WooHa Q and A
Here's a little Q&A with Heather, our Director about WooHa and the many beer styles out there.
Tell us a little bit about your brewery. What makes it different from others?
WooHa is a bold, progressive and ambitious brewery based in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands. We’re unusual in that we are female-led, with myself as Director alongside our female Marketing Manager and Operations Manager. It’s great to be part of a growing number of women involved in the brewing industry championing great tasting, full flavoured beer.
What are some beer styles that are good for beer beginners? What makes them so accessible?
One of the great things about the current beer scene is the diversity of beers available. I would say to beginners – don’t be afraid to try something different. People can often be put off by really dark beers but these can sometimes be the sweetest and most easy-drinking. Likewise, sour beers and gueuzes can have flavours akin to a dry white wine so they’re great for people who love something a bit drier on the palate.
What are some beer styles to branch out and try if you’ve only ever had those beginner style beers?
There are a few breweries here in Scotland who are doing some really interesting things with barrel-aged beers. Of course, Scotland is well known for it’s whisky, so it makes sense that our breweries would want to draw on that heritage and aging the beers in whisky barrels gives a great depth of flavour and smoothness. In the US, I’d be looking out for similar projects with bourbon barrels – the rich, smokiness you get with a bourbon barrel brings beers to another level.
What are some beer styles that beer aficionados would be interested to try?
A lot of people are talking about provenance and locality in the beer industry – there are interesting beers from all over the world, yes, but when it comes to trying something new, why not look closer to home? Sour beers continue to be a trend and you don’t get more local than drinking a beer that has been fermented with the yeast in the air around the brewery.
What are some misconceptions about beer?
That it’s just for guys! It’s great to see more diversity in the brewing industry and among beer consumers but I believe there is still a lot of work to be done. Being a female-led brewery, we’re personally invested in creating a more welcoming industry.
There is still a stigma around beer being an unhealthy choice – all our packaged beers are bottle conditioned which mean they have a small amount of yeast added to each bottle to provide the effervescence in a natural way. This also results in the beer is a great source of vitamin B12 – which can be particularly useful for those following a vegan diet.
What are your favourite things to eat with a beer? Or cook with beer?
Food pairing for beer is as diverse – if not more so – than food pairing with wine as there are so many different varieties. Gose beers have a subtle lemon flavour with salty notes and pair well with fresh oysters; dark beers compliment anything with blue cheese – the rich maltiness can stand up to the strong flavours and let the creaminess sing out; and a good, spicy IPA can be the perfect partner to a Thai peanut salad, with both being fresh yet bold.
In terms of cooking with beer we recently had a local chef make a chocolate cake with our WooHa Porter – the beer adds a depth that gives a classic comfort food a sophisticated edge.