Jamie Hepburn MSP, the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills officially opened the new Loomshed Hebridean Brewery in Tarbert, Harris on Tuesday 27th August.

 The opening of the doors to Harris’ first brewery marks the culmination of 18 months of planning, already creating two new local jobs, with more to follow.

After cutting the ribbon, Jamie Hepburn MSP said, “It’s encouraging to see another new business launch in Harris, and the launch of Loomshed serves to reflect the growth and increasing confidence in the local economy. 

“It’s fantastic to hear about the employment opportunities which have been created as a result of the brewery, which will help to retain and attract more young people on to the island.”.

Rob McKinnon, co-owner of Loomshed, said “We are excited to open our doors to islanders and visitors alike. We want to thank everyone across the islands who has given us their support - customers, suppliers, tradesmen and everyone else.”

The team at Loomshed hope to capture the growing taste for craft beer among all those living and travelling through the Western Isles. 

Head Brewer, Calum Bennett, has perfected a range of recipes that reflect the landscape of the Outer Hebrides and combine Scottish malted barley, fresh British hops and pure Hebridean water. The first two beers - Crofter IPA (Island Pale Ale) and Iasgair Craft Lager - will be available in bars, restaurants and stores throughout the islands over the coming weeks, with plans for new beers to join the range over the months ahead.

As Jamie Hepburn declared the brewery open – it is in the former Essence of Harris unit in Urgha -he joked that he was grateful they had provided scissors…he had been at such events where the need for this vital component had been overlooked.

Loomshed Director Jamie McGowan welcomed all the guests and explained that the entire production of the brewery so far had already been sold.  He praised Highlands and Islands Enterprise for their support.  

Calum Bennett explained to guests how they aimed to maximise the use of local ingredients in the beer…and that even now, it was entirely created, bottled and packed on the premises. 

Orders had come in from all across the Islands and also a few mainland locations already.  

James Hepburn went on to visit the main Essence of Harris candle company in Tarbert itself and to meet leaders of other local enterprises.