Outer Hebrides beer-maker Loomshed taking islands by storm

A Harris-based brewery has rolled out its craft beer across the Outer Hebrides thanks to a funding package.

Loomshed has launched with two beers, an IPA and a craft lager, which pay tribute to their island heritage. Picture: Contributed
Loomshed has launched with two beers, an IPA and a craft lager, which pay tribute to their island heritage. Picture: Contributed

Loomshed was officially launched this summer by established entrepreneurs Jamie McGowan and Rob McKinnon who identified a gap in the food and drink offering of the region.

With a focus on creating jobs for young islanders, the brewery venture hired Calum Bennet as head brewer following his graduation from Heriot-Watt University, where he gained his MSc in brewing and distilling.

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Loomshed has launched with two beers, an IPA and a craft lager, which pay tribute to their island heritage.

Peter Ball is the operations manager for Loomshed, which was officially opened in August 2019. Picture: Contributed

The entrepreneurs turned to Business Gateway for one-to-one business advice, networking opportunities and advice to scale up their offering.

The business has now received £22,000 from the Comhairle’s Grants for Growth Scheme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Grateful

Co-founder McKinnon said: “We are enormously grateful to Business Gateway, as the funding we accessed gave us the ability to scale up our operations and allowed us to work with craft brewery experts to develop our product range.

“There is demand for homegrown products across the Outer Hebrides, from both locals and tourists, and we are confident that there is scope to expand into food and drink categories as Loomshed grows.”

Bennet, who is head brewer at Loomshed, said: “It has been a brilliant learning curve establishing the brewery, creating the range, and seeing our product become available in bars and restaurants across the islands, where it’s been warmly welcomed.”

Derek Maclean, business adviser at Business Gateway, added: “Loomshed was able to access a significant funding package that has enabled them to accelerate the growth of their business and expand the food and drink offering of the islands.”