Overtone Selection and Brewery Tour

Overtone Brewing Co

I have a day off from work, and as you know, these are rare. I am about to encounter a particularly rough patch in my rota, so I decided to have a fun day out! ‘Overtone’ is an up-and-coming brewery based in Clydebank (Glasgow region), Scotland. The brewery is only in its first year, but the warehouse is really starting to take shape. As I drove past the venue prior to parking, I noticed a selection of huge tanks storing their beers: the excitement started to mount!

I’d previously met one of the the head brewer, Dan, at Beer Makes Glasgow. Upon arrival, I exchanged introductions with other members of the team, Bowei and Martin, both of whom were easy to talk to and down to earth. We initially had a general walk around, giving me a chance to examine their 20-hectolitre mashing tank and towering fermentation tanks. The warehouse looked surprisingly sparse, but this is all about to change as a new canning line is being installed: this addition will really raise Overtone’s status across the country by allowing much wider access to their brews. I can’t wait to be able to enjoy their beer at home – I’ll be able to remember being in the exact spot where the beer was brewed, which is pretty cool!

Overtone tanks
I had an absolutely cracking day when I visited the brewery and met up with the team.

The venue has huge potential: in the far corner there is a basketball hoop, providing some entertainment during down time of the brewing process, which can have long waiting periods. There’s even scope for a small bottle shop and even a tap room that would be overlooking the brewery floor. These latter ideas are only dreams currently, but it’s important to have long-term goals.

Martin grabbed a glass and rinsed it out; time for some tasters straight from the tap.

 

Mandatory “West Coast IPA” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: 3.67 (at time of writing)
  • ABV: 5.9%
  • Style: West Coast IPA
  • Serving: Draught, 50ml

A wonderfully cloudy beer was poured straight from the tank. This is perfection

“Dear Santa

Can I have a brewery? Please?? Just to drink straight from the tank!

Many thanks

Dr Beer”

The hazy orange brew had a light resinous and citrusy aroma. It tasted really good, with a great hit of pine and a citrus twist of grapefruit. This finished with a smooth bitterness, allowing the alcohol to creep through ever so slightly in the background. Balance is the key feature for Overtone, and they certainly achieved that here.

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Rating: 4.0/5. “West Coast IPA” characterises why I love a resinous beer. It is certainly something I could have a few pints of without hesitation.

 

Mandatory “New England DIPA Azacca” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: no rating (at time of writing)
  • ABV: 8.2%
  • Style: NEDIPA
  • Serving: Draught, 50ml

A hazy light-orange beer produced a bright white foam head. Aromas were strong before the glass reached my nose; it had abundant mango and passionfruit scents, which built as I drank. The colloquial name Martin gave it, “juice box”, was really appropriate: the high alcohol strength was dangerously subtle within this beer! The beer was moderately carbonated and had an extra mango lift at the end, clearly showing how citrus should be shown off in a beer.

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Rating: 4.25/5. “New England DIPA Azacca” is one that I need in cans (yes – multiple).

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Overtone’s to do list!

 

 

Mandatory “HBC472 DH Stout” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: no rating (at time of writing)
  • ABV: 6.6%
  • Style: Stout
  • Serving: Draught, 50ml

Having sampled the lighter brews, it was time to move to the dark-side. Named after the hops used, “HBC472” is a bizarre title, but it actually works for a beer. Overtone are keen on naming beers based on the hops used in their brewing, which I think is a fun feature. A dark brew was poured straight from the tank by Martin. It had a moderate, light tan foam head and gave a slightly smoky scent. Again, Overtone struck liquid “black gold” with balance: the three primary flavours were chocolate, coffee and smoke, each one enhancing the others, rather than competing. I was astonished that there no additives had been included in this beer – Overtone have simply made the most out of beer’s key ingredients. It was quite light-bodied compared to other thicker tar-like stouts I’ve recently sampled, with a pleasant bitter finish.

 

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Rating: 4.0/5. “HBC472 DH Stout” is a real hit. I’m in awe of this line-up. I agree with Martin’s thoughts: he wants the beer to be slightly thicker in texture, though this is a very small detail that can be addressed in future batches. Due to its warming nature, it is certainly a beer that I could imagine enjoying as the winter months descend.

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Mandatory “Black Market Fruit” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: no rating (at time of writing)
  • Style: Sour
  • Serving: Draught, 50ml
  • Collaborating Brewery: Up Front Brewing

I followed Martin to the top of the mash tank and looked at the brewery from the high vantage point. Whilst enjoying the view and picturing how the venue could develop, I enjoyed one final sample. This sour was SO bright! A small foam white foam head was formed on top and it smelled ridiculously fruity with a lactic tartness. It had a juicy berry sourness, though not so much that my face screwed up! I could taste the fact that this was a collaboration – it was rich in fruit, as I would expect from ‘Up Front Brewing’, with the restraint and balance that ‘Overtone’ had provided within every single one of their brews.

Overtone beer

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Rating: 3.75/5. “Black Market Fruit” is a cracking beer and certainly a great introductory sour for those that haven’t become acquainted with this style.

 

Finally, I’d like to personally thank Martin, Dan and Bowei. It was a great way to relax and check out this brewery in it’s infancy year. I can’t wait to visit again, now that the canning line is getting installed and watching this brewery develop. I really respect Overtone for having a fluid base range, tweaking their recipes and focusing on producing the best possible balanced beers by enhancing the core ingredients to a new level.

Overtone Canning
The technology required to make Overtone’s beers more accessible!

So if you’re in the area, catch up with the team. If you’re in Scotland, get your hands on their cans! Want to hear more about Overtone Brewing co? Then keep following, Overtone’s “Meet the Makers” will be going live later this week,

Dr Beer

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