UK-based Simpson’s Malt was founded in 1862, and over five generations, the Simpson family has provided their malting expertise to breweries and distilleries the world over. Their base of operations, Berwick-upon-Tweed, is a city on the England/Scotland border, and its name could not be more appropriate. “Ber” is Old English for barley, while “wick” is a farm or village. Simpson’s Malt is quite literally located in Barleytown.
If you’re wondering what this has to do with Surly: Simpson’s Malt provides the backbone to many of your favorite Surly beers. For example, their Golden Promise malt is an integral part of your Furious and Todd The Axe Man experience. In other words, it’s been a very fruitful relationship.
It’s also why we gladly accepted their request to create a beer showcasing their Double Roasted Crystal (DRC) malt for the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference in Portland, Oregon. That beer became Simpson’s Scottish Ale, and the DRC malt imparts a light caramel flavor, along with notes of toffee, burnt sugar, and dry fruit. There is a slight hop addition, but the malt is the star of this show. It’s an excellent example of a malt-forward beer, and there is a fresh batch on tap in the Beer Hall now.
The reason it’s there is Peter Simpson.
Peter, part of that fifth generation of Simpson maltsters, passed away much too young in May of this year after battling pancreatic cancer. We wanted to pay our respects by doing something special for a man and a family that have done so much for our brewery. That’s why a portion of the proceeds from each Simpson’s Scottish Ale pint we sell will be donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in Peter’s honor.
Stop in and raise your glass to the memory of this humble maltster.