Pivo in a half shell, Tortoise power!

Geoffrey warming up by the Aga. The Black Isle is colder than Africa.

What is true however, is that we have new beer. It is a 4.8% pale ale, it is hopped with Cascade, Pilgrim and Nelson Sauvin then dry hopped with New Zealand’s finest just to make sure. It has the fantastic aroma you’d expect from the Nelson with the prerequisite bitterness in the finish you’d hope for in a proper pale ale. The word ‘moreish’ was heavily used during our tasting session.

We haven’t bottled it, so if you’d like to try Geoffrey you’ll have go to a pub and be sociable. To account for all tastes it is both keg and cask with a healthy smattering around Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle over the next two weeks.

As for Geoff, he is settling in to his new home nicely. Only today he saught solace by the Aga only to be sat on by one of the dogs and then almost trodden on when Mike was frying eggs.

Watch Geoffrey in action as he scales the mountainous hearth and heads for the fire.

Happy New Beer!

As it turned out 2011 was a great year for great beer, but 2011 was so last year!

We’re determind to make 2012 the new 2011 and to prove it we’ve bought a calender, some brewing shoes and cake (we have to eat too).

Whilst scrabbling around under cupboards, conditioning tanks and the occasional sheep looking for beer recipe books it suddenly dawned on us that we have a world class brewing team, may be they’d have some idea’s? This is what Head Brewer Colin has cobbled together… 

1. Hops hops and just to make sure, some hops

Our first new brew of 2012 (Which should be mashed in by the end of the week) is an Imperial Pale Ale. The aim is for a 6.8 – 7.3% big beast of hop led yumminess. True to our roots this will be full of flavour but balanced and a bit too moreish for a beer of that strength.

2. Back to the beginning. Again.

Anyone who tried the original Export Scotch Ale should be pretty excited at the prospect of a second batch, which is this time being brewed on the big kit. The first run (which produced about 750 bottles despite the bottle numbering going up to 1400+) of this 7.9% gem was made in our old brewery with mains water.

Just in case anyone was in any doubt…

Colin did tell us what style it is but it’s such an obscure sounding project we thought we’d leave it until nearer the time. It’s a double pilsner with a twist, we think?

3. And if that wasn’t enough…

We will also be collaborating with some other UK breweries we admire plus making a very special beer for our friends in Sweden, with some friends from Sweden.

We also have one other very different project which we will release on to the world in the next couple of months. Stay tuned.

Of course during all this fun we will be ensuring that we have plenty of the core range and that the quality is kept high and consistent. We have every intention of brewing all the beers in that list, but if they don’t all make it to bar or bottle the reason is because we won’t compromise what we do.

If you have a great idea for a Black Isle beer, please keep it to yourself until next year. We have our work cut out already!

Happy New Beer folks. Let’s make 2012 the year of UK beer!

Our Year in Beer

Well as years go 2011 has been a cracker. Our industry is in the throws of a hugely exciting time for well crafted beer, which we have seen reflected in our growth over the past 12 months. We are 50% up on last year and we have seen some hugely exciting developments.

Below, in no particular order, are our top Black Isle Brewing Co. moments of 2011.

Our beer went foreign!

Every ambitious company wants to see a demand increase, and we saw it this year as we began to export our beers to lands afar.

One of the bands on our now iconic stage

Again the weekend was a smash, with even more people turning out despite the threat of severely average weather. The weather behaved and we had the most excellent Saturday night, with the tagline ‘Beers, bands and bratwurst’ we fully intend to do it all again next time around.


Our deal with Adnams!

We like Adnams, a big regional brewer with a real social conscience and commitment to the environment. We like Adnams a lot in fact, and we were thrilled when they agreed to distribute the kegged Organic Porter across their vast network. We already have several installations in London and the number is growing. Watch this space! 


Our kegged Porter can be found at Tapping the Admiral in Camden

 The only way is up as they say, except geographically speaking, in which case the way forward for us is down.


The beers!

You can’t be a brewery and not mention your beers in your end of year highlights. Certainly not when your new brewer has been whipping up a storm.

It would be fair to say that we’ve changed tack a bit on the beer front this year. Nothing showcases this more than our collaboration with Masterchef winner Tim Anderson. Tim came up with a bonkers idea for a Smoked Weizenbock with Chilli, and we let him brew it. Turns out his pallate is pretty good, because the beer was a winner. Tim then did us the great honour of matching his food to our beer and cooking for 80 people at the Caley Sample Rooms in Edinburgh.


Following on from that Colin came along and whipped up his Black Stout, at 7.4% and destined for aging in Bruichladdich organic whisky casks we managed to rack off 2 casks and 1 keg and show the beer world where Black Isle Brewing Co is heading! The aged version we called Black Islay and is available now on our online shop. Enjoy. Sensibly.

As for 2012, well we’ve had a few ideas and expect to see the first very early in the new year.


Other gems fro 2011 include our new website built by our friends at Gecko New Media, our new merchandise provided by our friends at Vektor, two great events at Cloisters Bar in Edinburgh and the arrival of yet more spaniels. It’s been a blast and if we listed every great moment we’d be here all night.

Thank you all for your support, custom, help and any other way you may have contributed to such a great year. We’re already looking at 2012 being something of a landmark year and we hope you’ll join us on the journey.

If you have any memorable Black Isle Brewing Co. highlights and you want to share them, feel free to comment on the bottom of this post. We’d love to hear from you!

Have a fantastic Christmas and a very Happy New Year.


From all of us at Black Isle Brewing Co.




Black Isle hits Glasgow in Bruadar

As the world of beer continues to evolve at an exciting rate, beer lovers are seeing the benefit in the shape of some forward thinking bars. An excellent case in point is the imminent opening of Bruadar in Glasgow. Formerly the Millhouse at the foot of Byres Road this has been taken over by Fuller Thomson, the company responsible for the Holyrood 9a and Red Squirrel in Edinburgh and Dukes Corner and Drouthy Neebors in Dundee.



The new name means ‘a dream’ and for drinkers in Glasgow that may very well be the case. The bar will boast 20 draught beer lines to match a menu of 20 burgers and some well stocked bottle fridges.

Fans of Black Isle can expect a treat as our Blonde, Goldeneye and Porter will all feature on keg, plus a rare outing for Molly’s Vanilla Porter and the Chilli Porter on cask.

Opening night is Monday December 19th, we’ll be there and we hope to see you too.



Black Islay: Welcome to the Evolution

Well it’s been a long time coming but we’ve finally reached a point where we can unleash our new website on you, the World. Hello!


Casks with yummy stuff in (beer)


It has most definitely been a labour of love, lots and lots of phone calls, emails, text messages, more emails, some more phone calls and a significant amount of stress.

Anyway, with Christmas coming up we thought we’d give ourselves a present, and this is it. We hope you like it, because we’ve built it with you in mind.

We’re at pains to state that we’re not finished, this is a work in progress. Expect lots of changes in the future! We’ve got some great ideas in the pipeline. Lot’s of fun, lots of cutting edge stuff and of course, lots of brilliant beer.

Feel free to leave comments, interact with us, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and generally become part of it all. It’s quite exciting, you’ll like it!

As part of this little launch, we now have on sale Black Islay, an 8.1% Bruichladdich Organic whisky aged Imperial stout. Just click Here. You might even find some other goodies on our new shop.


From all of us at The Black Isle Brewing Co.


Total Tap Night at Cloisters Bar


You might have noticed that of late we have all been just a little bit busy. We’ve got a new brewer, new shop manager, we’re sending kegs to Sweden, bottles to Switzerland, and generally been having a lot of fun in the meantime.

We thought it might be nice if we shared some of that fun, so on November 9th the entire team shall be at Cloisters bar, Edinburgh and we are bringing some beer with us…. ten draught beers in fact.
On the night you will able to try a kegged Black Stout, Chilli Porter and Pacific Red and a cask Coffee Porter and Scotch Ale. All of which are new beers and in all likelihood one off’s. We will also have some favourites on both cask and keg.
During the evening we will be running free raffles for a chance to pick up some of our brand new merchandise, taste our new Bruichladdich aged stout and take part in a whisky/beer matching session.
We will also be running a charity raffle with a chance to win a pretty cool prize, but if you want to know what that is, you have to turn up on the night.
We will arrive around the 7pm mark, but Cloisters chef Lee will be turning out a whole host of Black Isle based dishes from 5pm for those who feel it prudent to line their stomachs beforehand.
Be there or be somewhere else, probably having less fun than us. We look forward to seeing you all at The Cloisters, 26 Brougham Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH3 9JH
The Black Isle Brewing Co team.