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Motorists heading north along the A9 from the Kessock Bridge and Inverness will notice the signs at the Allangrange junction to the Black Isle Brewery. Following the well signposted route from the junction takes you for a little over mile along a series of ever narrower lanes to the converted farm buildings housing the brewery. The brewery has been significantly updated and expanded since the images on this site were taken. We aim to update it as soon as possible.
The Black Isle Brewery was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of David Gladwin, the Managing Director. The Black Isle has long been known for its excellent malting barley. The aim of the brewery is to build on this heritage and produce world-class beers using organically produced barley and hops.
What makes the brewery so special is the sheer enthusiasm of those involved, and their deep belief in the importance of the quality of the ingredients in ensuring the quality of the product. It is this, plus the chance to stock up on the excellent beers on sale in the brewery shop, that makes a visit to the Black Isle Brewery so worthwhile.
This single minded approach to producing beer is gaining an ever wider following. Sales are growing by 50% each year and the brewery now has five full time and two part time staff.
The process at Black Isle Brewery is entirely in-house, starting with the raw materials of organic barley and hops, yeast, and water. The mashtun is where water from the kettle is used to extract sugars from the barley. Essentially the same process is carried out in huge mashtuns in distilleries across Scotland, though here it all takes place in a vessel no more than a couple of feet in diameter.
The liquor that emerges from the mash tun moves on to the copper for hopping, before progressing into one of the fermentation tanks. Several days later it moves into one of a line of conditioning tanks where it is held for 10 days: before finally being bottled or going into the company's cask conditioned or keg products.
The Black Isle Brewery makes a standard range of six beers, supplemented by occasional seasonal or festive ales. The range includes two excellent organic bitters and four bottle conditioned beers, which are naturally fermented for a second time in the bottle (like Champagne):
Black Isle Organic Red Kite is an organic amber bitter with 4.5% alcohol by volume.
Black Isle Organic Yellowhammer is an organic bitter with a much lighter, straw colour and 4% alcohol by volume.
Black Isle Organic Blonde is a 4.5% ABV continental style lager conditioned in the bottle.
Black Isle Organic Bottle Conditioned Wheat Beer is a Belgian style wheat beer with a hint of orange and coriander withy an ABV of 4.5%.
Black Isle Organic Bottle Conditioned Scotch Ale is a ruby coloured ale using crystal malt and having an ABV of 4.5%.
Black Isle Organic Porter is produced with dark roasted malt to produce a rich dark beer with an ABV of 4.5%.