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Crack Open a Craft Beer With Us

Crack Open a Craft Beer With Us

Posted by Maria Mangion, March, 2018

Craft brewing runs in the Scottish Highlands’ veins. With all the indie goods a craft beer or ale imparts to its drinkers, the emphasis and demand on quality craft beer has caused somewhat of a mini-revolution in Scotland in recent years.

Craft breweries are as artfully skilled as their namesake implies: they transform the product made globally famous by mass producers into a locally curated artefact. In short, craft beer conjures excitement and its growing army of admirers is taking over our nation. You’d be hard-pressed not to have sampled a delicious craft beer in a Scottish pub or restaurant, but if this is you, it’s time for you to culture your weekend palate a bit further!

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Why is Scotland In Love With Craft Beer?

If you look at a map of microbreweries across Scotland, it looks like a star-studded sky. Anywhere you go, you’re never too far from the finest bottles of independently brewed goodness.

We like to think of ourselves as playfully discerning critics of anything that comes in casks. While we’re usually singularly represented with golden single-malts, us Scots know our brews too. It’s a little-known fact that brewing history in Scotland dates back 5,000 years - the first evidence of ale-making crofts was found in Orkney!

Did you know that in 325 BC, the ancient Greek explorer, Pytheas, voyaged around the British Isles and remarked that Scotland was “skilled in the art of brewing”? Alongside this classical pedigree, we’re also amassing awards and a bigger reputation for our craft brewing excellence year on year.

A growing section of the younger generation, especially, would pick a colourfully labelled, idiosyncratically flavoured pint over the default lager any day. We’ve also got a healthy 100-plus breweries packed into Scotland’s modest size – talk about perfect density!

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Experience The Beauty of Craft Brewing…

It’s easy to see why the competition is losing out to these microbreweries. With a focus on sleek, dynamic brewing processes, controlled output favouring quality over quantity, and a delightful assortment of flavours, craft beer also entails its own brewing methods.

Craft beer is made from uniquely creative blends of traditional and innovative ingredients. The process comes alive when touring a brewery – the brewers’ knowledge of the craft and the fascinating steps involved in creating an outstanding product will change the way you behold beer bottles for good.  

Here are a few head-turning statistics about the burgeoning craft brewing industry:

  • The UK premium bottled ale market in 2015 was worth £490 million, up 10.5% year on year. By 2020, that figure is expected to top £1 billion.
  • 109.4 million barrels of beer were sold in the UK in 2014, making the total UK beer market worth £2.2 billion, up 1.7% year on year.
  • Overall beer sales in the UK were estimated at £16.5 billion in 2012.
  • US beer imports made up just 14.9% of the market in 2014.

From these figures, it seems like there’s no stopping the trailblazing path of craft beer production in our fair country. And if you want to ride the crest of the honey-coloured wave, we offer an especially blessed corner of the UK to enjoy your craft beer from.

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Cairngorm Brewery

At a paltry 10 minutes’ taxi from Hilton Coylumbridge, Cairngorm Brewery is one of the brightest stars on the craft beer map. With eight permanent cask beers and an annual special collection of ales, this brewery is a jolly “feel good” factory. The tours are hailed as unforgettable even by the hardest cynics! The acclaimed beer shop also permits you to a take home a piece of their magic.

Two Thirsty Men Brewery

Your next jewel in the craft beer crown is Two Thirsty Men Brewery, nestled in Grantown-on-Spey 25 minutes away by car. The self-proclaimed newest kid on the Scottish brewery block is a little gem combining pure mountain water with citrus undertones, rich amber malts and wooden and berry nuances. The craft brew selection here is to die for! The business is still hatching so you’ll get to savour an intimate family setting and a storybook view into launching a craft brewery too.

The Woodshed Bar

Our own hotel pub and favourite après-ski hangout in Aviemore stocks some delectable names in the world’s craft beer catalogue. The Woodshed Bar's log-cabin-style interior and outdoors decked area provide the perfect space for cool appreciation of craft brews. Live entertainment and sporting events are included, and families are welcome too!

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... Against a Beautiful Backdrop

Our hotel's location of the Cairngorms National Park is, of course, the lovely froth finishing off your gulp of craft beer heaven. The seeming infinity of the wilderness has been frosted by Mother Earth, so there’s really no more spectacular a time to experience Scotland’s nature. Toast to merry times and book 15 or more days in advance to get 20% off your stay with our Book Early Offer.

See you soon with a beer in hand and smile on your face!