THE move into tier four lockdown restrictions for huge parts of Scotland from tomorrow will be “incredibly damaging” for the brewing industry, a leading craft beer player has warned.

The hospitality industry in 11 local authority areas, covering 2.3 million people across west and central Scotland, will be closed for three weeks from 6pm tomorrow under the latest bid by the Scottish Government to bring “stubborn” coronavirus infection rates under control.

But Stuart Cook, co-managing director of the highly-regarded Harviestoun Brewery in Alva, said the lockdown move will be “incredibly damaging to an industry already on its knees”.

Mr Cook said: “This just piles on the pressure on Scottish pubs and the supply chains that support them. Not only is this a devastating blow to the trade, but with no insight to when the industry can open again, the sector will be unable to plan for its busiest time of year. 

“Harviestoun Brewery, just like all other breweries need a schedule so we can plan in and return to brewing for the pubs.  The Tier 4 announcement is of no help whatsoever in these almost terminal times for the Scottish on-trade.”

The comments from Harviestoun, whose 10-strong craft beer range includes the award-winning Schiehallion pilsner, come as growing numbers of hotels are deciding to mothball operations until the New Year. Gleneagles, the Od Course Hotel in St Andrews and the Pierhouse Hotel in Port Appin, Argyll are among those to have taken this step in recent days.