Award winning Fife micro-brewer Bob Phaff has finally realised his dream by moving his operation into the heart of St Andrews.

The St Andrews Brewing Company has set up home on the Bassaguard Business Park in a move that has seen Bob take on two trainee brewers and substantially increase production.

Bob’s bottle conditioned ales have proved hugely popular all over the country, and he always has special guest beers to complement his core range of regular brews.

Now beer is being brewed in the central area of St Andrews for the first time in 114 years, and Bob plans to produce a new guest brew every single week.

He set up his business in start up premises in Glenrothes, and last year, along with well known local businessman Tim Butler, he opened the hugely popular Tap House pub and restaurant  – with 16 different beers on tap – in South Street in St Andrews.

Bob has always had a passion for micro-breweries and craft beer, spending time studying them in Idaho in the USA, working with brewers there, and even writing two books on his favourite subject.

When he moved to Fife with his wife Jen he immediately wanted to open his own brewery, and he has been multi-tasking as owner, brewer, bottler, delivery driver and chief taster.

Bob told “Food from Fife” that to mark the opening of the St Andrews brewing operation he had created a pale ale – St Andrews (Very) Special – in collaboration with the local Luvians Bottle Shop.

In addition, he said, 20 special edition one litre bottles of the new beer, with the striking design hand drawn by locally based ceramic artist Susan McGill, would all be finding special homes.

Susan has been designing Bob’s distinctive labels and artwork since the brewery was set up around two and a half years ago.

There are now around stockists all over the UK and the brewery’s winning Crail Ale is currently in around 50 Sainsbury stores in Scotland thanks to a competition win.

“We will now be having nine core beers, and every Friday we’ll brew a new beer with new combinations of malt, hops and yeast.

“The move into St Andrews has given us a lot more space, and life will be much easier. The whole journey has been about getting here.”

Bob says that it still feels “a little bit surreal” to realise his dream of brewing in St Andrews.

“It’s funny to think that someone we don’t know has just sat down in front of the TV to watch Wimbledon or the World Cup with a bottle of our beer.

“We’ll be brewing seven times a week with around 80% going into bottles and the rest going straight to the pub in casks. It’s all about pure ingredients and making our beers as big, bold and fresh as possible.

“The pub has 16 different tap lines, and this will now include six of our own. We also keep around 120 different Scottish and international beers in the fridge.”

The photographs show Bob and Archie McDiarmid of Luvians outside the Tap Hose with the special new pale ale and Bob with some of his beers

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