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71 Brewing releases beer from heart of Dundee

71 Brewing has released its flagship beer, 71 Lager, building on its progress following receipt of planning permission to convert a 7,200 square foot former industrial building in Dundee. The site will be the first brewery in Dundee's city centre for nearly 50 years.

Modelled very closely on a Bohemian Pilsner using exclusively Czech hops and British pilsener malt, 71 Lager uses the unique low mineral content of the water in Dundee.

Founder and head brewer Duncan Alexander explains: “When I said that there was something in the water in Dundee, I wasn’t just alluding to the real cultural and economic metamorphosis that’s going on in the city, of which we want to play a part. There is literal truth in that statement. When we had samples analysed of the water we’re using at the brewery, we found very clear similarities between it and the traditional Pilsen water, which is soft, free from most minerals and low in bicarbonates. This results in a very clean, fresh and crisp lager. Result for us too as we’ve not had to treat the water at all – totally natural.”

Alexander adds: “We have been inspired by the great lager brewing traditions of central and eastern Europe. From the lightest Munich Helles to the darkest Baltic Porter, the lager style is varied and exciting. Our aim is to explore and celebrate these classic beers.

"Pilsener Lager is making a real return and, a good one in our minds, combines flavour and sessionability. Dundee’s a proud working class city and I felt very strongly that we needed to stay true to our roots. So this is a finely crafted session lager for the everyday man, and woman.”

The design for 71 Brewing and its eponymous lager was created by Fleet Collective in Dundee and takes its cues from the brickbuilt building, which is the last surviving element of the Blackness foundry based at 71 Blackness Road. With £650,000 funding obtained from Scottish Enterprise, Regional Selective Assistance and The Scottish Investment Bank, as well as private investment, Alexander and his business partner, Mark Griffiths, secured planning permission in March 2016 to convert the building. The 25hl brewhouse will open later this month to the public with an on-site taproom and off-licence due to open later in the year.

71 Lager is now available in 30 and 50 litre keg and later in 330ml bottle from the brewer using sales@71brewing.

23 January 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, editorial assistant