Whisky not your tipple? Try a Local Craft Beer
Who are they? Fiona MacEachern, a former policewoman and keen home brewer, launched Loch Lomond Brewery with her husband Euan in 2011. She is now a full time Brewer – calling herself a ‘Brewster’ with many ales under her belt.
What’s their beer like? They say, ‘We don’t claim to be the most trendy, or the most highly hopped or the strongest. What you will get is good quality, traditional, thirst quenching ales with a twist.’
Give me some examples: West Highland Way – a light refreshing ale, perfect for thirsty walkers; Bonny n’ Blonde – a creamy blonde ale with citrus notes; Loch Lomond 60 Shilling – an award-winning chestnut coloured ale with malt and caramel flavours; Silkie Stout – a rich dark chocolate stout, with coffee on the nose and a hint of orange.
Where can I buy? At their shop; widely available throughout the Park in pubs and shops.
Who are they? Fyne Ales was founded by Jonny and Tuggy Delap in 2001 in disused buildings on the family farm at the head of Loch Fyne. Today son Jamie Delap is in charge.
What’s their beer like? Fyne produces a large selection of beers and has won many awards. Some are available all year, some limited edition, and some seasonal. They offer a wide variety of tastes from IPA, dark and malty to golden and hoppy.
Give me some examples: Hurricane Jack – a pale golden beer with a sweet malty aroma, light fruity hops and tangerine notes with a subtle lemon kick on the end. Holly Daze – a clear amber beer with a white head, malty fruity and caramel aroma but with a good bitterness and slightly dry finish. Fynebank – a peat-smoked golden ale with a subtle earthy smokiness plus a warm-spiced orange flavour that balances the toffee notes.
Where can I buy? Their cask ales can be found in pubs all over central Scotland, parts of the UK and also worldwide. They have their own on-site bar, shop, online shop where they also sell their own beef. And also host the annual FyneFest on Loch Fyne in summer with great food, music, and quite obviously, beer.
Who are they? The Fraser family are true locals and run The Oak Tree Inn, a busy pub, inn and restaurant by Loch Lomond on the West Highland Way. They started brewing from the back of their pub and never really stopped!
What’s their beer like? Balmaha produce just 4 contrasting ales. They say, ‘We’re passionate about using only natural ingredients and the water is fresh from the Scottish hills and mountains. It’s craft brewed to a secret recipe and only made in small batches.’
Give me some examples: Balmaha Best – a dark malty ale, Lomond Hop – a smooth light ale, and The Kiltwalk Ale – a refreshing light ale which gives a portion of profits to charity. They recently launched 6 fruity ciders too, under the name Morblas, which is a melding of the Gaelic for ‘great’ and ‘taste’.
Where can I buy? The Oak Tree Inn in Balmaha, local shops.
Can’t choose? Pop into the Real Ale Shop at the Lade Inn, Kilmahog, just north of Callander. They sell over 210 different Scottish Beers by over 40 microbreweries from the Shetlands to the Borders, including all the Park brews. They also hold an annual beer festival for two weeks from the last weekend in August and have tastings throughout summer weekends.