Islay Ales are now five years old. Having commenced brewing in March 2004 in the Tractor Shed of Islay House Square, it has seen its range of cask and bottle conditioned beers extend to eight regularly brewed beers and occasional specials.
To celebrate this milestone, the company is having a weekend of events over the Saturday and Sunday from 11.00 until 5.00 on 11 and 12 April, the Easter Weekend. Events will include brewery tours, tastings, food with beer and a beer tent.
Founded by Paul Capper, Paul Hathaway and Walter Schobert the company now exports to Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Japan. In its five year life, Islay Ales has produced around 350,000 pints of beer, of which about 80% has been bottled. It was originally planned to produce only three beers at any one time; Finlaggan and Black Rock Ales and one seasonal beer. However the seasonal beers, Saligo, Dun Hogs Head, Nerabus and Ardnave Ales have proved so popular that they are now brewed all year round. They have now been joined by Angus Og and Single Malt Ales, both of which were originally Festival brews. Continue reading....Islay Ales has also produced some unusual beers, using the wort from Bruichladdich Distillery to produce a unique drink for the last four Festivals. Worts â€˜nâ€™ Ale was produced for the 2005 Festival and was sufficiently well received to become the â€˜Beer of the Monthâ€™ on the international beer site, www.beer-pages.com, hosted by Roger Protz, one of the most influential writers on beer in the world. Protz also includes Saligo Ale as one of the top six in Scotland in his â€˜The Little Book of Beerâ€™.
Islay Ales at Islay House Square Bridgend
Islay Ale is now sold in up to 17 establishments on the island during the summer, and an increasing number of outlets have been taking the beers all year round. They are increasingly appearing on the mainland at beer festivals and as a guest beer in pubs the length and breadth of Britain. Islay Ales are a regular fixture at the Great British Beer Festival run by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in London which is the biggest beer festival in the UK. Everyone at Islay Ales would very much like to thank all of the local businesses and individuals who have supported us so well during the past five years.
This story was published with kind permission of the Ileach local newspaper.