A pioneering brewery in the heart of Scotland’s Speyside whisky country is back in business after a Covid-induced break

Seb Jones

Forres-based Speyside Brewery, which produced beers and lagers influenced by the area’s rivers and landscape, will be re-commencing production a few yards from its original site.

The brewery was mothballed for a short while when the pandemic hit but has attracted new investment and is set to re-launch from bigger premises.

The brewery’s charismatic founder, Seb Jones, will continue as managing director and lead the company’s development.

Speaking from the famous Telford bridge landmark at Craigellachie on Speyside, he said the industry has emerged from the pandemic in a different shape with new challenges and markets.

“I am so pleased to be continuing this dream of mine, and to have investors that believe in it just as strongly is fantastic,” he said.

“In larger premises with our equipment, recipes and passion, we will be targeting markets that I believe have always been under-served by beers from Speyside, and Scotland in general.  Servicing that and responding to our loyal local customers will mean we’ll be flat out from the get-go.”

The brewery first opened its doors in 2012, the first in the area for over a decade. Using Speyside area icons to name its beers, it collected a host of awards for the products and the business. In 2016 the brewery teamed up with one of Speyside’s biggest distillers to create a ground-breaking IPA-influenced whisky and a beer aged in the same single malt casks. 

Re-starting production will see beers such as its Speyside Lager influenced by local beauty spot Randolph’s Leap, and the big-selling Findhorn Killer IPA, named after one of most successful salmon flies used in the area’s peaty rivers.

“We’ll be resurrecting many of our beers, and I’m already developing some new ones too,” Seb added.

“Many of the new beers will be in direct response to the changing landscape of the drinks market. But importantly for our local economy we’ll be creating employment, which along with happy customers I find the most satisfying elements of business.”

Speyside Brewery is  actively recruiting a head brewer and administration personnel, with more jobs to be created later in 2022 and in early 2023.

Directors of the company, Moray businesswoman Naidene Urquhart and restaurateur Katalin Urquhart said “They were delighted to be part of the story that brings Speyside Brewery back into production.”

“Seb and Speyside Brewery produced exceptional beers and it’s great to be able to help that journey continue,” they said.

“In addition, it had very strong roots in the Speyside and Forres community, which we are very keen on growing along with the brewery.”

Katalin Urquhart, Seb Jones and Naidene Urquhart