Glen Affric Brewery started brewing in November 2016, but our story goes way back. While working in Shanghai, co-founder Craig McCormick and his father, Trevor got caught up in China’s craft beer movement. Blown away by the range of modern brewing, Craig joined the team at China’s top craft brewery, Shanghai Boxing Cat Brewery and learned his trade. After further ‘research’ trips to San Diego, the dream of the family brewery started to take shape.
That brewery became Glen Affric, a beautiful part of Scotland where the McCormick family have a long-time family home. Premises were bought in the picturesque village of Cannich, Glen Affric and planning permissions submitted for redevelopment there. While this was in process further premises were secured in substantial brand new units in Birkenhead, close to the family’s base on the Wirral.
Returning to the UK in 2016, and with brother Calum and mother Alison coming on board, the family started with a pilot 500-litre brewhouse, balancing experimental beers with a focus on a core range of delicious, highly sessionable West Coast styles. For the first nine months, local demand meant beers rarely escaped the taproom, but with a significant increase in capacity and maturing of product focus, the brewery is now ready to go national.
We take the quality and absolute consistency of our beers very seriously. We have invested heavily in a state-of-the-art 30hl brewery built to our specifications, making sure we have the ability to expand quickly and efficiently. We increased capacity to brew to 2,500hl in our first year but have increased this by a further 10,000hl of tank space to allow ‘real’ tank flexibility not only for the needs of our base core range but also for our extensive specials series already well into production, including our substantial barrel-age programme.
In addition, we recently installed our own canning line, to ensure that we have full control of the quality of our output from start to finish and assembled a talented and experienced brewing team.
Finally, after many years of back and forth with Highland Council, both Planning Permissions and Building Warrants have been fully granted for the demolition and rebuild to our own specifications of the Cannich brewery. This site will focus on the production of our wild beer series including our own cool-ship.