The Orkney Brewery was one of Scotland’s first independent microbreweries and started brewing in 1988, in what was once a schoolhouse in Quoyloo.
North island values shape its resolute approach to brewing, resulting in world class, award-winning beers. It brews iconic Scottish ales such as Dark Island, Red MacGregor, Dragonhead and Skull Splitter. In addition, it offers New World pale ale Orkney Gold and Dark Island Reserve aged in whisky oak casks.
It is also custodian of the Atlas range of beers, a pioneering variety of flavoursome craft brews developed on the West Coast of Scotland that were instantly award winning. These beers are distinct to Orkney in recipe and ingredients, being New World and international styles.
Norman Sinclair, whose father had actually enjoyed his school years in the same building, took over the tenure in 2006. He quickly developed a custom-built brewhouse adjoining the schoolhouse, and by doing so turned the original classroom into a five-star visitor centre.
Together under Sinclair Breweries, the Orkney and Atlas range won no less than 14 awards in 2017.
Address: Quoyloo, Stromness, Orkney Islands KW16 3LT
Phone: 01856 841777
3 Sisters (4.3% ABV)
Deep ruby red with a rich toasted malt and caramel aroma. Delicate toasted flavour with a light fruity crispness.
Corncrake (4.1% ABV)
A straw gold ale with soft citrus fruits and gentle floral notes. Crisp hops perfectly balance the biscuit malt to provide a thirst-quenching ale with apricot and peach flavours. Named after the elusive bird which nests near the brewery, a donation is made to the RSPB for every cask and bottle supplied.
Dark Island (4.6% ABV)
Exhibiting a ripe, fruity, chocolate nose, Dark island is balanced by flavours of dark chocolate, dried fruits, figs and nuts. It is an iconic beer: a standard-bearer for traditional Scottish ales. In cask, this beer has twice won CAMRA’s champion beer of Scotland.
Dragonhead (4% ABV)
This beer is brimming over with rich roast malt and roast barley flavours, complemented by a complex, bitter blend of traditional hop varieties.
Latitude (3.6% ABV)
A straw golden colour with a light creamy head. A slightly spicy palate with refreshing citrus notes and a lingering fresh green hop flavour.
Nimbus (5% ABV)
Crystal clear straw gold. Rich and aromatic, with a zesty citrus accent, a lemony twist and a satisfying hoppy finish.
Northern Light (4% ABV)
A pale straw colour. Refreshing citrus flavours dominate the palate with hints of Brioche and fresh bread, giving way to a clean refreshing hoppy aftertaste.
Raven Ale (3.8% ABV)
Raven Ale’s dominant malt character is a balance between juicy pale ale malt and a biscuity, toasty malt flavour, which gives way to a clean spicy orange bitterness.
Red Mcgregor (4% ABV)
A brilliant ruby red colour, the beer is deliciously perfumed with hints of spiciness. Rich hop fruits give way to a clean, dry, refreshing, floral hop bitterness. Red Macgregor is a unique beer: delicate and sophisticated, yet the robust cask conditioned version of this beer was the first Scottish beer to win the BIIA World Cask Beer Gold Medal.
Skull Splitter (8.5% ABV)
A rich, fruity wine-like complexity on the palate includes fresh and dried fruits, warm exotic spices and light summer citrus fruits. Sophisticated, satiny smooth, with a deceptively light character — rated 100 World Class by Beer Advocate.
Seasonal cask ales
Andrews Ale (4.3%)
A light beer with hints of citrus fruit and a slightly spicy finish. (November)
A pale winter warmer with hints of spices and orange zest. (December)
Cliff Edge IPA (4.7% ABV)
A pale copper IPA. Intense citrus and piney aromas, tropical fruit then spicy flavours, lasting zesty mouthwatering bitterness. (March and April)
Golden Amber (4.5%)
A light hoppy pale-golden coloured beer with a delicate aftertaste of sweet honey and refreshing gentle bitterness. (June and August)
Puffin Ale (4.5% ABV)
A deep golden beer with an aroma of sweet nutty malt, hints of cedarwood and dark fruits. An inviting rich malt palate is balanced with notes of wood, herbs and a spicy fruitiness from British grown hops. (September)
Wayfarer (4.4% ABV)
A deep golden Indian pale ale, with a lively fruit hop character and a strong, appealing bitterness. (March and July)
Orkney Gold (4.5% ABV)
Crystal clear gold with a sweet aroma of lemon and Apricot. Refreshingly crisp with zesty sweet lemon, mandarin and apricot on the palate, balanced by a juicy malt background.
Dark Island Reserve (10% ABV)
Dark Island Reserve is a rich strong Orcadian Ale. After a gentle fermentation at our brewery in Quoyloo, the beer is finished in old oak casks formerly used to mature fine scotch malt whisky. This unhurried process creates a timeless classic full of fruit, spice, oak and roast malt flavours.
Clootie Dumpling (4.3% ABV)
A light tawny beer which has a soft rounded palate flavoured with seasonal spices.