PICTURES: Images show new brewery planned for Inverness by Black Isle Brewery
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A new brewery, distillery and taphouse could be built in Inverness as the Black Isle Brewery seeks to significantly increase its presence in the city.
The firm, which is based at Allangrange on the Black Isle but also has a bar and separate hostel in Inverness city centre, has submitted plans to Highland Council to build on a vacant five acre site to the west of Highlander Way at Inverness Shopping Park.
If given the go-ahead, its existing brewery will become storage facilities and its all of its 15 employees at the site will be relocated to the new premises, which would create a further 30 jobs.
The current brewery sits at the centre of a 130-acre organic farm, on which new ponds, wetlands and wildflower meadows have been created amongst thousands of newly planted native broadleaf trees. The farm produces organic fruit and vegetables to supply the brewery’s two craft beer and woodfired pizza restaurants in Inverness and Fort William. Local schoolchildren and volunteers are regularly hosted on the brewery farm to encourage a greater understanding of natural ecosystems, wildlife-friendly food production and the benefits of time spent in nature.
If approved, the new facility would use design principles to reduce energy consumption, whilst deliberately retaining large areas of green space for fruit trees and wildflower meadows.
David Gladwin, Black Isle’s founder and managing director, said: “The move to the new site feels like a natural progression for us – it allows us to continue to grow and to promote our nature-first, community-centred philosophy.
"Many people will question why we are moving away from a beautiful organic farm to a retail park on the outskirts of town, but it opens up some very exciting new possibilities for us, one of which is to work more closely with the University of the Highlands and Islands to facilitate a new brewing and distilling course. It takes the pressure off the farm and allows us to continue to turn it into a wildlife haven and educational centre for those that want to learn more about organics and working with nature.
"Many of the brewery’s followers know and love us for that approach, and we’re going to bring that philosophy right to the heart of what we’re doing at the new site – we want people to feel like they are getting a piece of Black Isle wilderness right on their doorstep. We believe the time is right to make what is a major investment in Inverness. Our new home will be a modern, efficient and striking addition to the city, offering a unique experience for locals and tourists alike and building on our 25-year track record of producing world-class organic beers.”