After 26 years in the high-octane environment of the pensions industry I just couldn’t stand the excitement any more so I made my escape and spent two years travelling around Central America, East Africa and Europe. My travels in Europe were in an old Dutch VW Campervan called Brian. I had been keeping a blog for most of my journeys and particularly enjoyed sharing Brian’s adventures. When it was time to come home I decided that I wanted to travel and write rather than return to a proper job, but I needed a journey to fuel the story.
After many ridiculous ideas were discarded, I happened to read Iain Banks’ Raw Spirit about his journey around many of the distilleries in Scotland. I much prefer beer and wine to whisky and Scotland has no vineyards so I set about researching the breweries. I discovered that there were about 70 in all, tremendously varied in nature, spread across the length and breadth of the country with new ones popping up frequently, as the craft beer industry was booming.
So now I had my purpose, to ‘discover beer in the land of whisky’ by visiting all of the breweries in Scotland. I would make the journey in my ‘Campervan for Real Ale’, Brian. The book takes the reader along on the journey, discovering not just the beer but also the people behind the pint and many of the most remote and stunning parts of Scotland. This book should leave you with fond memories of the journey, a new perspective on beer and a desire to visit Scotland.
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April 6, 2014 at 7:49 pm
Hi Robert, how’s tricks? I haven’t read your book yet but it’s now on my list!! Hope you’re keeping well – by the sounds of it your enjoying life.
August 18, 2015 at 4:33 pm
Just read your book in 3days as laid up with leg trouble. What a good read. Informative and witty. And of course a campervan of my own name. Best wishes Brian Hockey
August 18, 2015 at 4:41 pm
Thanks Brian – hope it helped pass the time. Cheers! Robert
August 23, 2020 at 12:43 am
What a genuinely good read, Robert. So much so I’m inspired eniugh to try and get around some of these breweries. You’ll need to give me a top 10 recommendations as a starter.
Hopefully catch up again soon. Best of luck!!!
December 23, 2022 at 11:22 pm
Thoroughly enjoyed your book. I was drawn to it primarily because we are related but also for my love of beer, whisky and Scotland.
I am Edith & Gerald Strome’s son – Sandy.
I’m not sure how you came to name your campervan Brian but it happens to be my oldest son’s name also. My Brian travelled throughout Europe in a campervan as well. So, I found all of these coincidences to be quite interesting.
Would love to see your brewery some day and have a chat.
Thank you again for a most enjoyable trip around Scotland.