Siblings brewing up taste of Loch
Inverness Courier , Published: 18 January, 2011
TWO brothers are the latest to tap into the Highlands’ thriving specialist beer market by launching a new brewery business from their pub in Drumnadrochit.
Hoteliers and real ale enthusiasts Allan and Stephen Crossland are to create the Loch Ness Brewery more than 150 years since beer was last produced locally.
The move comes a week after The Inverness Courier revealed that the established Black Isle Brewery in Munlochy has secured its first export order, supplying its Goldeneye Pale Ale to Sweden’s state controlled off licences.
Five different beers will be produced by the Crosslands, who have run the village’s Benleva Hotel for nine years. They already host an annual beer festival and sell products from other Highland breweries. Having carried out extensive tasting, research and sought advice from other independent brewers, the brothers hope to start serving up their own beers for real in March.
Patrons in the hotel’s bar on Kilmore Road will have the chance to try out the range – including Hoppy Ness – because the brothers intend to only supply their own premises at first.
Allan Crossland (41) said the venture had been in the pipeline for some time but the economic circumstances had made it difficult to secure investment from banks.
“It was something we always wanted to do,” he explained. “There used to be a small brewery at the Lewiston Arms Hotel 150 years ago.”
Thirty-nine-year-old Stephen said the aim was to start small and slowly expand production and hoped the venture would create new jobs in the future.
“We set up the Loch Ness Brewing Company a few years ago and it has been a continued process getting all the bits and bobs together. We are going to brew the beer from a cottage behind the hotel.”
Despite a world renowned legend on their doorstep, the brothers have made a conscious decision not to use Nessie in any of their packaging and marketing, preferring to identify the ales with the loch.
“There are enough things trading on Nessie already,” said Mr Crossland who refused to say how much they had invested in the project other than it was a considerable sum of money.
Test brews are currently being undertaken and equipment installed. Mr Crossland said advice from Angus MacRuary, one of the founders of the award winning Isle of Skye Brewery, had been invaluable.
Allan and Stephen Crossland from Drumnadrochit are set to launch their Loch Ness Brewery. Callum Mackay