Arran beer maker brews up cider plan

Gerald Michaluk is adding cider and sake products to Arran Brewery's line-up. Picture: Contributed
Gerald Michaluk is adding cider and sake products to Arran Brewery's line-up. Picture: Contributed
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Arran Brewery owner Gerald Michaluk has unveiled plans to make cider on the island as he bounces back from being turned down for a Scottish Government grant to expand production.

Michaluk revealed in February that enterprise minister Fergus Ewing had rejected a £1 million grant application, forcing him to “slam the brakes” on plans to expand.

Instead, the company is now introducing its own cider and sake, the Japanese rice wine, after Michaluk became Scotland’s first and so far only “sake professional”, after learning how to produce the drink.

Michaluk said: “I was very disappointed not to get support from the Scottish Government and I am still confused as to why they chose not to support our shovel-ready project.

“But you have to play with the hand your are dealt, so we are introducing Arran cider and Arran sake to our range of beers. The equipment has been arriving on the island and is being installed now, while staff are being sent for production training.”

Arran Brewery also revealed its sales were down about 10 per cent last month after heavy snow blanketed the island.

Production dropped by about 40,000 bottles of beer after the brewery was without power for seven days, although two generators were “used to maintain the quality of the beer in tanks”.