Fyne Ales operates two breweries on the Achadunan Estate at the head of Loch Fyne—both housed in converted farm buildings originally erected by our founder’s ancestors.
The original Fyne Ales brewery was installed into a former dairy building in 2001, a conversion which saw the open, barn-like space divided up to create separate fermentation and conditioning rooms.
The brew kit installed was a modest, second-hand 10BBL (1600 litre), two-vessel British system designed for single-infusion mashes. Though simple in design and very manual in operation, the equipment served us proudly to produce all our beers for over 13 years, coping admirably with the strain of nine brews per week for several years until the new Fyne Ales brewery was commissioned in 2014.
When the new brewery opened, the original brewery became something different altogether – a workshop for the Fyne Ales brewers to experiment, to test ideas and to create new and exciting beers. The original kit came into its own as an agile, flexible and adaptable solution for brewing ambitious new recipes.
The original brewery is now home to the Origins Brewing project, with a growing forest of oak barrels around every corner. The lo-fi nature of the original brewery coupled with its flexibility and its quirks make it the ideal facility for brewing unique, provenance-centric Origins Brewing beers – it’s what the project is all about, uniquely rustic, uniquely Fyne Ales and the perfect home for our celebration of farm brewing.
In 2012, despite running our small brewery at maximum capacity of nine-brews-per-week, we were unable to keep up with demand for our beers and there was growing feeling that the long-term success of the brewery hinged on our ability to expand production.
It was important to the team that production stay on the Achadunan Estate, so converting an old sheep shed close to the original brewery to install a brand new 40BBL (6500 litre) brew kit from British manufacturer, Musk, was deemed the best option. The Fyne Ales team felt it was important to support another UK business in choosing our who should fabricate the new brewery – being a proudly British brewery, brewing beers for cask in the British tradition, we’re proud to have partnered with another British manufacturer for the project.
Work began on the project in 2013, with groundwork to ensure structural stability of the new space the first major hurdle before any equipment could be installed. The full project took just under two years to complete, with the commissioning of the new brewery celebrated with a collaboration with our friends from Brouwerij De Molen.
The new brew kit is a bespoke British three-vessel system, with a full-size hopback allowing us to draw maximum flavour from whole-leaf hops. Compared to the lo-fi, rustic character of the original brewery, the new brewery is a labyrinth of state-of-the-art technology and stainless steel – our Managing Director, Jamie Delap, often compares the two facilities to different types of racing car – if the original brewery is an agile and trusty old rally car, the new brew kit is a high-performance formula one car designed for the absolute best possible performance.