Bute brewery to meet with council officials

Bute Brew Co. is currently based in Columshill Street, Rothesay.
Bute Brew Co. is currently based in Columshill Street, Rothesay.

The owner of Bute Brew Co. is to meet with Argyll and Bute Council officials tomorrow (Friday, May 13) to discuss what the future holds for the island business.

As we reported earlier in the week, Bute Brew Co. announced they were to close after allegations the council backtracked on plans to put premises - perfect for the expansion of the micro-brewery - on the market, offering no alternative solution. The premises in question are that of the old Rothesay slaughterhouse, near to Meadows Road.

In a statement released by Bute Brew Co., they said: “The future viability of our business hinges upon finding and securing suitable premises to allow us to grow. Argyll and Bute Council led us to believe that one of their properties, ideal for our requirements, would be put on the market. With this in mind we invested in new bottling equipment which, while not ideal for use at our existing premises, would allow us to expand our business both on and off the Isle of Bute.

“Their decision to renege on this has unfortunately cast serious doubt over both the long-term and immediate future of the Brewery. This, along with a few other factors such as lack of substantial indoor seating and heating at our current premises, goes someway to explaining the predicament we currently find ourselves in.

“Since Monday there have been a small number of developments, none more noteworthy than the public statement released by Argyll and Bute Council In response to the public outcry: ‘We are working with The Bute Brew Company to find premises that will help the business expand, as we would with any other business looking to the council for support. We are keen to do all we can to help local business grow and prosper’.

“As a result, we are very happy to announce that we have a meeting with council personnel on Friday afternoon to discuss what the future holds for Bute Brew Co.

“While we require to be realistic regarding the likelihood of the council backtracking from their previous decision, the above gives us a reason to be optimistic and we are very excited for Friday’s meeting.”

The company also took the opportunity to thank all customers for their kind words and support during the past week, saying: “We had no idea how much our little brewery meant to you all. We’d also like to thank our councillors, MP, MSP and Provost for their continued help.

“While the future of Bute Brew Co. is anything but clear, we are currently endeavouring to keep our doors open during these difficult times.

“We are currently planning to be open to the public serving beer and food from 12pm - 9pm on Friday & Saturdays, and from 12pm-5pm on Sundays. Hopefully we’ll be able to thank you all in person at some point soon.”

* Visit our ‘local news’ section to view other stories on the closure of the brewery.