BrewDog - quality with an international appeal

£1.5 MILLION BOOST FOR BREWDOG

Earlier this month, Ellon-based Brewdog was granted a £1.5 million Regional Selective Assitance (RSA) grant which will deliver a jobs boost for Aberdeenshire.

BrewDog co-founders James Watt and Martin Dickie established the company as one of Scotland’s fastest-growing international exports in 2014.

The brewery is set to expand its workforce at Ellon from 370 to 500 to keep up with the demand for its craft beer. The company, which has received various accolades, including being named by The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 as the fastest growing food and drink company in the UK, has added another feather to its cap - the London Stock Exchange has named BrewDog as one of the UK’s 1,000 most inspiring companies.

Brewdog is a remarkable Scottish success story, starting out as a joint venture between two pals in 2007 and growing into a major player on the global food and drink scene. They are now a big employer in the heart of Aberdeenshire, and this £1.5million boost will create 130 new jobs in Ellon.

Scotland is fast-becoming one of the world’s leading food and drink nations and the demand for our produce has seen rapid growth in overseas markets for many years now.

In this Year of Food and Drink 2015, it is important that we celebrate all that the North-east has to offer and promote Scotland’s natural larder.

Brewdog has also made a commitment to pay all employees the living wage – an initiative which is very much supported by the SNP. The Scottish Government is working to make Scotland a fairer and more prosperous country for all who live and work here.

The Government Economic Strategy was launched earlier this month and outlines the ambitions to further increase economic growth and boost competitiveness, including further boosting our exports. Scotland’s food and drink industry will benefit hugely from this targeted approach.

The Scottish Government is constantly working to make sure Scotland is an excellent place to do business, and I commend companies like BrewDog who are taking advantage of market conditions to expand and create quality products with international appeal.

MOON TURNS DAY INTO NIGHT

For the first time this century we will get a near total solar eclipse across Scotland. And it will be the last big one for 11 years.

If you can’t get up to the Faroe Islands tomorrow then Stornoway is next best to total eclipse at 97 per cent coverage of the sun’s disc by the moon. Viewing will also be great in Shetland with special events at places such as the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse.

However, Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee are all comfortably in the mid 90s for totality coverage. I’m delighted to say that Strichen comes in at around 93 per cent totality and so I’ll be out with my cup of tea, bacon sandwich and a bucket of water with a black bin liner!

The bucket and bin liner is one of the simplest and best ways to safely see an eclipse.

Everyone should pay careful heed to the advice not to look at the sun directly and, if you are using special glasses, make absolutely sure they are the approved ones. No astronomical event, however spectacular, is worth damage to your eyes.

The one thing which can stop a great viewing for all of the two hours is cloud cover. The last big eclipse in 1999 was a huge letdown as a result of inconvenient weather.

This is a boom time for amateur astro-nuts like me, since there is a lunar eclipse on the way on April 4. A solar eclipse occurs in the day time, when the new Moon is between the Earth and the Sun, while a lunar eclipse occurs at night when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon. Lunar eclipses are commonly thought to be much more common than solar ones but they occur with roughly the same frequency. They just seem more regular because each solar eclipse is seen over a smallish part of the globe while lunar ones are across that half of the planet in darkness. A lunar eclipse is nothing like as spectacular as a solar one, although impressive enough for Christopher Columbus to invoke one to extort additional provisions from terrified native New World Indians.

The next near-total solar eclipse over Scotland won’t be until 2026 and after that not until 2090.