Fife brewer emerges as sponsor for beer festival

This year’s real ale festival is set to be a special one for a Fife brewery, which is emerging as sponsor of the event just two years after making its debut.

Mark Duncan from Coul Brewing, Janet Lawson from Rothes Halls, and Grant Bruce from CAMRA. Picture: Fife Photo Agency
Mark Duncan from Coul Brewing, Janet Lawson from Rothes Halls, and Grant Bruce from CAMRA. Picture: Fife Photo Agency

Coul Brewing, based in Glenrothes, is this year backing the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) beer festival at Rothes Halls.

The Kingdom Of Fife Real Ale, Cider and Perry Festival was where Coul Brewing gained attention in 2018 for its pale ale Baby Badger.

Coul Brewing’s Andy Dean said it was a pleasure to return to the festival as sponsor just two years after arriving as the newcomer.

He said: “We’re the main sponsor this year and we’re putting five beers on.

“It feels natural given that we’re the local brewery.

“It’s not a huge thing to invest in a local event and it’s great to support it.”

Andy paid tribute to the hard work of his colleagues in growing the brand.

“It’s a mark of how far we’ve come in so little time, just making good beer on a shoestring in a domestic garage,” he said. “It’s a testament to the achievements we’ve made so far.”

Andy said that with Coul now making its name as an up-and-coming company, there could well be expansion in the future.

He explained: “We’re pretty much operating flat out now. We made 9500 litres last year and will probably make a bit more this year. 

“There are plenty of places taking it in Fife and it seems to be getting a warm reception. 

“It’s amazing how it’s snowballed.

“We’ve gone from doing half-batches every couple of weeks to more than 300 litres every week, and we’re having to look at expanding to make more.

“The unique part of our brewery is that there are five of us involved in it and we all have our individual talents.

“Me and my brother just make the stuff, while my wife sells it – we all have our own little niches.”

Andy said fans of Coul would see their favourites at the festival, along with the possibility of something a little different.

He added: “I think we’ll put on Full Spectrum, 80s Revival, Baby Badger and/or Source Code, one of the two, maybe Milestone.

“We’ll possibly be putting our New England IPA in a cask for the Champion Beer of Fife competition too.”

Grant Bruce, chairman of Kingdom of Fife Camra, believes the event will help promote the seven smaller breweries in Fife.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase Fife brewing,” he said.

“We’ll have over 35 real ales, and more than 15 ciders or perries, and seven out of the nine Fife Breweries are in attendance – Coul Brewing from Glenrothes, Brewshed beers from Limekilms, Innerbay from Inverkeithing, Ovenstone from the East Neuk, Blunt Chisel from Kelty, Beath Brewing from Cowdenbeath, and Seven Kings from Dunfermline.

“It’s probably the only festival where you’ll find all those Fife breweries on cask, because the majority of these guys only do bottles.

“All seven will be taking part in our Champion Beer of Fife competition as well, and we’ll crown the first, second, and third position.

“Very few pubs in the area have the freedom to sell beer from local producers because they’re tied to the big breweries.

“So this gives a lot of the independent landlords a chance to come along and see what’s on offer from this area.

“About a quarter of our beers will be from this area, with quite a few from other Scottish breweries too, as well as some from south of the border.

“There’s a new brewery in the pipeline, Bowhouse, but they won’t be ready in time for our festival.

“It’s all about supporting the small guys, and that’s what we like to do.”

The Kingdom Of Fife Real Ale, Cider and Perry Festival runs from Thursday, April 30 to Sunday, May 2, at the Rothes Halls.