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6th January 2021

Take the ‘Dry January’ challenge with Scotland’s first alcohol-free dark ale

One of Scotland’s most awarded independent craft breweries is encouraging people to take the ‘Dry January’ challenge with the country’s first alcohol-free dark ale.

‘Dry January’ is the UK’s one-month booze-free challenge that helps millions reset their relationship with alcohol every year and is run by the charity, Alcohol Change UK.

Named after the old Scottish slang for ‘quiet’, Wheesht is a 0.0% vol dark ruby ale created by the innovative team of brewers at Harviestoun Brewery, based in Alva near Stirling.

The unique alcohol-free dark ale is rich with aromas of roasted chocolate, sweet biscuit and dried fruit.

Wheesht is available to buy direct from Harviestoun’s online shop in cases of 12 and 24 bottles, including UK-wide next-day delivery.

Wheesht is also available to buy from selected Sainsbury’s stores across Scotland, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Stirling, Livingston, Irvine, Prestwick, Hawick, Strathaven, Linlithgow, Kelso, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Kirkaldy and Aberdeenshire.

Stuart Cail has been Master Brewer at Harviestoun Brewery for over 20 years. He said:

“Wheesht was a real challenge for the brew team as it’s like nothing they have brewed before.

“We wanted to create a non-alcohol beer that was full of flavour and aroma. It has taken us a while to perfect, but it is worth the wait. Now we’re encouraging people to take the ‘Dry January’ challenge with the country’s first alcohol-free dark ale.

“Roasted malt and oats create a really nice background that give body and hints of sweet dried fruit. This is complimented by the fruity, spicy aromas from the hops.”

Wheesht is available to buy direct from Harviestoun’s online shop in cases of 12 bottles (330ml) for £12.60 per case and in cases of 24 bottles (330ml) for £25.20 per case

People can also follow Harviestoun on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

To find out more about Dry January and Alcohol Change UK, visit


Notes to editors

About Harviestoun Brewery

Based at Alva, near Stirling, Harviestoun is one of Scotland’s most awarded breweries

and is a pioneering producer of nine high-quality craft beer and lagers, including its most famous award-winning beer, Schiehallion (pronounced she-hal-ion) pilsner, which is named after a well-known mountain in Perthshire:

  • 2 craft lagers – Forth (4%) & Schiehallion (4.8%)
  • 1 golden ale – Bitter & Twisted (4.2%)
  • 2 craft stouts – Old Engine Oil (6% or 4.5% on draught) and Engineers Reserve (9%)
  • 2 pale ales – The Ridge (5%) & Whippet (table beer – 2.3%)
  • 1 dark ale – Wheesht (0.0%). Scotland’s first alcohol-free dark ale
  • 1 barrel-aged stout – Ola Dubh (8%). Finished in ex-Highland Park whisky barrels for a minimum of 6 months. There are various age statements from the barrels – 12, 14, 16 , 18, 30 and 40 years old.

Harviestoun has been brewing in the shadow of the Ochil Hills in Clackmannanshire since 1983, so they were making craft beer in Scotland long before it became a popular trend. Still under independent ownership, it is one of Scotland’s most-awarded breweries and they consider themselves a modern craft classic.

Harviestoun’s beers are made with the soft local water and the majority of its barley is grown within eight miles of the brewery. The brewery remains steadfastly committed to the using the same local ingredients, the same yeast as they always have. They insist on the very best ingredients in their imaginative recipes which are crafted without compromise. All at Harviestoun respect and celebrate the provenance that they have inherited and are developing this special business with energy and imagination.

The Brewery is now owned by Sandy Orr and Donald MacDonald who in partnership with the Sharp family acquired Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh in 2008.  Having already been bought by Caledonian Brewery in 2006, Harviestoun was at the leading edge of the cask beer revolution in Scotland.  When Caledonian was subsequently sold to Scottish & Newcastle, Sandy and Donald were determined to keep Harviestoun out of the sale transaction believing that the quality and provenance of its beers in independent hands promised a fine future in the then growing market for premium flavoursome beers.  And so it has proved.

Under the same Chairmen it has had since 2008, Harviestoun is now led by Stuart Cook and Kevin Giudici as Joint Managing Directors.  The executive team in 2019 have led the business to re-brand, brought out new products that are already winning awards, as well as overhauling the sales and marketing division to establish a strong platform for growth in the future.

The independent brewery employs a close team of 22 people, including a female head brewer, which is quite unique for the brewing industry, as well as a Master Brewer with well over 20 years’ experience at the brewery. The Harviestoun Brewhouse rule is that no Harviestoun beer will leave the Brewery unless Stuart Cail (Master Brewer) or Amy Cockburn (Head Brewer) are delighted with its creation and consistency.

Press release from Taste Communications on behalf of Harviestoun

Media contact:

Jonathan Perkins, Communications Director, 07894 711 515,