Brewery’s sad departure from Bute

Bute Brew Company's Rothesay premises are now closed.
Bute Brew Company's Rothesay premises are now closed.

Bute Brew Company has moved to a temporary home in Glasgow, as the owner revealed frustration at not being able to stay on the island.

The growing brewery, which started in 2014, had to move out of its Columshill Street premises in Rothesay last weekend with the hope of returning to the island in the near future.

Bute Brew’s owner Aidan Canavan noted his company is not the first to leave.

He said: “Unfortunately we are having to close our current premises as they are not suitable for our purpose, for storage or for opening to the public in unfavourable weather.

“We are temporarily moving to Glasgow to a more suitable premises and notably the rent is cheaper.

“It’s sad that we are yet another business on the Isle of Bute that has had to close our doors as the island could not accommodate our growing needs. Interestingly the others business owners, who have been in similar predicaments, all could not expand on their rented premises.

“Looking at the surviving production businesses on the island – Isle of Bute Foods, Ritchie’s Smoke house and Bute Fabrics – they all own their premises so have control over their expansion and an asset to invest in further.

“We are keeping the business alive for now by producing in Glasgow. We will spend the next year looking at suitable premises that have come to our attention after a recent social media plea for alternative sites. We have a couple of options that we can look at investing in here on Bute. We will take this year to look at the options for us to return and invest in the Isle of Bute.

“The only storage available was shipping containers and they effected the quality of our product in the winter as the condensation caused the packaging to deteriorate.

“We have attracted more business that we have had to turn away from tour companies visiting through the winter which would have been great business out of season. But due to the lack of heating and space we had to turn this business down.

“Our popular venue was predominantly under tent which on the west coast of Scotland is not a great place when the wind picks up or on driech days. But on weekends in good weather it was a busy old place and a great atmosphere that we loved working in.”

Aidan was quick to thank islanders for their support over the past four years, and he spoke with pride about Bute Brew’s achievements.

He said: “As we close our doors for the final time to customers, we would like to thank all those who have supported us since we opened our doors in 2014.

“Our aim was to produce a product using the name of Bute to go out there and raise the profile of our island and also to create an experience for people who come to visit our island.

“Our beer went across the country and we now have a supermarket chain looking to increase their orders. So the Bute name will be spread out further afield.

“This year five of our beers were finalists in the Scottish Beer Awards.

“As a destination we grew from a tap room to a pizzeria and a tour destination.

“Again, as a venue we were finalists for national tourist awards and our customer reviews on TripAdvisor were fantastic. We were rated second on things to do on Bute after the stunning Mount Stuart.

“We are proud of our achievements.

“Our ‘Bute’ of a beer will still be available in all the premises on and off Bute that have supported us over the years.”