Sunday, March 03, 2013

Beer is the News

Petra Wetzel. Image: Kirsty Anderson/Newsquest
Petra Wetzel. Image: Kirsty Anderson/Newsquest
For reasons I can't yet fathom, Arran Brewery's plans to open a bottling plant in Falkirk are dashed due to the Scottish Government declining to fund them a paltry £1million. Tight arses. Arran said this was a major blow, and although the jobs that won't be created would have been in that hotbed of employment, Falkirk, it could in fact jeopardise the 20 or so jobs on Arran: without a drop in operational costs (from the bottling plant), the rise in duty as a result of Arran's merger with the Isle of Skye brewery could push their margins from tiny to negligible to even negative. Ouch.

I don't know. Is this a hint of a sea change in the support for wee breweries in Scotland, which in recent  years has seen a spate of new ones come online and more established ventures grow? Or has Arran gone too far or too quick? Maybe they pissed off some bureaucrat in the poetically named Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation department. Maybe they didnae fill in the form right.

Who knows.

Anyhow, the Brew Gods are still shining on BrewDog, whose funding model is clearly very different to Arran's. The Ellon Mavericks have just announced more growth, more expansion and more jobs. Blimey.

Meanwhile, darling of the bier world, Petra Wetzel, of West Brewery in Glasgow, goes head to head in an insightful, and rather personal, interview with The Herald's Susan Swarbrick. She's currently reading the painfully over-rated Life of Pi and includes Neil Diamond among her favourite artistes. Check out the article for more insights into lager's leading lady.

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