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Campervan Beer
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I've never been a huge fan of the gimmicky or marketing stunts new breweries employ to make a name for themselves. Most are clearly dreamed up by brewers to get us to talk about their beer, without getting into the nitty-gritty technicals of the brewing process. All too often, they will have a unique concept and vision for their shiny new company that includes beer almost as an afterthought. So when word started getting round about a new Edinburgh brewer who operates out the back of a VW campervan, I had a really hard time keeping my more cynical instincts under control.

Thankfully, although Paul Gibson has called his operation the Campervan Brewery, he only takes it on the road on rare occasions. The bulk of the brewing is done in his Comely Bank garage, where he designs, brews and bottles up all by hand.

Paul intends to take the brewery out and about to source the freshest ingredients he can. He also wants to take the van to the summer festivals to use as a mobile bar and run brewing demonstrations as a promotional tool.

It's actually a pretty good idea and the pea-green campervan is itself a thing of beauty. Fortunately his beer is pretty damn good as well.

Of the three initial beers, probably the most successful is his coconut milk stout, the puntastic Mutiny on The Bounty.

Milk stouts by their nature tend to be sweet and creamy and this is up there with the sweetest and creamiest. The nose is really expressive and does a good impression of the eponymous chocolate bar: loads of silky smooth milk chocolate on top of sweet roasted coconut. The palate is medium weight, with gentle bitterness and some smoky coffee notes to counter the sweetness. Most impressive of all, is its gorgeous, mellow, velvety mouth feel that masks the moderate 4.2% abv

It's is such a stunning wee beer, that it's easy to forget that a self-trained brewer knocked it up in his garage. It also looks rather smart; the screen printed bottle looks slick and professional with an eycatching monochrome design. If word gets out about how good the contents are then Paul is going to have a nasty case of RSI as he struggles to bottle fast enough to meet demand

(J Wrobel, Cornelius Beer and Wine).

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