All hands to the pump for Ardbeg’s first beer

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World-famous Islay Distillery is to donate all the profits from its first beer to clean water charities in Malawi.

Ardbeg’s Shortie Smoky Porter, named after the distillery’s Jack Russell mascot, is a limited edition, produced in aid of World Water Day on Sunday March 22.

The beer’s launch, in partnership with Brewgooder as part of their Global Gathering campaign, was the brainchild of flatmates Alan McIntyre, who is global brand manager at Ardbeg and Alan Mahon, who founded  Brewgooder. The Global Gathering is a collaborative brewing project on a mission to provide clean water for 100,000 people in developing countries, a number of small batch brews will be released over this weekend by breweries to help raise funds.

To make the one-off beer, which will only be available in the UK for a limited time, Whisky-maker Ardbeg  joined forces with Williams Bros Brewing Co.

The special beer is made using the same peated malt as the award-winning Ten Years Old smoky whisky with notes of bitter dark chocolate, malty biscuit, dry espresso coffee and a hint of liquorice.

Ardbeg is the only spirits brand alongside around 250 craft brewers from around the world, all releasing their own unique, one off-brew in aid of Brewgooder’s Global Gathering.

Mickey Heads, Ardbeg Distillery manager, said: ‘Not only is this a hugely important cause – that we’re delighted to be a part of – but the Shortie Smoky Porter is, of course, a first for the distillery. Helping brew a beer may seem like uncharted territory for Ardbeg, but as any whiskyphile worth their malt will tell you, beer and whisky share the same DNA. Just like brewers, we ferment our malt. The only difference being, we hold on to the hops.’

Mr Mahon added: ‘This collaboration is particularly special for me. To create an incredible beer that helps empower people’s lives is one thing, to do it with one of the world’s best whisky brands is another, but to bring it to life with my best friend: there are few things I have been prouder of in my life.

‘I look forward to working with the team at Ardbeg to turn the profits from this beer into life-saving clean water wells for those who need them.’

The Shortie Smoky Porter will cost £14 for a four-pack.