Made in Scotland
To most people who live outside the borders of Scotland the name conjures up a picture of bagpipes, tartan and whisky. There is so much more to this beautiful place with many now turning their hobbies into businesses, often with the help of the Business Gateway national unit.
Craft brewers and distilleries are popping up all over Scotland and they are thriving as people search for products that have been made by artisans rather than huge multi-national companies.
Last year was the Year of Food and Drink in Scotland and it has helped many businesses that were just starting out to really become established. Across the UK there is a new brewery opening every other day and the brewery and pub sector now account for more than 869,000 jobs.
Craig Laurie, from Cumbernauld, graduated in law but was drawn to the brewing industry; he worked for one of the leading craft brewers but also produced his own home brew as a hobby. Then he set up Lawman Brewing Co in November 2014, with some help from a Business Gateway advisor and has not looked back. His main brands are Weatherall IPA, Pixel Bandit and Horizon.
Jim Ewen went on holiday to the Dominican Republic when he was at a bit of a crossroads in his life, toying with the idea of his own business, a refusal from the local rum distillers to let him go on a tour of their facilities led him to set up his own distillery with his brother, John.
At first he was considered ‘mad’ but with their life savings ploughed into the project, Jim and John have built Dark Matters Distillers in Banchory; Scotland’s first rum distillery. Their first bottle of Spiced Rum was produced in May 2015 amid rave reviews, the culmination of 4 years hard work. They are now exporting it to Germany as well as selling it in the UK.
The Spiced Rum is made with an infusion of fresh ginger, green peppercorns, allspice berries and long peppers. Jim (who previously worked in the petroleum industry) said that they were very proud of their product and that although it is spicy and it ‘packs a punch’ it is ‘very balanced’.
Jim and John are now making a white rum and will then put some casks aside to make an ‘aged dark rum’.
These are just 2 of the many new businesses that are rising from the ashes of the recession, there are so many more, as the whole of the UK start to do what they do best; produce quality products with unique flavours, that the rest of the world wants to try.
See www.lawmanbrew.co.uk and www.darkmattersdistillers.com
Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra