History

2000

Founders Jonny & Tuggy Delap develop idea of opening a brewery at the Achadunan Estate, a working farm at the head of Loch Fyne. They aimed to bring quality beer, jobs and tourism to a rural corner of Argyll.

2001

The original Fyne Ales brewery was built in a former dairy building, with the first ever Fyne Ales brew taking place on St Andrews Day in November. In addition to Highlander, the first ever beer brewed, Head Brewer Kenny MacKay also developed Maverick and Piper's Gold as core brews in the Fyne Ales range.

2002

Vital Spark first brewed and quickly added to the core range as one of the brewing team's favourites.

2003

Fyne Ales attend their first beer festival.  Highlander & Maverick win Gold medals at the SIBA Scotland competition enhancing Fyne Ales' growing reputation for quality.

2006

Wil Wood, formerly of Oakham Ales, joins as Fyne Ales Head Brewer.

2007

Wil's first new recipe, Avalanche, is brewed.

Avalanche is brewed for the first time, a hoppy pale designed for summer drinking. Piper's Gold wins a Bronze medal in CAMRA's Champion Beer of Britain competition.

2008

Fyne Ales core range rebrand launched, subsequently wins a Design Effectiveness Award.

2009

Following the sad death of founder Jonny Delap, his son Jamie takes the position of Managing Director at Fyne Ales.  Fyne Ales celebrates its 1,000th brew with a one-off special called One Triple Zero which would go one to become core range beer, Hurricane Jack, following a strong response.

2010

The first FyneFest event is staged in the brewery courtyard with an amazing receiption from the 150 attendees. The FyneFest special brew, Jarl, recieves widespread acclaim. Brewery capacity expanded from forty to sixty brewers barrels per week.

2011

Brewery capacity expanded to ninety brewers barrels per week. Second FyneFest attracts an audience of 750 people. Jarl voted SIBA Champion Cask Beer of Scotland.

2012

Brewery Tap & Shop opens in June. Third FyneFest attracts an audience of 1400 people. Jarl voted SIBA Champion Bottle Beer of Scotland.

2013

FyneFest continues to grow. Fyne Ales packages first keg beers and sucessfully applies for new brewery expansion.

2014

Works completed on Fyne Ales new brewery, a converted sheep sheed with a forty brewers barrel-per-brew capacity (cf ten barrels in the original brewery). Mills & Hills, an imperial stout with De Molen, is one of the first brews on the new kit.

2015

Fyne Ales launches kettle sour programme with new beers including Saudade, a collaboration with Siren Craft Brewing. Jarl wins Overall Champion at SIBA Awards. Fyne Ales Christmas Fayre takes place at the Brewery.

2016

Fyne Ales celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of its founding with a new version of Highlander amongst other celebrations.

2017

Mills & Hills wins Supreme Champion UK Bottled Beer at SIBA Awards. Largest FyneFest in event history. Original Fyne Ales brewery rennovated. Fyne Ales named Beer Destination of the Year in the Scottish Beer Awards.

The Estate

Fyne Ales is part of a small modern highland estate which has many different facets. The estate has been part of the same family for over 100 years, changing substantially after being split up through the generations and with the focus of working activities evolving over the decades.

We are firm believers in the principles of the Slow Food movement. The ground at the head of Loch Fyne is not suitable for growing crops, but aided by prodigious amounts of rain the land produced good fodder for traditional native breeds of cattle and sheep. We started a new herd of Highland Cattle when the brewery was built, and the herd has steadily grown from the initial 4 to about 70 today. The Highlanders mature slowly, grazing on the grass on the hillside and topped up with the spent grain from the brewery. After approximately 3 years they are ready for the butcher, where they are dry hung for a minimum of 21 days before being packed and ready for sale in our Brewery Shop. If you want to keep your food miles to a minimum and buy great tasting beef, lamb or venison with as high ethical standards as it is possible to achieve, then come and try our meats.

The river beside the brewery has traditionally been a good salmon fishery but years of poor planning of fish farms, together with commercial overfishing at sea virtually drove the wild salmon in the river to extinction. For the last 10 years we have been working with the scientists of the Argyll Fisheries Trust to build on the minimal stock of wild salmon that remained and restore the river to full health. As salmon always return to the river they are born in, it is important to work with the natural stock: this means the process of rebuilding is a project that will take decades. We have our own hatchery, where each year we catch a small number of wild salmon from the river. Their eggs are stripped and we take them inside through the winter before releasing several thousand smolts back into the river each spring. 

The hills above the brewery are home to several hundred red deer, of which a number are culled each year in order to keep the population healthy and at a level the ground can sustain. This is a skilled operation carried out by a qualified keeper, with the best and strongest stags and hinds left each year to form the basis of the breeding stock. Many of those that have been culled find their way into the shop as delicious venison sausage rolls, and occasionally venison for sale.

Having been lucky enough to have had the estate in the same family for over 100 years we know that managing the environment is a long term project. In 2012 we started felling stands of forestry that were planted over 40 years ago. At the same time we started preparing for the next generation with planning granted to plant a substantial area of traditional Broadleaf woodland on the hill behind the brewery. In 50 or more years’ time this will provide a great natural resource – putting food back into the river for the fish, providing shelter for deer and sheltered grazing for the farm.

If you want to come and spend some time enjoying the area, we have a holiday cottage on the estate which is placed within comfortable walking distance of both the Brewery and Loch Fyne Oysters (a business started by another part of the family). A great location for good beer, good food and a great natural environment. More details on www.argyllholidaycottages.com/

Life in the Highlands isn’t just about the natural environment of course. We are extremely fortunate to be located between Cairndow and Inveraray, two exceptionally vibrant communities, and we are always keen to play our part. If you are organising an event or raising money for charity in Argyll we are happy to help with contributions of beer for raffles etc. So please feel free to get in touch.

Roxy

Zombier

Davaar Blonde

Davaar Black IPA

Lismore Red IPA

Lismore Blonde IPA

Ruvaal

Holly Daze

Pages