Tempest Brewery bubbles Cobbles to the top

Annika Meiklejohn of The Cobbles in Kelso who have won CAMRA Scottish and Northern Ireland Pub of the Year.
Annika Meiklejohn of The Cobbles in Kelso who have won CAMRA Scottish and Northern Ireland Pub of the Year.

Kelso’s Cobbles Inn has won Scotland’s CAMRA’ Pub of the Year’, and now the proud owners are quadrupling their Tempest Brewery’s size.

For the last three years, the husband and wife team of Gavin and Annika Meiklejohn focused their energies on the restaurant, with Gavin acting as head chef and Kiwi Annika as manager, picking up local food awards and an AA rosette for culinary excellence.

But Gavin’s dream of brewing beer kept on bubbling, and finally Tempest Brewery frothed into life at Winchester Row in Kelso.

“We subscribe to the craft ethos of ‘nose to tail’ brewing,” he said, “with total production control, from cultivating our house yeast strain to bottling the final products.”

The couple, who sell Tempest beers at the Cobbles, have hit a recipe for success, winning CAMRA’s ‘Pub of the Year’ in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“Everyone is thrilled,” Annika said. “Gavin and I have worked really hard. Hopefully we’ll be busier. We’re now in the top 16 CAMRA pubs in the UK.”

But success brings its problems.

“We’re at 100 per cent capacity and have been for the last 12 months,” brewer Gavin said.

“We need to grow and fulfill market demand. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to operate where we currently are.”

He hasn’t found premises big, or high, enough in Kelso, so he’s searching other Border towns.

“Bottles will be the major growth channel for us, we need to quadruple volumes to meet demand.

“We’ve exported our first order to Australia which is exciting.”