Windswept brings Belgian brewing expertise back to Moray

    Posted on 20 December 2019

    Moray LEADER and Windswept Brewing Co have been working in cooperation with Belgian farming and brewing partners to develop a new product line, which will be brewed with ingredients grown in Moray. The project is funded through Moray LEADER and GAL Burdinale-Mehaigne; a LEADER territory in Wallonia, Belgium.

    The project aims to create a short supply chain between locally based farmers and breweries. The aim is to enhance product and produce value and reduce carbon emissions to help create sustainable locally economies.

    In the autumn, Moray representatives took part in a peer learning visit to Wanze, in Wallnonia. Moray participants visited three local breweries to learn about Belgian brewing practices, including the historic Trappiste Rochefort, which has been brewing beer for over 400 years. There were also visits to local farms, an historic maltings, and a distillery who produce a single malt Belgian whisky – in stills bought from the now mothballed, Caperdonich distillery in Rothes. The visit to Wallonia stimulated lots of ideas for future development of the project and provided insight into the challenges and opportunities of creating a short supply chain between farmers and brewers in Moray.

    Aileen Buchanan, Moray Local Action Group member and Senior Agricultural Consultant/Area Manager for SAC Consulting, offered of the visit to Wallonia: “What an inspiring trip! Lots to think about and ideas about how partnerships between farmers and end users, in this case breweries and small distilleries, could work to the benefit of both the farmers and the businesses.”

    Moray Local Action Group member, Erica Beck, added “"Beyond the direct bilateral learnings gained by the brewers, the visit gave an insight into different ways for disbursing European Leader funds for community environmental education and ecological benefit that might be usefully implemented in future programmes in Moray."

    The next steps for the project in Moray are in preparing the barley for brewing. The grain grown by Pitgaveny Farm has been harvested and will soon be ready for testing before heading to Crafty Maltsters in Fife to be malted. Windswept will then begin brewing the new From the Field to the Firkin beer in the New Year. Watch this space for more news in the coming months.