Borders brewery planning to expand after landing £395,000 loan

Broughton Ales bosses Steve McCarney, far left, John Hunt, far right, and David McGowan, sixth from left, with staff.
Broughton Ales bosses Steve McCarney, far left, John Hunt, far right, and David McGowan, sixth from left, with staff.

A Borders brewery is looking to expand after securing a loan of almost £400,000.

Broughton Ales, billed as Scotland’s first microbrewery, plans to invest that cash, borrowed from HSBC, in new equipment enabling it to increase its domestic and export beer sales.

Broughton Ales bosses, from left, John Hunt, David McGowan and Steve McCarney.

Broughton Ales bosses, from left, John Hunt, David McGowan and Steve McCarney.

As well as lending the Main Street brewery £395,000, the bank will help out with asset and invoice financing.

That will allow Broughton Ales, founded in 1979, to increase production.

Asset finance will be used to improve and expand the award-winning firm’s brewing gear.

It plans to install new fermenting and conditioning facilities, including tanks and temperature control equipment, to further enhance the quality of its products.

A new shop and visitor attraction in an existing building on site.

The firm also plans to upgrade its sales, export marketing, IT and customer relationship systems.

Co-owner John Hunt said: “Since the new management team came on board at the end of 2015, our aim has been to build a stronger presence in what is a growing market for authentic beers with real provenance.

“We also plan make our products more accessible to markets around the world, in particular in northern and southern Europe and the US.

“I am confident the funding package will go a long way to help us achieve our growth ambitions.

“It will help us increase our quality and capacity of the production of our key brands, and accelerate plans to build a local visitor and tourist attraction at the brewery.”

Susan Rowand, head of business banking for HSBC in Scotland, added: “We are thrilled to be supporting a business with such strong Scottish roots and heritage.

“Broughton Ales has both exciting and ambitious growth plans, a reflection of the increasing demand for Scottish food and drink in overseas markets.

“We are confident our funding package and expertise will help the business realise its growth targets in the months and years to come.”

The brewery was founded at the end of the 1970s by David Younger and James Collins in a former abattoir.

Its first beer was Greenmantle Ale, a 3.9% alcohol-by-volume bitter titled after the 1916 novel of that name by former sometime Broughton resident John Buchan, the first Baron Tweedsmuir and also author of 1910’s Prester John, 1915’s The Thirty-Nine Steps, 1930’s Castle Gay and 1941’s Sick Heart River.

It was followed by the likes of Old Jock Ale, Merlin’s Ale, Scottish Oatmeal Stout, 6.2 IPA, Hopopotamus, Jeddart Justice, Border Gold, Dark Dunter, Lantern Jack, Clipper IPA, Proper IPA and Black Douglas.

In 1995, the brewery was taken over by Giles Litchfield, and in 2015 it changed hands again, with Mr Hunt, Steve McCarney and David McGowan taking over.

Broughton Ales is one of two brewers in its home village, the other being the Old Worthy Brewing Co, and seven altogether in the Borders, the rest being Campbell’s and Freewheelin’ in Peebles, Tempest at Tweedbank, Born in the Borders at Lanton Mill and Traquair House at Innerleithen.