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News / First craft beer shop launches

Beervana owners (l-r) Erik Burgess, William Sandison and Stuart Fox getting ready on launch day. Photo: Chris Cope/ShetNews

THE FIRST craft beer shop in Shetland opened its doors to the public in Lerwick on Saturday.

Beervana, located in the former North Rock Gallery premises at 133 Commercial Street, enjoyed its first customer just past 10am.

The shop, which is spread out across two floors, stocks over 300 types of beers from across the world, as well as cider, spirits and wine.

The company is the brainchild of Stuart Fox, Erik Burgess and William Sandison, with the trio aiming to tap into the growing surge in popularity of independent, quality beer.

They plan to hold tasting events at the off-licence in the coming months.

The shop has generated something of a buzz in the town recently, with one woman checking out the premises on launch day just for a nosy. “I don’t even drink,” she said.

Fox said the idea for Beervana has been in gestation for the last few years, with the businessman and Sandison initially exploring the idea of a shop, micro pub and beer festival.

He added that they are staffing the premises “themselves” at the moment, but plans are afoot to recruit team members soon.

“Nobody’s really been championing beer on the Shetland Islands and when we looked at it two and half to three years ago, we felt that there is wave coming across to craft beer and there is a growing appreciation of quality beer,” Fox said.

“People are appreciating that it comes with a cost and you can’t just buy cheap beer and expect quality.

“It’s exciting. There’s loads of flavours, styles and characters of beer that have been unavailable here up to now, so we’re trying to give people the choice.”

Fox added that in-shop events will be subject to off-licence laws, but plans are afoot to hold tasting nights as winter approaches.

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“We might have tasting events where it might be paired with food, or it might just be in a different venue where it will be a paid-for testing,” he said.

“There might be a Belgian beer night, for example, or an American ale night.”

While there is a decidedly international feel to the shop, local beers and ales – from the likes of the Valhalla and Lerwick breweries – are also out in force.

Unfortunately for the owners, however, the shop just missed out on launching on international beer day, which was held on Friday.

 

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