SCOTLAND’S oldest working brewery has been given the thumbs up by an MSP who leads a national committee celebrating the industry.

Belhaven Brewery dates back to 1719 and is home to a visitor experience which shows the journey of the brewery over the past 200 years.

Craig Hoy, South Scotland MSP, has now launched a certificate scheme encouraging fellow Holyrood colleagues to visit local breweries and discover more about the contribution of brewing to the economy and communities.

Belhaven Brewery employs more than 70 people and Mr Hoy was joined on the tour by brewer Billy Mathers, brewing and distribution director Tim Preston, and Belhaven’s brand manager Fiona Matheson.

The politician said: “Belhaven is an important landmark of East Lothian’s economy, history and identity, and it supports hundreds of jobs across Scotland.

“The team at Belhaven Brewery are very engaged with the local community and they support Sustaining Dunbar, who have transformed the grounds of Belhaven Hospital into a therapeutic space for staff, patients, visitors and local residents.

“The brewery’s new interactive visitor experience is also very interesting and enjoyable, and their bar and garden spaces are open for events throughout the year.

“Belhaven brew over 10 different beers in Dunbar, and it was fascinating to discover the enormous diversity of Scottish beers – from craft pilsner to their award-winning Scottish oat stout.”

Mr Hoy presented the Cross-Party Group on Beer and Pubs’ first ‘Brew with your MSP’ certificate to Mr Mathers.

Mr Preston told the Courier that the brewery was proud of its connection to the town.

He added: “We’re honoured to be the first brewery visited as part of this initiative and to receive our ‘Brew with your MSP’ certificate from Craig.

“It was great to show him around the brewery so he could meet some of the team and learn about the pressures facing our sector currently, including rising costs and energy inflation, as we seek to continue creating jobs in Scottish pubs and at our brewery.”