Records of Heather Ale Ltd, brewers, Strathaven, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Product sales literature 1993-1999;
  • Packaging 1990s;
  • Printed ephemera 1996;
  • Labels 1995-1997;
  • Press cuttings 1993-1997.

Administrative / Biographical History

Production began in 1993 after Bruce and Scott Williams experimented with a recipe, written in Gaelic, that they had been given for heather ale. Initially the West Highland Brewery in Taynuilt was used for the production of the ale, but an increase in demand towards the end of the year compelled a move to the Thistle Brewery , which was owned by Maclays of Alloa . Production was seasonal and coincided with heather gathering, but developments in storage led to a year round supply.

In 1994 Heather Ale registered as a limited liability company under the name Williams World Agency , but in 1995 they registered a name change to Heather Ale Ltd . 1995 also saw the first export to the United States. In 1996 production was expanded to include Grozet  , an ale made from gooseberries.

By 2001 the company also produced Alba, a Scots pine ale, Ebulum, an elderberry black ale, and Kelpie, an organic seaweed ale. In 1997 the company was the winner in the "Drinks" section, and received the Supreme Award in the "Food from Scotland Excellence Awards", at the Royal Highland Show.

Source: Smith, Gavin D . The Scottish Beer Bible. The Essential Guide to over 150 Scottish Beers and Lagers ( Edinburgh: Mercat, 2001 )


The material is arranged according to the Scottish Brewing Archive classification scheme used within all SBA collections.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Heather Ale Ltd

Other Finding Aids

File level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History

Held at the Scottish Brewing Archive at Glasgow University. Custody of the Scottish Brewing Archive was transferred to Glasgow University Archive Services in 2008.



Related Material

GB 0248 M: Records of Maclay & Co Ltd

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Fonds level description compiled by Natalie Milne, Archive Assistant (Hub), 30 October 2001. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description, 8 June 2005. Catalogue revised by Wiebke Redlich, Archive Assistant (Hub), 22 January 2002; Emma Yan, Assistant Archivist, 12 December 2008; and Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 10 May 2012.

Geographical Names