Scotland trip August 2023

Hi guys,
In August, if nothing changes, I will be traveling to the Scottish Highlands with my family and some friends. Planned itinerary as follows:
30/07 - Edinburgh
31/07 - Stirling - Perth
01/08 - Perth - Aberdeen
02/08 - Craingorms
03/08 - Inverness
04/08 - Inverness - Isle of Skye
05/08 - Isle of Skye
06/08 - Isle of Skye
07/08 - Fort William - Glencoe
08/08 - Glencoe - Isle of Arran
09/08 - Isle of Arran
10/08 - Dumfries or Largs ??
11/08 - Glasgow
12/08 - Glasgow

Despite being a family and relaxed trip…tickers gonna tick. Therefore, if anyone has any recommendations regarding any festivals, events, or hidden places along this route, I would appreciate it if you could let me know (especially any brewpub along the route).

Thanks and cheers.
Alex.

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One of the geeky RateBeer goals of this trip is to try as many breweries in the Highlands as possible.
Therefore, I have made a list of the ones I have pending and a possible location to try them. I appreciate advice on the ones without a covered location if anyone knows where I can find them.

Brewery Location New
Applecross Brewing Company Walled Garden (Skye) Yes
Black Isle Brewing Black Isle Bar (Inverness)
Black Isle Fort William
No
Cairngorm Brewery The Cairngorm Brewery Yes
Cromarty Brewing Co. Many No
Cuillin Brewery Cuillin Brewery (Sligachan, Skye) Yes
Dog Falls Victorian Market (Inverness) Yes
Dun Brewing The Misty Bottle (Skye) Yes
Glen Spean Brewing Co. The Grog & Gruel (Fort William)
Yes
Hanging Tree Brewery Benleva Hotel (Loch Ness) Yes
Isle of Eigg Yes
Isle of Harris Yes
Isle of Skye Many Yes
John O’Groats Brewery The Misty Bottle (Skye) Yes
Knoydart Brewery The Tea Garden (Mallaig) Yes
Loch Ewe Brewing Co. (Ewebrew) Yes
Loomshed Hebridean Brewery Yes
Nessie Brew Closed? Closed?
Plockton Brewery Closed? Closed?
Strathcarron Brewery Yes
Two Thirsty Men Yes
Uilebheist Distillery & Brewery Uilebheist Distillery & Brewery (Inverness) Yes
Wild Barn Yes
Wooha Brewing Company Closed ? Closed ?

Cheers,
Alex.

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Just gonna chime in on Plockton as I’ve visited the brewery … basically an out house behind the brewers house. He wasn’t legally allowed to sell beers but suggested we made a donation for them.

UT is your friend … gonna get you more up to date and accurate info on all of these outliers than I imagine the Scottish raters would be able to impart … they would all be rare / occasional visits for most folks on RB.

Plockton - Plockton, Highland - Untappd

You’ll see Plockton is alive and well.

Plockton hotel is the best bet, they have a house lager. I was last in Plockton in October '21 and the other pub (between the railway station and the Plockton hotel) also had one on.

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I’ll add to the above further … I was in Inverness back in February … pretty much the weekend after we met at Birmingham / Burton.

Dog Falls don’t have a taproom but you’ll see them on tap in Inverness bars.

For their rarer outputs (bottles of Barley wine / Imperial stout) I picked them up in can (edit) to drink in here …

The Malt Room - Whisky Bar Inverness

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Many thanks Colin!
Will check UT.

Cheers.

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Looks like a great trip! You are certainly allowed to post a trip report after drinking through the Scottish Higlands :grinning:

Have you been before or no? It’s been years since i went so many of my beer tips are likely outdated so here is some non beer stuff.

Stirling Castle and Doune castle were both worth a visit. Glencoe area is gorgeous. Plan for that drive to take longer than you think with stops for photos etc. There are filming locations for Harry Potter and Skyfall along the route if you are so inclined. (I didn’t bother - the HP spot seemed not worth it, and the Skyfall location was a bit of a detour off the main road towards Glen Etive)

We didn’t go inside but Dunnotar Castle in Stonehaven was worth a stop even just for the views from outside. We enjoyed Balmoral Castle and Royal Lochnagar Distillery (the latter being one of the few scotches I actually enjoyed)

I regret not hiking Ben Nevis a bit - we took the quieter option of a pint at the Ben Nevis Inn.

We timed it so we could be at the Glenfinnan viaduct when the “Hogwarts” train went by which was cool as an HP fan. It was buggy when we were there so might be worth getting bug spray if you opt for that.

We had a nice tea and treats at Isle of Skye Baking Company outside of Portree. There was a pipe band that magically appeared in the streets which was pretty cool. I assume they do (did?) this for practice semi-regularly so might be worth finding.

I am jealous. Have a great trip!

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I have been in Edinburgh before. Looking forward to explore the Highlands and Isles. Would love to hike around Ben Nevis and bike around Isle of Arran, but im travelling with my 5 year old son, so I guess is not gonna happen.

Thanks!

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If you want to visit Isle of Harris brewery let me know, Nick and Anna are two of our very best friends, former nextdoor neighbours and fellow beer festival beer organisers in Merton, Oxfordshire and now brewing on Harris. They’re open Mon-Sat 10:00-18:00 though they will be at a festival in Oxfordshire in August but I think that it’s the second weekend so looking at your plans, looks ok. Nick is quite active on Twitter and details about social media can be found on the website.

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Not been up to Scotland for a few years now, but you are missing a treat by ignoring Morayshire, Forres and Findhorn Bay. Not too beery, just lovely.

This is worthy of a look: Speyside's Malt Whisky Trail | VisitScotland

I know you’ll enjoy your trip, you can’t visit everywhere, make good choices!

<*))))))><

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Isle of Harris is not on the planned route but definetely want to try some of their beers. Do you know any place in Skye where i can found a couple of bottles?

Many thanks!

Forres is actually, more or less, on my route from Cairngorms National Park to Inverness so may take a little detour to explore Findhorn Bay and visit the Speyside Brewery.

Many thanks!

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Day 1. Edinburgh.

21 beers today. 9 new Scottish breweries. Just 1 cask beer available at The Hanging Bat. Visited Wee Vault at Haymarket, nice tiny place.

A couple of pints with some Leeds United Fans. Apparently there was a football game today (Hearts vs Leeds).

And arriving to the Airbnb apartment after a long day walk.

Off to Stirling and Perth tomorrow.
Cheers.

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Sorry that I never responded, I’m in the middle of a house move and it’s been quite hectic. I am pretty sure that other than in the stores on Harris and Lewis, Nick’s beers are only available online from their website.

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We did the Wee Vaults early on a Friday evening back in FEB

We basically reserved all the seats between us … think just 12 ?

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More taps than clients. Lovely place.

Day 2. Stirling and Perth.

Just 12 beers yesterday, but 2 new regions visisted. Difficult to got new scottish breweries in Stirling or Perth on a monday.

I visited Brewdog Stirling before lunch. Just 2 guest beers available (ordered one from Pilot, first new brewery of the day).

After lunch in a pub with just 3 casks available (Green King and Belhaven) we visited the William Wallace monument. Greatest surprise of the day, 4 beers from Black Wolf available at the gift shop (second new brewery of the day).

Perth was a beer desert. Both places i want to visit (Cullach taproom and Craft Beer Bottle Shop) were closed. So I ended up in a sushi restaurant ordering a Can of Cullach (thanks untappd for the third new brewery of the day). And visited my second Brewdog of the day.

Airbnb was near a Lidl, so a few ticks from there as well.

Off to Aberdeen today.
Cheers.
Alex

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Day 3: Stonehaven and Aberdeen

8 beers, 4 new breweries.

Great day out with the family. After visiting Dunnotar Castle


We went for a walk around Stonehaven, stopping at Marine Hotel.
https://www.ratebeer.com/p/marine-hotel/20250/

Available on tap 3 new scottish breweries for me ( Six North, Big Fish and Wasted Degrees).

After Stonehaven, we visited Aberdeen. What a lovely city, we loved walking around the granite buildings. I know there is a good amount of pubs in the centre, but as I hadn’t much time, I convinced my wife for one beer at OGV Taproom before dinner. Fourth new brewery of the day. :grin:

Day 4. Aviemore and Cairngorm National Park

12 beers and 2 ciders. 6 new scottish breweries.

Heading into Cairngorm National Park, where we hike around Loch Morlich.

Before leaving the park, we stopped by the Cairngorm Brewery. Not brewery tours available, no taps or casks just a shop. The manager said to us that we can try their beers at “The Winking Owl”. We liked the place.

https://www.ratebeer.com/p/winking-owl-cairngorm/74112/

We stayed at a hotel in the countryside, no near supermarkets, so this time “Hop Shop Aberdeen” was the beer supplier for the night beers.


Off to Inverness today.

Slàinte,
Alex.

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<*))))))><

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Sounds amazing!