THREE HUNDRED years of brilliant county beers have been celebrated at the Scottish Parliament.

Belhaven Brewery toasted the milestone with a reception at Holyrood, hosted by East Lothian MSP Iain Gray.

The politician was delighted to welcome a number of guests, with Greene King, the brewery’s owners, having ambitious plans to mark the important year.

Mr Gray said: “I was very pleased to welcome numerous guests, including Greene King’s CEO Rooney Anand, to this celebratory reception in the Scottish Parliament to mark 300 years of Belhaven Brewery.

“Belhaven is an important local employer and an iconic Scottish brand, and it was great to see so many colleagues from all parties there to help mark this significant milestone for Scotland’s oldest working brewery.”

Staff from Belhaven set up a bar in the Parliament’s Garden Lobby to enable MSPs and other guests to sample some of its popular beers.

The reception is part of a programme of events and activities throughout the year to celebrate the anniversary, including the opening of a £500,000 visitor centre at the brewery, by Dunbar.

A summer music festival is also planned, as well as Belhaven-themed parties across export nations, including America and Russia.

Speaking at the event, Mr Anand said: “Belhaven is Scotland’s oldest working brewery, a proud achievement and one we are delighted to be celebrating as we mark the 300th anniversary.

“Belhaven’s name, its beers and pubs are a familiar and much-loved part of Scottish heritage.

“Since acquiring Belhaven in 2005, we’ve held Belhaven’s heritage dear whilst developing the business considerably since.

“Today, Belhaven is a powerhouse of modern brewing, crafting over 585,000 pints a week of beer from its state-of-the-art brewhouse, producing 20 different beers and exporting to 45 countries.

“Exports now represent 30 per cent of trade, up from 10 per cent 10 years ago.

“At home, we are pleased to be marking this anniversary with a brand new visitor centre opening this summer.”