Fyne Ales are sold even in Italy now, but their best customers, and those to whom they are mostly accountable, are the local consumers. Andrea’s role is completely different to that of a brewer in London: there you must follow trends and fashions, and move at incredible speed. When the taste changes, suddenly everyone goes in the same direction. Like a school of sardines.
Finding the customer base for Fyne Ales in western Scotland is different, and much easier. You just need to jump into Andrea’s wrecked Mini, head north or west, sit down, for example, at the old George Hotel in Inveraray. And ask for a pint.
In brewing and living at Loch Fyne, nature is dominant. During the long and dark winters, a bright day is greeted as a gift. When spring comes, the hills in the Highlands are covered with fragrant gorse, which is used to flavour the beer. When this yellow explosion suddenly ends so too does spring, and endless violets surround the loch and brewery. Summer is short-lived and unsettled.
Loch Fyne seems a separate little world unto itself, silent, which sometimes fills with a few, delicate noises nearby: the swishing of the waves of the sea loch, the slow mooing of the Highland cattle, the distant music from a stereo someone playing inside the brewery. Yet, Andrea does not forget where he comes from.