Saturday, 7 January 2012

Bonnie beers of Loch Lomond

As I have been saying for quite some time, you can’t move in Scotland at the moment without a new microbrewery popping up while you’re looking the other way.

One of the newest is Loch Lomond Brewery in Alexandria just south of Balloch. Fiona and Euan  have been homebrewing for a few years before setting up the brewery, which made its first beer in October. I took the train up on a drizzly Sunday in December to have a look (I wasn’t the first blogger to visit – Adam got there before me).

The beers are currently being sold in the Village Inn in Arrochar and have been sighted in the Bon Accord and Pot Still in Glasgow too. The brewery is also in talks with a well-known department store about stocking bottled beer. I think bottling is a smart move – what tourist at Loch Lomond wouldn’t want a bottle or two of local beer?

Of the beers made so far, Ale of Leven is a sweetish heavy-type ale while Bonnie ’n’ Bitter is a hoppier beer somewhere between Deuchars and Bitter & Twisted. A darker ale called Kessog was being brewed when I visited.

To be honest, I was expecting an amateurish little brewery making dull beers. I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. No awards for innovation (yet), but the beers are good and polished with none of the dodgy notes that sometimes plague start-up breweries. It’s difficult to believe they’ve only been brewing commercially for three months. I look forward to tasting more of their products in the coming year.


  1. I hope to visit in Easter (if I'm allowed to book my holiday for then...)

  2. I believe that when it comes to start up breweries, rather than giving awards for innovation and envelope pushing, we should praise more those who are able to come out with a couple of well polished recipes of classic styles.

  3. I am inclined to agree, Filosof. I like Bonnie 'n' Bitter because it reminds me of how good Deuchars IPA used to be.