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Factfile Kestrel bites back

KESTREL peaked in popularity in the 1980s and early 1990s, when a series of TV ads featuring Russ Abbot and a young Hugh Laurie made it a household name.

But in more recent years it fell from view as its former owners, Scottish & Newcastle (now Heineken) and then Wells & Young's, focused on other brands.

Despite a lack of marketing support, Kestrel continued to sell steadily, prompting Nigel McNally to acquire the brand from his former employer, Bradford-based Wells & Young's, in 2012.

Mr McNally spotted the potential in returning the brand to its Scottish roots. He contracted Tennent Caledonian Breweries to brew Kestrel at Wellpark in Glasgow where it observes the "holy brewing" process - meaning it is fermented for seven days.

Mr McNally said it means Kestrel is brewed for two to three times longer than some other beers.

His company, Brookfield Drinks, makes a range of beers under the Kestrel name: the 5 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV) Kestrel Lager, the 4 per cent Kestrel Pilsner and the 9 per cent Kestrel Super Premium.

On Monday the first ads for the brand since the late 1980s will air on television, focused on the Kestrel Lager variant.

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Food and drink

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