THE SPEY VALLEY BREWERY came about when a distiller and farmer decide to set about producing the best stout in the world!
In the second part of our short series on the Moray brewers behind Moktoberfest at the Elgin Town Hall on October 10 and 11, we turn to a craft brewery that like all good things in live took several years to mature.
Set up in 2007, the Spey Valley Brewery was founded at the Mains of Mulben near Keith by David MacDonald – who just happened to be heavily involved in making Speyside’s ‘other’ famous product, whisky.
Initially David was brewing from a small pilot plant and for its first four years the company survived on the owners’ day jobs, focussing exclusively on getting the recipes and products just right. Distribution was confined to a limited number of informed, local buyers.
It was not until 2012 that the first commercial Spey Valley casks arrived on the market – the first of those being the Spey Stout that was immediately and enthusiastically received by consumers and no shortage of critical acclaim.
Demand quickly outstripped supply – and so hopefully later this year production is being moved to a new, dedicated unit that will see Spey Valley Brewery become the largest in Moray.
Brewer David MacDonald said: “While still demonstrating the same commitment to authenticity, innovation and quality that are the hallmarks of this market, Spey Valley Brewery is one of only a few breweries to align itself confidently with its locality.
“We are the first commercial brewery to be located in the heart of Scotland’s whisky country, using the same water that goes into the country’s greatest export – the Spey runs through the company’s recipes, products and branding and provides valuable traction in global markets.
“The objective is to create a brand that is instantly recognisable and memorable, and emblematic of an innovative and unique portfolio of beers that appeal to both discerning craft beer enthusiasts.
“Our beer is also dedicated to those who are newly discovering the wonderful world of beer made as it used to be – by people who are passionate about it, for people who care about it, with the best ingredients and something a little special in every glass.”
Spey Valley’s five cask-conditioned real ales are available from a number of local public houses and at Gordon & MacPhail in Elgin.