Black Isle in the USA… more cities!

Oatmeal Stout & Export Scotch AleAs promised, here’s the latest update on Black Isle beer in the USA! Four more distributors have joined us:

Atlantic Importing

Windy City Distributing, LLC
(630) 820-1268

Wicked Wines
(207) 942-2300

Washington state
Click Distributing
(206) 763 3200

So keep an eye on your local beer merchant, we could be heading your way! Want to see Black Isle in your area? Ask your local beer merchant to stock Black Isle – they can get in touch with our nearest distributor. Here’s the full list of distributors so far.


Meet Lauren, Black Isle WWOOFer and mural artist!

Along with the sheep, cows, chickens and brewers, you’ll also spot WWOOFers here at Black Isle Brewery.

What’s a WWOOFer? WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (or, alternatively, Willing Workers On Organic Fams), a global network of organizations that connect people who want to live and learn on organic farms and smallholdings with people who are looking for volunteer help. WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles. Volunteers give hands on help in return.

Today we chat to Lauren from Canada, who’s been WWOOFing with us since October…

Lauren at work on the brewery mural

Lauren at work on the brewery mural

So Lauren, is this your first WWOOFing stint?
I’ve worked in Italy, Turkey and Portugal – two to three months in each place. Some WWOOFers hop around a lot more – a few weeks here and there – but I like to stay longer and become comfortable with a place and get the real flavour of it. You interact with people on a deeper level than you would if you were just living your own private life. It trains you to negotiate and work with people – how to get along, how to make a contribution, how not to step on toes.

What drew you to Black Isle?
The whole brewery aspect was very enticing! I’m personally into brewing – I like fermenting things. Beer, cabbage, kombucha (fermented tea). Fermented things are so healthy for you! So I was drawn to the whole aspect of an organic brewery on a farm. There’s the brewery, and the sheep, and it’s all so cyclical with the spent grains going to the animals. I really wanted to see how all that worked because basically it’s my dream future.

What does a typical day on the farm involve?
When I first started in October I was mostly working in the garden, harvesting food and putting the beds to sleep for the winter, plus working in the kitchen. Now that it’s colder my tasks are more willy-nilly. I’ve been working on some inside projects, such as painting signs for Jocktoberfest and working in the furniture restoration workshop.

Lauren and camera-shy friend in the garden

Lauren and camera-shy friend in the garden

What’s your favourite thing to do on the farm?
I really like gardening but when it’s cold my hands freeze! So I’ve been enjoying being in the workshop recently. I’m also working on a big mural for the Brewery. Since there’s so many animals on the farm and great Scottish wildlife, David was keen for it to include animals. I didn’t want to make cheesy so I thought it would be cool to have a bunch of anthropomorphic animals partying at a jazz bar, complete with a band. I feel really lucky to be given the opportunity to do such a fun job.

Tell us about your love for art…
I’ve been into art since I was a kid and did a visual arts programme at high school. Since then it’s been difficult to keep it up when work came into it. I realized I need some structure – like anything holistic in your life, like practicing the piano or jogging or learning a language, you have to keep it up or it goes away. So I started the Building Project two years ago when I was in Montreal. I spent an hour every day drawing a random building. There were a few rules: the building was chosen depending on where I could find to sit comfortably (otherwise you freeze your butt off) and I wasn’t allowed to listen to music, because that would shut off the surroundings. When I was music-free, people would stop and chat about what I was doing, which was great. It’s also been nice travelling in Europe with new types of buildings to draw. I always feel good when I finish a drawing – it’s so important to have these small rituals.

What’s the most memorable task you’ve done on the farm?
Definitely weeding the pond! It was a rainy day so we dressed in head to toe in waterproof gear then got into a little dingy the size of a dog’s bathtub. We were pulling the weeds into the boat until we were almost sinking, then paddling back to shore using rakes for oars. Then we’d lug the weeds onto the shore and paddle back out again. It was… memorable.

What’s your favourite Black Isle beer?
It changes all the time! In bottles I like Blonde, it’s so flavourful – grassy and really nice. At the pub I like Porter or Red Kite, they’re really awesome beers on tap. I’m excited to try some of the rarer beers – I really want to try Black Run and I’m stoked about the new Barley Wine.

When you move on from the Black Isle, what will you miss most?
The beauty. The milk. The Aga. The dogs! My temporary family. There are so many nice things about living and working on the Black Isle. It’s a beautiful place and because we’re up north, the light is incredible. I’ll miss everyone as soon as I go and I’ll never forget them!


Black Isle in the USA

Calling all our friends across the pond! At last, the first shipment of Black Isle Oatmeal Stout and Export Scotch has arrived on American shores.

Our distributors are sending this slew of delicious brew to all corners of the country. So far, we can confirm we’re on sale in selected stores in…

  • San Francisco
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • South Carolina
  • New York
  • Maine and Chicago coming soon

We’ll be hitting more states in the weeks to come… check back here for details!

Want to see Black Isle in your neck of the woods?
Please help us spread the word! Ask your local beer merchant to stock Black Isle… they can get in touch with our nearest distributor:

  • Geyser Beverage, Livermore CA
    (925) 960-0125
  • Pitcher of Nectar, Phoenix AZ
    (602) 513-3320
  • Remarkable Liquids, Albany NY
    Contact Spencer Noakes – spencernoakes @

Update: four more distributors added:

Atlantic Importing

Windy City Distributing, LLC
(630) 820-1268

Wicked Wines
(207) 942-2300

Washington state
Click Distributing
(206) 763 3200

Black Isle in the USA!

Christmas in a box – 10% off!

Don’t leave them weeping in the ‘isles (geddit?) this Christmas… there’s still time to order the perfect Black Isle gift delivered to your door, any door, mainland Britain.

* * * Last date for Christmas orders is this Thursday 19 December * * *

Order now and you’ll get 10% off our mixed boxes, including two new combinations…

Pale and Interesting – Straw coloured, hoppy, zesty, flinty, refreshing, for the fruit & flower loving beer drinkers: Yellowhammer, Goldeneye, Blonde, Heather Honey, Red Kite. Buy now »

Pale & Interesting

Roasty & Toasty
 – a mix of dark beers including Hibernator Oatmeal Stout, Porter, Big Butt Barley Wine, Smoked Porter, Scotch Ale, and Double Export Scotch… the healthy alternative to chocolate and coffee. Buy now »

Roasty and Toasty

Beer Festival in a Box
– There’s something for everyone in this mixed pack of beers: Blonde, Red Kite, Yellowhammer, Porter. 500ml bottles in packs of 12 or 20! Buy now »

Beer festival in a box

Introducing… Big Butt Oak Aged Barley Wine

We’ve just launched another limited edition winter warmer…. Big Butt Oak Aged Barley Wine (8.5% ABV).

Big Butt Oak Aged Barley Wine

Aged in oak sherry butts for 4 months prior to bottling, once poured this strong, deep peat-coloured beer opens up warm aromas of malt-loaf, spice, vanilla and alcohol. A nourishing seasonal winter beer perfect for sitting by the fire and getting the frost out of your toes.

It’s available now in 330ml bottles from our online shop. It will also be appearing shortly in selected Edinburgh pubs & beer retailers. This is a limited release, so grab it while you can!

Jocktoberfest 2013 video

Were you at Jocktoberfest 2013? Check out our new video of the weekend and relive all the good times and great beers.

We’ll announce the date for the next Jocktoberfest in the early months of 2014, so stay tuned…

New Smoked Porter

If you can’t get to Bamberg this autumn, bring Bamberg to you with this delicious, dark, dusky, smokey, Bavarian beauty… our new limited edition Smoked Porter is in our online shop now!

After a smash hit debut at Jocktoberfest, where it was by far the biggest selling cask beer, we thought we’d make it more widely available for those who missed out… or for those keen to relive the magic.

Black Isle Smoked Porter

It’s a blend of German roasted malts and our local smoked barley, which might even put a smile on a disgruntled German Chancellor’s face.

Order it while you can — it won’t be around forever! 

Here’s the buzz on Twitter…


Barrel Aged Black Run

Black Isle Black Run

We like to treat all our beers with the same care and passion. Occasionally one comes out which we believe deserves to be treated a little differently. That was the case with the Black Run. Whilst this was an amazing beer in it’s own right Head Brewer, Colin Stronge, thought we could add something a little extra special. 250.5 litres of this 8.4% hoppy imperial stout were bottled in December 2012 with the remainder of the brew being given all winter to pick up flavours and mature in a range of casks borrowed from Tomatin. We have Sherry Butts that have had a single fill of Tomatin Whisky, Bourbon Casks that also had a single fill of Tomatin Whisky and triple fill Tomatin Whisky casks.

This aging has allowed each cask of this beer which is the strongest, blackest and hoppiest beer we have produced to date, to develop its own unique flavour:

Sherry butt – 4 months 8.4%abv
Starting with cedar wood and molasses in the aroma then leading to flavours of raisin, plum, liquorice, some smoke, coffee, oily green leaves and a slightly boozy finish.

Tomatin Whisky cask – 4 months 9.5%abv
A boozy nose with notes of eucalyptus & Demerara sugar. The flavours start with a little sherbet, oily green hops, leather, tobacco, oak and a lightly sweet finish.

Bourbon barrel – 4 months 9.7%abv
Aromas of vanilla, wood and red berry fruit. The flavours of vanilla, leather, oak and elderflower marry wonderfully. Finishes with a boozy and woody nose and full palate.

All three beers are available from our website

Here is a link to our friends at Tomatin.

Nobles Tap Takeover 2013

In just under a week Black Isle Brewery will again be taking over the taps at the wonderful Nobles. As well as bringing ourselves there will be beers you know, beers you don’t and twists on our usual beers.<

On Keg:
Red Kite
Introducing: Cask Aged Black Run

Unfined and Extra Hopped Nobles Ale
Breakfast Beer
Last chance to try: Oak Aged Hibernator

From the very talented Nobles kitchen there will be a special menu with beer pairings for each dish. Reservations can be made on 0131 629 7215.

If you have not heard of or tried the Black Run then this will be special. Not only is it our strongest beer at 8.4% this imperial stout is also our hoppiest. The un-aged version was released last December with a limited release of 501 bottles. For the last three months the remainder of the brew has been aging slowly in wooden casks borrowed from Tomatin distillery. It has been hibernating in single whisky fill sherry casks, single whisky fill bourbon casks and triple fill whisky casks. For our take over at Nobles we will have a mixed version of the triple fill whisky and single fill bourbon.

As with all our events you will get to meet the hard working people behind the beer as well as having the chance to win some Black Isle goodies.

Food will be served and drinks will be poured from 5pm Wednesday 27 March 2013 at Nobles Bar, 44a Constitution Street, Leith, Edinburgh.

We look forward to see you there.

Breakfast Delivered

For those who wish to reduce rather than rescind their alcohol intake for lent or purley for those who want to try a lower alcohol yet full bodied and full hopped we have the 2.8% Cold Turkey Breakfast Beer.

For the next 28 days this 2.8% beer will be available by mailorder from our website for just £2.08 a bottle.  Yes, we did let the percentage go to our head.