While I was in Scotland, one of the breweries I wanted to try was the Arran brewing company. I had planned on waiting till I got to the brewery itself to try the beers on the ferry across, they were the only beer available which was a nice touch.
I started off with the Dark, a sort of dark bitter though dark mild might be pretty close. It was served far too cold. It came of a little thin with some nice dark fruits and caramel. It did get better as it warmed and indeed later bottles saw the body fill out somewhat. In the end, it's a pleasant and easy drinking beer.
Sunset is a pale bitter, a completely different beer full of lemon citrus. This is a real thirst quencher, nothing more, nothing less. It's simple and you know what, this might be one of the better beers of their range.
We picked the right time to make the cycle from the town of Broddick to the brewery. It's only a few kilometres from the town. I say the right time because it inevitably started raining very heavily.
Inside the brewery itself, we found ourselves in a rather large gift shop. They have a lot of swag here for such a small brewery so there must be some tourist trade passing through. My wife volunteered to run over to an outdoor shop on the other side of the courtyard to buy a new rucksack so we could carry stuff home.
Mostly I got bottles of beer but I also got a bottle of Arran malt whisky and other stuff like a T-Shirt and bar runner etc.
They also do free tastings of all beers they have, be it on tap or in bottle. There is no official brewery tour but if there was someone available it might be possible to get a quick look, as it was, there was only one person there taking care of the shop
Clyde Puffer is their stout. It's a nice stout actually. Some sweet toffee, slightly tannic. The finish was sour coffee. Not bad but nor is it anything that can stand up against most stouts I have had.
Milestone (above) I believe is their signature brew. It's a premium bitter (yawn) but is actually quite tasty. I have a large bottle of this so might do a better write up in the future. I did not take any notes for some reason.
The Blonde (not pictured) is exactly what you might expect. It's a quaffer, a summer tipple. There is nothing interesting about it but it's crisp and refreshing. Perfect for a hot summers day.
Red Squirrel is yet another bitter. Fruity, buttery aroma with a hint of caramel. It tastes as per the aroma but with less flavour than expected. I found it somewhat thin in body. The finish was a slight lingering bitterness.
One other beer I had at the brewery was their new IPA. It was tannic which can often be a good thing but any sort of bitterness and was just lacking. It could simply have been a stale cask though.
Overall, I enjoyed the beer but I found them one dimensional since they were almost entirely bitters. Even their attempt at an IPA was pretty boring. Then again, maybe they are just traditional. If you are that side of Scotland, you can do a lot worse than seek out their beer and the gift shop is just too impressive to pass by.