BEER lovers across the country could soon be sampling a new drink created by a man from Southampton.

Curtis Pitter has been named a finalist in a new national competition launched by Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn, which is giving people the chance to create their dream drink with the strangest flavours they can think of.

The winner will brew a new limited edition beer with the company’s founder and master brewer, Dougal Gunn Sharp, at its Perth headquarters.

The new brew will bear the winner’s name, and will be sold across the UK in the summer of 2018.

The competition was initially launched in Sweden last year, with a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout infused with jalapeño peppers taking the top spot.

Previous flavours which have appeared in the competition include raspberry and maple syrup.

Curtis’s idea, a take on Innis & Gunn Original, includes honey and orange zest.

Dougal said: “Ideas can come from anywhere and everywhere, and Imagine & Gunn really excites me because the possibilities for beer are limitless.”

“The competition is our way of inspiring beer drinkers to look at their beer and see something new.”.

Innis & Gunn says the winning recipe will be “barrel-aged”, even though the brewery actually uses pieces of oak barrels to flavour its beer rather than storing it in a barrel to mature.

But Dougal has defended the company’s technique.

He said: “It is no different whether we use our new ‘barrel into beer’ technique, or the traditional beer into barrel method which we’ve been using for 15 years on our limited-edition beers.”

Curtis is one of nine finalists in the competition.

Dougal added: “It’s been inspiring to see the breadth of flavour ideas, and passion for beer that has come through from all corners of the country.

“We’ve had our say in putting forward the finalists, but ultimately there can only be one winner and we are putting this decision in the hands of beer fans across the country.”

People can vote for Curtis’s honey and orange beer by going online and visiting the Innis & Gunn website before 5pm on December 11.

The company was established in 2003.

Its product has become the the most popular British bottled beer sold in Canada and the second most popular in Sweden.

It was partly-owned by William Grant and Sons but has been family-owned since a management buy-out in 2008.

The beer was originally developed as a way of flavouring the barrels used by William Grant for its ale cask reserve whisky.

But the brewers discovered that the process also improved the flavour of the beer.