Last week the FOH team visited the Cromarty Brewing Company on the Black Isle. They have been established since 2011 as a small family-run microbrewery and have since grown into one of the most recognised independent breweries in Scotland. We met with head brewer Craig and his mother who gave us an informative and entertaining tour around their brewhouse and tasting shop.
While being in awe of the beautiful stainless steel brewing tanks, boilers and fermenting tanks, we picked up a lot of new and interesting information. We learnt that the basis of their beers comes from just four quality ingredients; malted barley (with some rye, wheat and the occasional roasted coffee beans thrown in for good measure), quality imported hops from Europe, America and Oceania, their own strains of brewers yeast and good Scottish water.
It was great to see the variety of products produced from just varying these four ingredients, from easy drinking pale ales, to hop bomb IPAs and to dark coffee infused stouts. Even better was learning how the nickname of brewer Craig’s father became the name of his most famous beer, the Happy Chappy, because what is a great product without a great story?
We learned how the beer is produced and found some great alternative award-winning beers that we could potentially add to our usual stock. We also became aware of how long it takes to produce the beers and why sometime they are out of stock of some types.
As well as this, we picked up from this tour how important passion, drive and quality is to the success of a small business like Cromarty Brewing Company and how we at the Torridon can follow their lead in being proudly Scottish, independent and of high quality.