehallion has managed to pick up in the last ten years. However Cult movies never win at the Oscars and people who join religious cults inevitably commit ritual suicide, so maybe continued success and growth means that this little Pilsner from Scotland is about to lose its cult status and enter the mainstream, only time will tell.
Verdict: Drink the shit out of it