Our Story

Spey Valley Brewery is the first commercial “micro” brewery to be located in the heart of Speyside, creating the finest hand-crafted beers from the same water as Speyside’s world renowned malt whiskies.

The company was founded in 2007 by a distiller and a local farmer who set out to produce world-class beers on the farm in Mulben. Initially brewing from a tiny pilot plant, for the first four years the brewery survived on the owners’ day jobs and focused exclusively upon getting the recipes and the products right. Distribution was deliberately confined to a limited number of informed, local buyers and it wasn’t until 2011 that the first commercial casks arrived on the market.

The first product – Spey Stout – was enthusiastically received by consumers and critically acclaimed throughout the wider brewing world. Encouraged by this early success, the company expanded production in 2012 and began distributing more widely throughout the North East and further afield. In early 2016, production moved to a dedicated unit – still on the farm! – that has seen Spey Valley Brewery become the largest brewery in the local area.

The team behind the brewery is as eclectic and characterful as the beers themselves . . .

 

Team

David MacDonald

Co-founder, Managing Director & Head Brewer

What more can we add? David is an engineer, distiller, brewer and mountain biker. All these passions are evident in Spey Valley Brewery: in the recipes, the fanatical attention to brewing details, the production process, and even in the labels – if you know where to look… Spey Valley Brewery represents the culmination of ten years’ dedication – and long, long days – to the production of as good a Stout as could be found anywhere in the wonderful world of beer. David’s favourite tipple – his Spey Stout of course, the one that got the brewery going. Preferably paired with a Cardhu chaser.

Innes MacPherson

Co-founder & Executive Director

It was Innes who knocked the stuffing out of an old water mill and cleared the way for the pilot plant at Mulben. Renowned businessman, owner of House of Mulben (also the Highlander Inn Hotel & Whisky Bar, highly recommended for sampling Spey Valley Brewery beers) and all-round local legend, Innes keeps everyone’s feet firmly anchored on planet Earth by constantly reminding us of the importance of actually brewing the stuff. Never mind anything else. Who really needs planning permission anyway?! Innes can usually be found propping up the bar in the Highlander, enjoying a Stillman’s IPA.

Dave Garratt

Business Development Manager & Sales Director

Dave was formerly a Royal Marine Commando – which is one reason he’s in our front line, the other being that he got straight into microbrewing after his stint in the Marines. He started at Loch Ness Brewery where he spent time learning how to brew before transferring into sales where he led their rapid growth throughout Scotland and further afield. Dave likes to kayak, hill-walk, play squash and darts, and claims his favourite Spey Valley beer is Spey Stout, preferably accompanied by a tipple. That might seem an unlikely co-incidence but to be fair, he DOES have a pretty exceptional palette.

Melanie Newbould

Sales and Marketing Executive

Melanie supports our sales efforts and takes the lead with our telesales, spending the rest of the week co-ordinating our various marketing activities. She is a graduate in Design and Digital Arts, with a few years’ experience in marketing for both a start-up company and small local charity. Melanie loves the outdoors, enjoying cycling and mountain biking, kayaking, skiing and landscape photography. She’s also an active volunteer, managing Belles on Bikes Moray, serving as Vice Chairperson for Helgin Roller Derby, and volunteering for the National Trust for Scotland’s Conservation Volunteers. Her favourite Spey Valley beer is Stillman’s IPA – she likes ’em hoppy!

Scott Douglas

Financial Controller

The boring bit. Scott spent close to twenty years in the City – based in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow – as an institutional portfolio manager, investing in publicly-traded securities and private equity (restricted securities) both here in the UK and overseas. He went on to set up and run a number of small businesses, including a veterinary diagnostics R&D enterprise that he ran for over twelve years, and an SME consultancy specialising in business planning. Scott does all the sums. He has a lousy palette, and so unsurprisingly favours all the really hoppy ones that annexe the roof of your mouth and refuse to leave until you’ve noticed them.

 

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Location

The Spey Valley wends its way from Dalwhinnie in the south to the Moray Firth in the north. An area of pine clad slopes and wide fertile valleys with the majestic Cairngorm mountains as the backdrop. Speyside is world renowned for its whisky and salmon fishing, and that very same water goes into our beers. A visit to the Spey Valley should be on every food and drink lover’s bucket list! If you’re in the area, do pop by for a chinwag – but give us a shout first, to avoid disappointment.

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