Family calls time on brewery as costs rise
The Buchanan family ran the brewery from an old mill
A craft brewery in Lanarkshire has folded amid rising costs, sparking concern that the niche end of the sector may be poised for a period of contraction.
Founded in 2004, Strathaven Ales has suffered from a 40-50% increase in energy and raw materials costs and raw materials.
The Strathaven business has ceased brewing an all five staff, including director Craig Buchanan, have been laid off.
Mr Buchanan launched the brewery with his father Douglas, and Alan Young, a retired doctor, in 2004. Younger members of the family – Ross and Ben – later joined the business.
It adopted a traditional real ale brewing process with a stone clad brewing kettle and brew-house based in an old mill dating back to the early 1800s. The mill originally manufactured crushed barley for the brewery trade and flour for the local artisan bakers and it sits next to the river Avon.
In a statement on Facebook, Mr Buchanan said: “It is with a heavy heart that I now inform you that Strathaven Ales has ceased brewing.
“This decision did not come easy, but we are a victim of the ever increasing raw material and energy costs.
“Pubs and shops aren’t buying as much now as they did pre-COVID, and some of the places we used to trade with simply didn’t open up after the pandemic.
“Pre-COVID, everything was fine. Then overnight we were shut for a year, the team were on furlough and our costs went through the roof.”