We made a point of it to take the time to stop at new and exciting beer destinations, something that was quite a feat when trying to make good time on long travel days to catch a bus/ferry/train, and I am so glad we did. The few detours we took were well worth it and it just goes to show that the best travel plan is to not have one set in stone. Luckily, I had previously looked-up anything with the keyword “brewery” or “beer” and starred them on my google map so we had known about Fyne Ales and spotted signs on our way through the Lochs to Islay so we were determined to stop by on our way back through the area. Also our innkeepers at the B&B recommend them so we knew it was going to be good.
I had previously ranted about how beautiful the lochs were and I was plenty excited to drive through them again as we made our way from the Kennacraig port to Dunscore to our next B&B stay. I was particularly smitten with the Fyne loch and Inveraray so after some research I found that the Fyne loch turns into the Fyne river that runs next to the Fyne Ales Brewery. The brewery is just slightly off the main highway, down a rocky dirt road next to a picturesque farm with highland cattle lies the Fyne Ales Brewery.
Fyne Ales Brewery was developed by Jonny & Tuggy Delap to bring quality beer back to a part of the country where it was badly lacking. They were founded in 2000 and have experienced a lot of success (and won several awards) leading them to have a need to expand and plans are in the works for a larger facility. They started FyneFest, a music and beer festival held in the courtyard of the brewery with over 50 breweries in attendance. It has been a big hit and they continue to up the stakes for interesting beer and creative ways to celebrate with the community.
I am so smitten with the adorable look of the farm-style buildings and also so jealous since we don’t have this kind of historic beauty in Southern California. We arrived to the brewery and after snapping a few pictures went inside for a few beers. There was a nice taproom with several beers on tap and a bunch of seating next to a small shop displayed on shelves. I was surprised to see The Bruery’s Sour In The Rye available on the shelf for 20 pounds! We ordered a Zombier which is an English Porter 6.9%ABV and was delicious. I had the Hurricane Jack American Pale Ale 4.4%ABV that was a beautiful golden color with tons of flavor. It was crisp and wonderful. Some things I noticed at Hawkshead as well as Fyne Ales is they were doing Real Ales as well as kegged and forced carbed style beers. It was nice to have both options to give your palate a change from the norm. I can’t tell you how much I craved the colder kegged beers after having so many cask style real ales. I never thought I would miss it as much as I had. You can really tell a great brewery by their treatment on the baseline styles like a Pale Ale and IPA’s and I was loving the pale from Fyne. We also tried some of their new IPA Project beers and they had some wonderful citrus and fruity notes to them. Impressive since the UK isn’t known for a great IPA (excluding BrewDog). Overall, it was a wonderful stop in the road trip and I would love to visit again and perhaps bring a bottle to share with some of the locals who were the nicest people.
After our lovely afternoon at Fyne we were on our way to Dunscore to stay at our B&B called the Boreland Farm which is quite literally a farm. We traveled way off the freeway (a bit inconvenient) to an adorable little farm with a separated little cottage to call our own. It was getting dark so we went into the next little town and enjoyed a pint or two with the locals and watched a darts tournament in the bar with dinner. Something I loved about Scotland is it seemed that everyone had a dog with them and were allowed to take them everywhere, including bars and restaurants. There was a little dog with an elderly gentleman who sat by the fire and drank a pint like a pro and warmly chatted with us for a bit. We finished our dinner and traveled back into our sleepy B&B for a good nights rest before a travel day then London!