At any time over the last 40 or more years, one of the attractions of coming to the north of Scotland for a job was the fact that so many of the world’s great whiskies are made here. Speyside, about an hour or so from Aberdeen, is one of the great whisky producing areas and for those who like a drop of Scotland’s most famous export, it is a decided attraction that you have so many fantastic distilleries on the doorstep.
It also must be said that one of the arguments against coming to live and work in Scotland about 40 years ago was that if you like a decent pint of beer there was not much to choose from. To be fair, that was also the case elsewhere in the UK, but since the days when the likes of the dreaded Watney’s Red Barrel were the hoppy height of sophistication matters have improved considerably. And, the good news is that if you do want to come to live and work in North-East Scotland and you are a beerophile, you’ll be coming to one of the best new areas for brewing in the UK. The best known of these local brewers is BrewDog, based in Ellon in Aberdeenshire, a smallish town about 16 miles north of Aberdeen itself.
Not even ten years old yet, BrewDog is a hugely impressive business. Set up in 2007 by two men and a dog, by 2015 it had 540 employees, still one dog, 32,000 crowd-funding shareholders and 44 bars –and brewed 134,000HL of beer in that year. As a craft brewer par excellence, it creates an impressive range of beers and while it’s clearly outgrown the local market and is taking on the world, it’s nice to be able to have a glass of a really high quality craft beer that comes from your patch of the planet.
However, good as it is, BrewDog is not the only great beer maker in the vicinity. Founded in 2014, Bottle Cap Brewery is a brewpub with a microbrewery attached (or the other way round). Then there is the North-East’s Belgian brewer, SixoNorth, with premises across Scotland’s major cities and an eclectic range of beers.
For those who like great bars, Aberdeen is full of them. With the usual proviso that we are not endorsing any specific establishment (nor suggesting others aren’t good as well), you will find a splendid selection of hostelries in the city, from the CASC bar to the Prince of Wales, Ma Camerons and the famous Grill Bar on Union Street. And for the real aficionados, there are beer festivals throughout the year. You can find more details of these at this link: http://www.visitabdn.com/beer-festivals/