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Lerwick beer goes down a treat

Sailors George, Dave and Decland enjoy Lerwick Brewery's new beer at the Skeld Regatta on Friday. Photo Olivia Abbott

Three travelling sailors out of Lossiemouth were among the first to try the Lerwick Brewery’s new beers when it went on sale at Skeld Regatta on Friday.

The brewery, established by Shetlanders and brothers John, Graham and Jimmy Mercer, began brewing earlier this year, with a special Shetland take on a Pilsner-style lager 60 North, and a traditional 80-shilling-style darker beer Skippers Ticket.

The local brews were a welcome sight for yachtsmen George, Dave and Declan, who pitched – or rather hauled – up at Skeld.

Lager drinker Declan’s attention was first caught by the name – “Here we are at 60 degrees north, so it had to be done,” he said.

“I’ll be taking the bottle home as a souvenir!” – but he was impressed by the quality of the craft lager.

“Smooth,” he said, “very good.”

George, meanwhile, was trying the Skippers Ticket. “Not too bitter for a real ale, and good served cold,” was his judgement.

Dave was also enjoying the 60 North – albeit from a (plastic) glass. “He’s an Englishman,” explained Declan, “normally we’d have to give it to him in a cup and saucer!”

But the Englishman was also impressed with Lerwick Brewery’s first products. “Tasty,” was his verdict.

The Mercer brothers established the brewery last year, with real-ale fan John the driving force behind the enterprise.

The brewery now employs a manager, Rhanna Turbeville, and is producing one brew of 2,000 litres a week.

“We’re not going for an official launch, we’re just trickling it out,” said Rhanna.

“We’ll be doing a few more events in Shetland in September, and are in discussions with a couple of venues about doing more.”

“We’ll be having a couple more of these before the night’s over, I should think,” said our three sailors.

Olivia Abbott