The Hebridean Brewing Company today (Wednesday March 1st) opened its new brewery, bar and shop in Newton Street, Stornoway.
The new facility is appropriately named… 'The Edge O' The World Brewery'.
Under licensee and head brewer, Andy Ribbens, it serves Hebridean Brewery's five ales in the bar, as well guest beers, perry and cider – plus teas and coffees.
Working at a current brewing capacity of 5400 litres a week, with a hand-bottling and packing process that enables completion of 800 bottles a day, the brewery is looking to expansion with an additional 4000 litre brewing set-up.
Aimed at a mixed range of customers, the bar's main offer will be beers and wines. It has a children's licence and plans for the near future include serving food. It has not taken a late licence and plans to close at 11pm. It will open from 4pm on Monday to Friday, from midday on Saturday and be closed on Sunday.
"I've got no interest in doing spirits," says Andy, "I'd rather do teas and coffees than a lot of spirits. I want to make this an enjoyable place for anyone to come and sit and have a drink."
The brewery is also offering a new membership scheme that will reward members with discount prices on the brewery's ales
Andy, despite his distinctive London accent, has very strong ties to the island, and so, when he left his work as a logistics manager for the Well Research Foundation, a large research pharmaceuticals corporation, and began learning the brewery trade, he decided to return to the island to set up his businesses, and to live in the family home of his grandparents in Tong.
His experiences in industry included being one of the social secretaries at the firm's large social and sports club facilities. "I've seen a biochemist talking to a medical chemist, talking to a physical chemist and coming up with really good ideas over a pint, and that's where alcohol can be good, and it’s that kind of atmosphere I want to create."