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19th September 2012


The Orkney Brewery’s brand new visitor centre has been awarded five-star status by national tourism organisation VisitScotland, just weeks after opening to the public.

That makes it the only brewery visitor centre in Scotland to hold VisitScotland’s top classification and one of only four five-star attractions in Orkney.

 A central element of a major redevelopment programme at the Orkney Brewery’s Quoyloo site, the new visitor centre has already proved a massive hit with local people and tourists alike, with thousands streaming through its doors since it opened in July.

The centre, in Orkney’s west mainland, gives visitors the opportunity to see the brewery’s range of award-winning beers being crafted during informative and entertaining guided tours. Family activities are also available, with a special kids’ trail – based around the elusive Corncrake bird, found in the fields surrounding the brewery – running throughout the centre.

A wide selection of high quality local fayre is on offer in the centre’s restaurant, with its shop stocking Orkney crafts and gifts, in addition to the brewery’s full range of beers. The centre is also proving popular as a venue for functions, meetings and other special events.

Norman Sinclair, managing director of the Orkney Brewery’s parent company, Sinclair Breweries Ltd, said: “Whilst we set out to create the very best visitor facility we possibly could, one that properly reflected the high quality of our products, this almost instant award of five- star status from VisitScotland is quite overwhelming and hugely exciting for us. We’re proud to be the only brewery in Scotland with this classification and it’s a great advert for Orkney too. I’d also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the dedicated team of highly skilled local craftsmen who have worked so hard to create our new centre.”


Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Achieving five-star status is unique for a Scottish brewery visitor centre and I would like to raise a glass to the Orkney Brewery on this fantastic achievement. VisitScotland has a world-leading Quality Assurance Scheme and seeing a five-star logo guarantees visitors a wonderful experience. But we have to remember that this our Quality Assurance Scheme is about so much more than the stars above the door – it is about the entire visitor experience, and factors such as the warmth of the welcome, excellent facilities, amazing service and, increasingly, value for money, are all expected in a holiday.”

Brewery 2


The Orkney Brewery site incorporates the former Quoyloo Schoolhouse, which dates from 1876. Reflecting its past use, the new visitor centre contains many old photographs of the school and its classes, along with educational memorabilia. Shortly after opening in July, the visitor centre played host to a reunion of former Quoyloo School pupils.


The redevelopment of the Quoyloo site, which began in 2009, has allowed the Orkney Brewery to more than double its brewing capacity.




The image accompanying this release shows Norman Sinclair being presented with a five-star VisitScotland plaque by VisitOrkney’s Islands Manager, Barbara Foulkes (left). Also pictured (right) is Joyce Slater, manager of the Orkney Brewery visitor centre. Picture by Ken Amer, Orkney Photographic.



For further information contact:

Norman Sinclair,                                                                        Tom Maxwell,   

Managing Director,                                                                    Corporate Press Officer,

Sinclair Breweries Ltd,                                                               VisitScotland,

Tel: 01667 404 555                                                                     Tel: 0131 472 2409




Issued: Tuesday 18 September 2012