In the beginning…
It all started on a sunny day on October 5th, 1983. We’d love to say that it was one of the most memorable days of founder, Ken Brooker’s life, but that night he hosted one of his legendary tasting sessions and he can’t remember much about it.
In the years that follow, Ken continues to brew beers in his shed and host his friends. Word spreads and his friends begin to bring along their friends and their friends’ friends, until eventually Tuesday nights at Ken’s attracts up to 40 people!
Harviestoun Brewery: Mark 1
In 1986, planning permission is received to convert a steading in Dollar into a brewery. The 200-year-old farm in the beautiful Dollar glen is the perfect place for Ken to bring his dreams to life.
The ‘New’ Brewery
Little by little, the steading becomes a functioning brewhouse. With virtually no money, the small team builds everything from salvage or from scratch. The mash tun was previously used to make jam. In a former life the boiler was a dye tun (for dying wool)! At this stage, Harviestoun only makes one beer: it’s called “Harviestoun Real Ale”. Life was simpler back then!
With demand for Harviestoun beers skyrocketing, Ken decides to invest a significant amount of money into the brewhouse. Although the W. Heath Robinson approach of ‘make do and mend’ is a mentality we have never fully abandoned, there comes a point when a jam vat, a dye vat and a thing you found in the cowshed are simply no longer appropriate vessels in which to brew!
In 1989, the steading has a refit and some professional kit is installed. A project that has been a lifestyle for the past 6 years starts to become something altogether more serious.
From Englandshire with Love
Head brewer Stuart Cail joins Harviestoun from Vaux. His expertise and passion for brewing is the perfect fit for the future of our brewery.
Happy Brew Millenium
A new century and a new beer… we brew Old Engine Oil and enter the Tesco Beer Challenge once more. We win again! OEO is now one of Stuart’s desert island beers. He loves the flavour (obviously!) but he also cites its versatility. You can drink it, cook with it and it has allowed us to create two more spectacular beers: Engineers’ Reserve and Ola Dubh.
The Dalmore Experiment
Matthias approaches us and requests we age some of our beer in whisky casks. To begin with, we’re skeptical, but Matthias persists (he’s very persuasive!) and we cave in. We get our hands on some casks from The Dalmore, fill them with Old Engine Oil and a few short months later “Old Engine Oil Special Reserve” blows our minds! We produced a total of 1,793 cases and 33 casks exclusively for the USA.
Our New Home!
We build a 60-barrel brewhouse from scratch just a few miles down the road. New kit means we can make more beer. The well-designed space means our production processes and consistency can be top-notch. Above all we are riding high on our recent win, determined to stay in the fast lane.
The one, the only…
We strike a partnership with Highland Park (the first of its ilk) that allows us to age our midnight-black, high-gravity Old Engine Oil in casks that formerly held their award-winning whiskies. A 6-month maturation process, silently blending a host of exotic and complementary flavours, yields the unbelievably special powerhouse…Ola Dubh.