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Business / Mead company looks to expand

Viking Mead's Alistair Morgan.

THE COMPANY behind a local mead drink has launched a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to raise £200,000 to increase production and sell the product outside of Shetland.

Money raised will go towards equipment and alternations to the old primary school in Voe to allow it to become the company’s new brewing headquarters.

Viking Mead Ltd founder Alistair Morgan received planning permission last year to turn the old school into a brewery.

He also took over Unst’s Valhalla Brewery in 2017 and both brands are currently made on the island. However, they will both move to Voe when the project comes to fruition.

In return for pledging money to the crowdfunder, people will be able to receive merchandise and as well as join an “exclusive club” with early access to new products and the chance to provide input to the business.

The campaign is not fully launched yet, but people can sign up to receive updates.

Morgan, who lives in Burwick, reiterated that having the brewery based in Voe will provide a shorter commute than Unst.

“The major thing will be ease of access for me, anyway,” he said.

“And once that’s established then it’ll be a lot easier to think about plans to take on new staff.”

The Valhalla’s Goat off-licence in Glasgow is set to stock the company’s Skald mead exclusively on the mainland for the duration of the crowdfunding campaign.

With mead’s unique ingredient coming in the shape of honey, the company plans to invest some of its profits to “establish and support a network of independent beekeepers and like-minded projects across the globe”.

“The details of that need to be looked at and then gone into in more depth,” Morgan said, “but the idea is that not necessarily just the beekeepers, but there’s lots of projects out there that are trying to help promote pollinators and conservation”.