Ocean KineticsOcean KineticsOcean KineticsOcean KineticsOcean Kinetics

Brewery looks beyond island shores

Valhalla Brewery prodes six different ales - Photo: Malcolm Younger for HIE

A SQUAD of modern day Vikings have been booked for the opening of the new premises of a Shetland brewery named after the home of the Norse god Odin.

Valhalla Brewery, run by husband and wife team Sonny and Silvia Priest, has been operating for more than 14 years out of a large shed next to their house in Baltasound on Unst, the UK’s most northerly isle.

Now after years of planning and long hours on the building site, the company has moved to refurbished premises next to the Saxa Vord holiday resort.

The move will allow the small brewery to double production to as much as 144,000 litres a year, hopefully breaking into new markets such as Scandinavia where its name should stir up strong emotions.

The £103,000 expansion has been made possible with financial help from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Shetland Islands Council, and includes a new brewery shop and additional staff.

Valhalla Brewery produce six real ales which are brewed, bottled, labelled and packaged on site by a small workforce.

Mr Priest said: “During the summer months, demand usually exceeds supply and the old site was too small for any expansion.”

HIE’s David Priest added: “The extra production capacity now possible means that what has been a successful local brand of beer can now become a successful export and will hopefully be seen on the shelves in supermarkets across Scotland as well as Europe.”

The official opening on 14 April will be followed by a supper dance in the Haroldswick Hall.