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27th August 2015

Sounds nuts – craft beer to preserve squirrels?

Drinking beer does good for endangered species in the Cairngorms National Park

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Craft beer is good for red squirrels – at least it is in the Cairngorms National Park.

It may on first impressions sound nuts, but by drinking one of the speciality servings from Cairngorm Brewery, beer lovers are helping do good for one of Scotland’s favourite wildlife species.

From every sale of its Autumn Nuts beer, the Aviemore-based brewery is making a donation to The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Red Squirrel Project which seeks to protect and preserve the iconic native mammal.

The project aims to halt the decline of red squirrels in key areas of north Scotland and slow down or contain the spread of the deadly squirrel-pox disease in the south of the country.

The limited edition Autumn Nuts – a full bodied ruby red ale with a nutty flavour and 4.8% ABV – is one in the Cairngorm Brewery’s range that takes its name from the creatures that have their natural habitat in the region.

Its White Lady – using the image of the female ptarmigan – Wild Cat and Stag beers have also been named after some of the iconic natural wildlife synonymous with the Cairngorms National Park, which is home to 25% of the UK’s endangered species, and contains some of the best wildlife habitats in the UK.

Managing director Samantha Faircliff says that the surrounding environment has been a real source of inspiration to the business.

The company recently donated £1034 to Scottish Wildcat Action, (formerly the Highland Tiger Project) from sales of Wildcat Beer, supporting the conversation project to raise awareness of the endangered Scottish wildcat, the country’s only remaining native feline.

Samantha says: “The Cairngorms is a most wonderful part of the world and we feel we have a responsibility to help safeguard the outstanding natural environment of the area that we are based.

“That’s why we support causes that are important in the Cairngorms National Park.  Our most recent sees us use the image of a red squirrel on our Autumn Nuts beer and backing the work of the Scottish Wildlife Trust regarding their project to support red squirrels in the Park.

“Red squirrels are stunning and charismatic but they face current and real threats and they need help to prevent their decline and we hope that Autumn Nuts will not only help raise money but also awareness about wildlife issues.

“We also have an ambition to reuse, recycle, reduce our waste to as near to zero to landfill as possible. This is not lip service – our environmental policy underpins many management decisions and in many cases is also the best commercial decision too.”

It’s little wonder that Cairngorms’ local food and drink is as fresh, inspiring and intriguing as the unspoilt environment in which it is nurtured. The area is home to a wealth of top quality producers and food innovators – so much so that the area could be renamed Cairn-gourmet.

Craft brewing has taken off around the UK but Cairngorm Brewery remains the only brewery within the boundary of the Cairngorms National Park. It produces a full range of permanent and seasonal cask beers available throughout the year in 500ml bottles and its ales have won various awards and accolades recognising the firm’s dedication to producing quality beers.

There has been a brewery in Aviemore since 1997 and the Cairngorm Brewery came into being in 2001. At that time it employed eight people – now it has 24 staff working at the brewery and another 10 working at the nearby Winking Owl Pub and Restaurant.

The brewery is soon to launch a new range of 330ml bottles and always has new beers in the making.

The pure crystal mountain water of the Cairngorms, added to the finest malted and roast barley and hops, helps ensure the brewery produces the finest of ales in its 20 barrel brewhouse, which is capable of producing 6500 litres of beer per day.

As well as having a retail shop, Cairngorm Brewery tours offering samples of ales are available Monday-Friday at 11.30am and 2.30pm in addition to group tour bookings taken at weekends (minimum of six people). Reflecting the Cairngorms’ status as a year round destination where there is always plenty to do, tours are available all year round.

Cairngorm Brewery is just one of a wealth of the fine food and drink producers in the area – for further information about others, and all there is to see and do in Cairngorms National Park, visit


Photos: Beer lovers and squirrels will go nuts for Autumn Gold from Cairngorm Brewery.

Fact Box:

Cairngorm Brewery, Dalfaber Industrial Estate, Aviemore, Highlands and Islands PH22 1ST

Shop Opening Times:

Monday – Saturday 10am – 5.30pm (All year round)

Sundays 12.30pm – 4pm (Apr – Oct inclusive)

Tours available Mon – Fri at 11.30am and 2.30pm; duration up to 1 hour £3 per person. Bookings are essential for groups and weekend tours. or call 01479 812 222

For further information please contact:

Esther Green

Tricker PR

T: 01224 645491


Notes to editors

The Cairngorms Business Partnership Marketing campaign has received £35,000 funding from the VisitScotland Growth Fund.

The VisitScotland Growth Fund is for well researched, new, collaborative marketing campaigns from groups of tourism businesses that operate at regional or national level.

For more information on the VisitScotland Growth Fund visit