THE ROTHES BREWERY had existed for a long time as a satisfying hobby – but these days the hobby has grown into a very serious business and a shining light of Moray’s microbrewery industry.
Today insideMoray begins a short series that highlights the craft brewers who are behind Moktoberfest – the Moray beer festival taking place at the Elgin Town Hall on October 10 and 11.
The rise of the microbrewery industry over the last few years owes part of its roots to the encouragement of a local landlord and friends who led Stuart Harris to deciding to put his hobby on a more professional stage.
Stuart particularly liked the idea of small breweries offering customers something more interesting than the usual mass market brews – so it was that after a diverse career, mostly in IT, that he decided he wanted a change of pace and direction.
In October 2013 he announced, possibly after a beer or two, that he was opening a brewery.
He started looking into the practicalities and a year later he was ready to go – the Seafield Arms in Rothes was helpful in arranging a launch for his bottled beers and later Stuart’s draught beers.
Since then Stuart has been slowly building a customer base concentrating on the local area and the customers who helped him to get started.
He said: “It is now just a 30-yard walk to my work and what is my dream job. There is a real buzz to see people drinking Rothes beers and coming back for more.
“It’s a great industry to be involved in and there’s a real sense of co-operation in the local brewing community. Job satisfaction and beer – a great combination!”
Rothes Brewery’s products can now be found in a variety of public houses and hotels in the Speyside area as well as at the Craigellachie Filling Station, Spey Larder in Aberlour, Whisky Shop in Dufftown, Baxters at Mosstodloch and Buccaneer Filling Station’s in Elgin, New Elgin and Mosstodloch.