Lunch@The Orkney Brewery, Quoyloo

Sometimes we enjoy beer with our food and, very occasionally, we enjoy food with our beer. Today we have an opportunity to sample beer at The Orkney Brewery – so we may as well have lunch while we are there! The Brewery is located in a former schoolhouse in Quoyloo. Beer and food are served in the Tasting Hall – a former classroom.  Will they teach us anything we don’t already know about beer?

It would be imprudent not to sample several of the products, so we begin with a tasting paddle of Red MacGregor, Meridian and Dark Island. Red MacGregor is a ruby ale with hints of spice & malt; Meridian is a golden ale with notes of fruit; Dark Island is a dark beer with flavours of chocolate and dried fruit. They are all good but Dark Island is my favourite and I can understand why it has twice won the CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Scotland Award.

There is beer in most of the food they serve here. I order a Dark Island Hot Pot – Orkney beef and root vegetables slow cooked in ale and served with Bere Bannock – an Orcadian barley grain artisan bread. The hot pot is very good – loads of beef and great gravy but it really needs more root vegetables. Rock is having the Orkney cheddar & Dark Island Reserve quiche served with salad and fries (Dark Island Reserve has been voted the best dark beer in the world – very strong, quite sweet but very fine indeed!).

We decide to share the Dragonhead cake. It is a great decision. It is a moist, intense chocolate cake for grown-ups, flavoured with Dragonhead ale and topped with cream cheese frosting. We have enjoyed great service from Joyce & Michelle and the Dragonhead cake has given us a fabulous finish to a lunch for beer lovers.  The Orkney Brewery has simply reminded us that there is always more for us to learn…


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Wade and Rock are a UK based couple who love good food and wildlife and love travelling to find it. Wade does most, but not all, of the writing and the photography. Rock shares the eating experience and tells Wade when planned posts fall short on sense or style or taste. In the opinion of Wade (and many of our friends) she is also a fabulous baker. WadeandRockandFood mainly consists of reviews of restaurants and pubs we have recently visited. WadeandRockandWildlife and WadeandRockandPlaces are mostly photoblogs.

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