Rab Lee (43) and James Gilbert (31) have every reason to make a toast or two — and that’s not just because the pair are preparing to mark the second anniversary of their Hybrid Brewing company next month.
The hard work of the duo, who hail from Bo’ness and Kincardine respectively, during that time has seen the brewery’s Hippy Chick blonde ale hand-picked by ALDI to star in the retailer’s 15th annual Scottish Beer Festival.
The Abbotsinch Road brewery was borne out of its joint owners’ passion for home-made beer.
And the endorsement from the supermarket is merely the latest in a series of inclusions in ALDI promotions.
Having their product rolled out to 81 stores across Scotland is the ideal tonic for Rab and James, who first devised their business idea as colleagues at Ineos in Grangemouth.
Rab said: “It’s a big deal to be selected as most of our stuff is for the pub sector so it’s a good move for us.
“We do real ale casks and some craft beers makes too. We were working in a gas plant in Alloa when we set it up and had done home brewing but we had no brewing industry qualifications. We’d worked in process plants so it wasn’t a huge leap but we didn’t know much about marketing or anything like that. The brewing bit is quite easy, it’s the rest which isn’t but we’ve been picking it up as we go along.
“Most of our products go into Edinburgh but we also supply pubs in the Falkirk area like Behind The Wall, the Woodside Inn and the Corbie Inn in Bo’ness.”
Graham Nicolson, ALDI Scotland group buying director, said: “Over the past six years, the ALDI Scottish Beer Festival has become synonymous with bringing exciting new styles, flavours and breweries to fans across the country. We’re proud to stock a record number of exclusive-to-ALDI bottles as well as welcoming eight new Scottish breweries that are making their festival debut.”
ALDI is selling Hippy Chick exclusively in-store for £1.69 per 330ml.