Congratulations on your triple win at the recent Scottish Beer Awards; and thanks for participating in our special festive edition of Scran & sIPs™! What does Christmas preparation look like at Brew Toon HQ?
Many thanks, we’ve really enjoyed being part of the Scottish Beer Awards and were pleased to have picked up another 3 awards at this year’s event. We were particularly proud of the gold award won for our raspberry cream ale (Raspberry Carronade) for “Best Fruit-Forward Beer” as this is the 2nd time in 2 years it’s won this trophy, so it gives us confidence that we’re doing something right here.
Christmas is usually a really busy time at Brew Toon with festive markets, online sales, and of course – keeping our trade suppliers well stocked for Christmas nights out, so we’ll be working really hard to ensure we keep up with the demand.
You’ve taken over the site of the old Hunter & Sons Brewery. What influence does this legacy have today?
It had a big influence on us when we first decided the location of our brewery as we valued the historic roots of the site.
The thought of us being able to brew beers on the same land as a brewery from 100 years ago, and to put Peterhead back on the map for producing Craft Beer, was something that really excited us. In the spirit of ongoing innovation, we’ve just released 5 special beers to celebrate 5 years in brewing. They are all packed with interesting new flavours so this was a great opportunity for us to get creative!
You are vocal about your passion for brewing and attention to detail – how does this manifest itself in your products?
Brew Toon was founded with the aim of producing unique craft beers that are packed with quality flavours and unique character. From our 10% Blueberry Muffin Imperial Stout, to our 5% Rhubarb & Strawberry Sour, we try to brew interesting beers that are packed to the brim with amazing flavour, and use bold, creative packaging to match the big character profiles of our beers.
We love how proud Brew Toon is of its heritage, yet how progressive your packaging and branding is. What inspired the brands look and feel?
Our coastal home town of Peterhead is massively important to us and we’ve tried to emphasise that wherever we can in our branding.
The name Brew Toon comes from a play on “Bloo Toon” which is what Peterhead is known as locally, due to its historic fishing roots (local fisherman used to wear the Blue overalls down at the Dock yards back in the day). We love the coastal scenery up here and the harsh Scottish waves offer some pretty incredible views. We felt it was essential for us to relate with our local community and we love all the Nautical, tattoo style graphics so really wanted to incorporate that into our brand.
You were always great at hosting pop-ups and beer festivals. Have you been able to pick up this momentum post Covid? And where can we look forward to seeing you in 2023?
It’s great that we’ve seen the return of festivals post Covid as we absolutely love getting out there and speaking face to face with customers and other breweries/food & drink traders alike. The atmosphere and buzz we’ve seen from the return of these events has been fantastic to witness and it’s a big part of our plans for 2023. We have quite a few Scottish festivals and events already lined up but we’re keen to add more to this list and looking to pick up more UK listings if the right opportunities arise.
Some of your beer flavours are as progressive as your branding from mango to espresso. Are you able to give us a heads up about any new flavours on the horizon?
As you know, we’ve just released our 5th Birthday Beers, which are 5 special, amplified beers brewed to celebrate our 5th year in brewing. These have been selling really well and going down a storm with our fans so I would recommend checking these out as they are all tasting unreal! We have a few interesting collabs up our sleeve that we will be releasing soon, including a couple of fruited sour releases with our friends at Barney’s Beer Edinburgh, that launched on Friday 16th of December. The beer we brewed with them at Brew Toon is a Blackberry Crumble sour and tastes brilliant – definitely one worth looking out for.
And finally, out of all your fantastic flavours, which would you recommend to ring in the new year?
Caked in Stout – our 10% Blueberry Muffin Stout. For me, it’s up there with one of the best beers we’ve ever brewed. It’s a very special beer, one that we are really, really proud of and would be a fitting choice to ring in the new year, by celebrating 5 years of Brew Toon.