A NEW £500,000 visitor centre, a weekend music festival and a special celebratory beer are all being lined up as Scotland’s oldest working brewery toasts 300 years.

A number of events are planned to mark Belhaven Brewery reaching the historic milestone this year.

Plans include a pale ale beer called 1719, a weekend music festival at the brewery and the opportunity for customers to win tickets to New York Tartan Week 2020.

The brewery, which is owned by Greene King, plans to have a new £500,000 visitor centre complete by the middle of the summer.

Matt Starbuck, managing director, was looking forward to the celebrations and toasting the efforts of John Johnstone, who founded the brewery.

He said: “John Johnstone would no doubt be delighted to see his beloved brewery today, not only the oldest working brewery in Scotland and the home of Scottish brewing but a thriving innovative business and a great Scottish success story abroad. With 30 per cent of all Belhaven beer now enjoyed overseas and a market leading position at home, Belhaven has plenty to celebrate.

“We are continuing to invest in Belhaven with a new visitor centre opening this year bringing tourism to Dunbar.”

Greene King, which acquired Belhaven in 2005, is hosting 300 days of parties in its pubs and Belhaven-themed parties as far afield as America and Russia.

The 1719 modern pale ale launched to celebrate the anniversary of ‘Belhaven’, which means ‘beautiful bay’, is 4.5 percent ABV and has a citrus and tropical fruit character and will be available on cask, keg and in 330ml bottles throughout this year.

Meanwhile, the 300th birthday will also be marked with a reception at the Scottish Parliament next month, while an Early Day Motion at Westminster will hear about the brewery’s long history.

Iain Gray, MSP for East Lothian, said: “Belhaven Brewery is an important local employer as well as an internationally-renowned brand.

“The brewery’s 300th anniversary is a significant milestone and I’m very happy to be hosting a Parliamentary reception on behalf of Belhaven to join the celebrations.”