Princess Royal visits new £1M brew house

HER Royal Highness the Princess Royal visited a trio of East Lothian venues during a whistle-stop tour of the county last Friday.

In the space of a few hours, she was welcomed to the new £1 million brew house at Belhaven Brewery, Dunbar, gave Leuchie House care home at North Berwick her seal of approval before moving on to Queen Margaret University near Musselburgh to mark 75 years of occupational therapy education in Scotland.

Everywhere she went, she attracted praise from the many people she saw and spoke to.

Brew house operator John Smith, who has worked at Belhaven’s Dunbar 300-year-old site for more than 34 years, got to meet Princess Anne for a second time, having first met her during her visit to the brewery back in 1988.

He said: “Not many people get to meet a Princess even once in their lives, so I feel pretty lucky to have had the chance to say hello a second time.

“It’s incredible to think about all the things that have changed here since her last visit 25 years ago.”

Princess Anne was escorted around the new brew house at Belhaven Brewery Director George Howell who gave her an insight into the craft that goes into some of the country’s favourite beers including Belhaven Best and Scottish stout Belhaven Black.

He said: “It was a true honour to welcome the Princess Royal back to our brewery and give her a guided tour of our new facilities.

“The technology Her Royal Highness was introduced to will help us maintain our position as one of the industry’s leading players for many years go come.”

The investment will allow Belhaven to increase efficiency and capacity, and reduce energy costs. New equipment includes a state-of-the-art mash conversion vessel which processes malted barley.

Then it was on to Leuchie House which provides respite care for people who suffer from a variety of long-term conditions and she ended her tour at Queen Margaret University.