Foraging grant is no small beer for brewery

Partners in growing Eoin Cox (left) and John Henderson
Partners in growing Eoin Cox (left) and John Henderson

The Scottish Borders Brewery is releasing six new beers flavoured by foraged plants in the next 12 months, thanks to £13,000 funding from Scottish ale company Caledonia Best.

The project, named Wild Harvest and developed by the Jedburgh brewery’s John Henderson and Eoin Cox of The Big Tree Society, aims to create a commercial market for foragers harvesting the Borders’ community woodlands.

Plants, such as bitter hops, have flavoured beer for millennia, but now John and Eoin want to experiment with new or forgotten wild flavours – and test which ones are the most popular with the public on an online forum.

Henderson said: “We are delighted the panel chose to support our project.

“We share the Big Tree Society’s passion for foraging, and are keen to enhance awareness of this, as well as developing products with the existing foraging network throughout Scotland.

“We are incredibly proud to be one of the projects supported by the Seed Fund – our brewery is all about the provenance of ingredients, and ‘Wild Harvest’ will allow us to extend this even further.”

The Seed Fund has seen Caledonia Best generate £58,000 to support innovative projects – raised through a 5p donation in every pint sold in the first six months of this year.