The owners of Lerwick Brewery are delighted that their beers are now available throughout Shetland – and are being sold in mainland Scotland.
The brewery, founded and run by the Mercer brothers, John, Graham and Jimmy of Rearo Supplies at custom-built premises in Staneyhill, has signed distribution deals with two local wholesalers, Hughson Brothers and J.W. Gray & Co.
These deals will see the brewery’s two flagship beers, 60° North and Skipper’s Ticket, become available to the whole of Shetland for the first time.
Activities outwith the isles are also progressing, making for exciting times for the brewery. The two beers are now on the shelves of retail outlets as far afield as Oban and Thurso, thanks to a deal with Williamson Foodservice, one of the north of Scotland’s largest wholesalers.
The brewery has also secured a deal with St Mirren Football Club which sees them brewing Buddie Lager and Buddie Beer, reflecting the Scottish Premiership Club’s imagery and team nickname “the Buddies”.
As an extra bonus, the club receives 20p back from each bottle of Buddie sold. As well as being sold in the club’s bars, Buddies can be bought in packs or mixed cases.
Brewery co-founder Jimmy Mercer is thrilled that the business is expanding and the two beers are now on sale on the mainland.
He said: “It is great to see them coming to market across such a wide geographical area – and with some exciting commercial partners. We look forward to seeing our market share and geographical reach grow in 2014.”
Lerwick Brewery manager Rhanna Turberville said: “We had a phenomenal response when we trialled 60° North and Skipper’s Ticket in Shetland this summer.
The fantastic feedback, coupled with our growing production capacity, allowed us to push ahead in the confidence we have two great products which customers really love.”
60° North is a golden, Pilsner-style lager beer. The other beer, Skipper’s Ticket – its name indicating the importance of the sea to Shetlanders – is a rich chestnut-red ale with fruity flavour and spicy notes.
The Lerwick Brewing Company was established in 2011, and production started this year. The premises boasts the very latest UK-manufactured 12 barrel plant and a 500 items-per-hour bottling and labelling plant, allowing the team to brew 2,000 litres, equating to 6,000 bottles, at a time.
Its location provides a consistent climate where winters are mild and summers cool. Mr Mercer said Shetland’s that and the humidity, together with plentiful clear water and crisp, fresh air provides the vital ingredients to brew beer with individual character.
He said: “Like all Shetlanders, we have a very strong sense of belonging. We’re proud of our roots and of the beautiful Shetland Islands, and are just as proud of our products.”
The Mercer brothers have worked closely together as a team for over 20 years. The original family business, Rearo, has two distinct divisions – the supply of gas and gas services to Shetland and fabrication of laminated panels and solid surface materials to both the construction industry and the domestic market – producing a combined turnover of nearly £10m.