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Meet the Brewers – Stu Cook – Harviestoun

Harviestoun Craft Beer

As part of our regular Meet The Brewer Sessions, we catch up with the creators of some of our favourite beers.

This week, we find out more about Scotland’s most awarded Brewery, Harviestoun - whose Schiehallion lager we are delighted to feature in our Pub in a Box.

We spoke to Managing Director Stu Cook who tells us about how the brewery has been creating craft beer for over thirty five years using local ingredients, lockdown challenges, and a 1774 experiment that set out to determine the weight of the world…

Tell us about the brewery.

Harviestoun is a pioneering producer of high-quality craft beer. We have been brewing in the shadow of the Ochil Hills in Clackmannanshire since 1983. Our beers are made with the soft local water and half our barley is grown within eight miles of the brewery. Now Scotland’s most-awarded brewery, we consider ourselves a modern classic.

How have you found lockdown?

Tough – we have had to re-base our business around a DTC (Direct to Consumer) strategy for now as we wait to see what will happen with the On Trade.   That said though we have been blown away by the support and sales we have had and it has really given us confidence for the future.  We know we have fantastic beers, the challenge has always been cutting through in this congested market and understanding how to position ourselves.  We really feel we are doing that right now.

Can you tell us a bit more about Schiehallion?

Schiehallion was first brewed in 1994!   Schiehallion is named after the quartzite, distinctively conical mountain in Perth & Kinross. Thanks to its unusual symmetry, the Munro was famously used in a 1774 experiment, by Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne, that set out to determine the weight of the world. The full-flavoured craft lager is instantly recognizable. “It’s a nice balance between malty sweetness, bready continental character and the hops,” says Stuart Cail, our Master Brewer.  It is the only current UK Pilsner to have won The World’s Best Pilsner award at the World Beer Awards!!

Do you have any plans for the brewery?

Currently we are just concentrating on keeping a vibrant business through the pandemic.  We have one beer (a 4.6% IPA) in the wings waiting to come when the time is right but for now we are focussing on the current portfolio, namely the very popular sellers, such as Schiehallion, Bitter & Twisted Golden Ale, The Ridge Pale Ale, Old Engine Oil Craft Stout, Forth Lager and our No and Low beers, Wheesht 0.0% Dark Ale & Whippet, our 2.3% pale ale.   Finally, we also have our award winning Highland Park Whisky barrel aged stout, Ola Dubh!    

You can keep up to date with Harviestoun by following them online and on social media:

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