Not just the industrial…

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Scottish Beer | 5 Comments

Street View appeared on the scene a few years ago, but has already become an indispensable tool. For instance, I’m off on holiday next week (so no posts etc etc) but thanks to Google’s cameras I know exactly how to drive from Pisa airport to where we are staying.* It makes such a difference, knowing what a junction looks like before you roll up to it, or how to recognise a hotel without ever having been there. The downside is that when you do arrive you get that weird déjà vu feeling – but it’s a small price to pay for not getting lost.

Speaking of which, sometimes when you head off to find your favourite brewery, you end up in concrete hell, negotiating identical streets on industrial estates looking for the correct unit. But not every brewery is located on a retail park. Here in Scotland, we are blessed with some of the most striking brewing scenery imaginable. And thanks to Street View, you can imagine no longer. Take that white house in the picture above – that’s the farmhouse at the centre of Fyne Ales’ brewery in Argyll, looking as gorgeous a setting as a brewery could ever wish to have.

* And as it’s Italy, I’ll be deploying +10 rakish driving points at all times.

Scottish brewing revels in the variety – and not just in the beer. In the locations as well…

For instance, this fetching façade is the Abbot Brew House in Dunfermline. The pink exterior looking quite the destination, (quite literally) highlighting the historical importance of the brewery and the beers that the team at the old building produce.

I mean, look at this. The Cuillin Brewery (the white building in the foreground, in front of the larger Sligachan Hotel) overlooks the mountains after which it takes its name, and has to be the most stunning location for a brewery I can think of. Although, if you know a British brewery with a better location, let me know…

Ok – not every brewery overlooks pods of dolphins leaping about, or has red squirrels scampering through the keg washing station. Step forward Pilot Beer. The beating heart of Leith.

WEST in Glasgow is proof that not all interesting brewery locations are along twisty roads and require you to stock up on midge spray beforehand. The old Templeton carpet factory on Glasgow green is a great place for a beermaker – because a) it’s unique and looks really, really cool and b) there’s the grassy sprawl of the green on which to take your beer when the sun shines.

On the shores of Little Loch Broom, An Teallach’s cask-only brewery peeks out from the row of trees behind the A832. This is the classic ‘what to look for’ if you ever go searching for a brewery. If they don’t have external fermenters – ‘casks, indicate, manoeuvre!’

What at first glance resembles a scout hut is, in fact, home to the Colonsay Brewery – arguably the most remote beermaker in the country. As they say, ‘the smallest island in the world with its own brewery’ (they employ 10% of the island’s working population). A two and half hour ferry ride to the glittering lights of Oban, this is brewing on the (admittedly beautiful) edge.

Not all breweries have had the questionable luxury of the Google car drive up to their postbox. This is as close as you can get to the home of Knops Beer Co – which looks as if it doubles as a small airfield. And clearly a windy day, at that.

Oh, and this brewery also looks to be remote and out of the way. But as it’s BrewDog, maybe Google kind of need to update their maps on this one…


  1. Liam
    June 29, 2015

    If you are staying in Pisa you should try and visit the Orzobruno bar in the centre. Usually 4 of their own beers on tap and free appetisers between 7 and 8.30pm

  2. FyneJamie
    June 29, 2015

    Thanks for the mention Rich. For us a sense of place (and working on a human scale) is part of what distinguishes craft beer from mainstream macro brands. In short – we don’t work on a boring industrial estate, and we don’t make boring industrial beer!

  3. Andrew
    July 1, 2015

    it should be noted that the Abbot Brew House only take up a tiny wee portion of that building (in fact its not really in that building at all but on the right hand side as you go through the gates shown).

  4. Bob
    July 7, 2015

    I was going to say, but Andrew beat me to it, that’s Abbot House Heritage Centre, the Abbot Brew House is in an “out building”, not the main building…

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