Windie Goat Brewery closed

Some sad news for Scottish brewing reached us this week, with the announcement of the closure of the Windie Goat Brewery. They had been attached to the Failford Inn in South Ayrshire, located in the tiny village of the same name about ten miles east of Prestwick. Like so many fledgling breweries that became successful, they began brewing solely for the pub only to branch out when demand for their beers increased. Although they never had any bottling equipment, mini casks from Windie Goat (they took their name from a local wood) where always in high demand. Indeed, head brewer Michelle sent us a cask of their 5.5% American-style IPA Gutter Slab (read our review here), which was a tremendous full-on Cascade-blast that really delivered.

Sadly the pub has recently passed into new ownership, and they aren’t concerned with an on-site microbrewery so the site has been closed. The brewing equipment was sold to the Iceni Brewery in Norfolk (Michelle and partner Chris driving the tanks there themselves), and the last few casks of the tellingly named Final Fling have been sold. It’s a real shame – Windie Goat were less than four years old and had already made a big impression, winning awards – most recently for Gutter Slab at last year’s Scottish Real Ale Festival, where we managed to catch up with an understandably delighted Michelle.

We contacted her this week and can take some comfort that she plans to start again after a break to consider her options, possibly in England near her family. We wish her all the best, and although the absence of Windie Goat will be felt from this years’ SRAF, the fact that Michelle tells us she has retained all her recipes makes us hopeful we’ll be able to try her beers again at some point in the future.

2 thoughts on “Windie Goat Brewery closed”

  1. It is indeed sad news. We used to out of our way to make the two hour round trip, or three hours for my son-in-law, just for the beer. They were distinctive, flavoursome and full of character and, as an IPA fan, the Gutter Slab was superb. There was nothing like it on the Scottish market, even if she did stop it at 5.5. Hubby Chris was no slouch behind the stove either so my wife was only too happy to drive me down there for my ‘fix’. But then again, we weren’t the ones working 100+ hours a week each and I suppose it wears you down after four years of that. I can only hope that Michelle regains her passion for brewing and keeps her Facebook page updated when she re-starts – although it’s a longer round trip to Cheshire than Ayrshire. I am lucky enough to have a Final Fling mini-cask and will be toasting her health very soon.

  2. Thanks Derek, you are indeed lucky to get hold of Final Fling – I’m sure it’ll drink well. Michelle came up with some terrific recipes with very little backing, hopefully she can get back on her feet and resume where she left off. I imagine a small micro somewhere in Cheshire will gain where Ayrshire lost out. Certainly hope that’s the case anyway, we’ll all have to keep an eye out for the future.

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