An introduction to Dundee’s first brewery in 50 years…
First things first, how and why was 71 Brewing founded?
Founded in 2015 by Duncan Alexander out of his love for beer and brewing, who chose to come back to his hometown of Dundee and build the first brewery in the city for over 50 years. We have come a long way since 2015; we brewed our first beer in the winter of 2016. From day one, we have been crafting crisp lagers and seasonal beers inspired by progressive new world flavours and traditional classics.
Your first few beers were all lager styles but you’ve since gone on to brew some incredible, super-experimental ales of all shapes and sizes; how has the range and brewing philosophy developed over the past few years?
With the implementation of the Blueprint Series, we intended this to be part of our core line up with the intentions that it would cover a large variety of styles while keeping the strengths to a sensible ABV that the consumer can enjoy multiples of or work their way through the series. It is seasonal over two seasons and is tweaked each time we come into Spring and Autumn to introduce new beers and styles for that time of year while maintaining variety. Alongside this we produce a lot of specials and collaborations, these tend to be styles we are enjoying at that moment in time and we have no restrictions when it comes to ABV and styles; this allows us to experiment with new flavours and produce something we love and are proud of.
You’re nominated for ‘Breakthrough Brewery of the Year’ at the 2019 Scottish Beer Awards; what’s your take on the current Scottish brewing scene and how does 71 Brewing stand out within it?
The Scottish brewing scene has come on leaps and bounds over current years with fantastic, new, inventive breweries like Fierce, Overtone, Vault City and many more. While there are a lot less breweries North of the border compared to the South, we think Scotland has an offering to match. We think we stand out by the large range we offer both as a core line up and our specials, giving customers and consumers a large variety; not only variety, but we feel we have strong branding that stands out to the consumer and makes our cans jump out on the shelves.
With a well-stocked taproom and brewery tours on offer, what can people expect if they come to visit 71 Brewing in Dundee?
We have recently reached the number 1 spot on TripAdvisor of things to do in Dundee which means we must be doing something right! We offer different kinds of tours from ones with a gift pack and others with a tasting of our beers at the end. We provide a lot of humour on our tour to coincide with the knowledge of brewing so there is never a dull moment. The taproom gives a homely atmosphere with its small space and cosy seats, somewhere customers can stay for a while!