By Ian McConnell

Business Editor

Speyside Brewery has announced the restart of production – following the mothballing of operations when the coronavirus pandemic hit – having attracted new investment.

The Forres-based business will recommence production in larger premises just yards from its original site, backed by investment from Urquhart Brothers.

This investment company was started by Stuart and Richard Urquhart, part of the family behind venerable whisky company Gordon & MacPhail, this year.

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Moray businesswoman Naidene Urquhart and restaurateur Katalin Urquhart are becoming directors of the Speyside Brewery business.

The brewery’s founder, Seb Jones, will continue as managing director and lead the operation’s development.

Speyside Brewery has produced beers and lagers which it describes as being “influenced by the area’s rivers and landscape”.

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It said that the restart of production would see the return of beers such as its Speyside lager influenced by local beauty spot Randolph’s Leap, and “big-selling” Findhorn Killer IPA, “named after one of [the] most successful salmon flies used in the area’s peaty rivers”.

Mr Jones said the industry had “emerged from the pandemic in a different shape with new challenges and markets”.

He added: “I am so pleased to be continuing this dream of mine, and to have investors that believe in it just as strongly is fantastic.”

Naidene and Katalin Urquhart said: “Seb and Speyside Brewery produced exceptional beers and it’s great to be able to help that journey continue.

“In addition, [the operation] had very strong roots in the Speyside and Forres community, which we are very keen on growing along with the brewery.”

Speyside Brewery is in the process of recruiting a head brewer and administration personnel, and it plans to create further jobs later this year and in early 2023.

The brewery first opened its doors in 2012.

Mr Jones said: “In larger premises with our equipment, recipes and passion, we will be targeting markets that I believe have always been under-served by beers from Speyside, and Scotland in general.

“Servicing that and responding to our loyal local customers will mean we’ll be flat out from the get-go.”