Mackays’ Supplier Series: John o’ Groats Brewery

We love shining a spotlight on local suppliers and here’s one for the beer lovers amongst us – John o’ Groats brewery! At Mackays Hotel, we are biased towards a dram of locally distilled whisky, but our bar is always stocked with John o’ Groats Brewery beer.

They are an artisan craft brewery, taking pride in the ingredients, the process and the care that goes into every drink.

John O' Groats Brewery Banner

What makes John o’ Groats Brewery so special?

Being the only craft brewery in Caithness and the most northerly brewery on mainland Britain is a reputation that John o’ Groats Brewery embraces and exceeds. They use traditional methods and locally sourced ingredients like highland water. This is important for the brewery as it means that there’s a piece of Caithness in every sip.


The brewery’s first ale, the First Footing Golden Ale, is still a favourite. The First Footing Golden Ale is the perfect drink for an ale lover or someone that wants to try something beautifully blended.


An oatmeal stout would be our pick when it comes to stouts. The coffee and chocolate notes make it a great warming drink for a cold Scottish evening.

It is so refreshing to see a brewery valuing a handcrafted, small-scale process and you can really taste the difference.

We’re also so excited to hear that the brewery is proposing to create a brewery, tasting room and visitor centre. That will be another unique experience on the North Coast 500 route!

The exterior of the John O' Groats Brewery visitor centre
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