Passion for beer and ambition to grow

Founded by husband and wife team Steve and Jo Stewart in Edinburgh in 2004, Stewart Brewing has quickly established itself as one of Scotland's most successful breweries. The business now has more than 25 employees working across a range of departments from retail to production. 

Steve Stewart explains how Johnston Carmichael has assisted the firm’s growth.

“We were a small brewery with very small premises but big ambitions about where we wanted to take the business. 

“Adam Hardie and Shaun Millican listened to what we wanted to do and could see that we had the potential to deliver on some of those ambitions. Since that point it’s been absolutely fantastic, we’ve really enjoyed working with these guys and it’s been great for the business.”  

In the five years that Johnston Carmichael has worked with Steve and his team, Stewart Brewing has grown 20% year on year, partly due to an increased focus on business management.

“Before Johnston Carmichael, we didn’t know much about how our day-to-day or month-to-month trading was operating. In order for us to get bigger, we needed to put better systems in. What Johnston Carmichael did is help us put those systems in, enabling us to focus on what’s important and where the numbers make a big difference in the business.”

The firm’s experience within food and drink and extensive networks across the sector have also been beneficial. 

“Johnston Carmichael are able to introduce us to other producers and other people within Scotland’s food and drink community. We’ve been to several JC events which have enabled us to learn from other industries, meet contacts and share information and that’s been really useful.”

The decision to raise finance to fund a move to expanded premises was a real turning point for the business. 

“We needed to move to a much bigger facility. The whole project cost in the region of £1.2 million; for a business of our turnover that was quite a big step to take. 

“If we hadn’t had Johnston Carmichael, we would have really struggled to understand exactly how to raise the finance and what the best avenues to do that were. The project took about three years in total and they were with us every step of the way, advising on the best route.”

Over the past five years, Stewart Brewing’s products have won multiple awards and accolades but Steve is convinced there is great potential for further growth and is looking forward to continuing support from Johnston Carmichael.

It’s absolutely fantastic working with Johnston Carmichael. The relationship we have with them is perfect for the size of business we are. What I really like about working with Adam and Shaun is that when we need something done, it gets done and done quickly.

Steve Stewart

Founder, Stewart Brewing

“We have quite a simple philosophy at Stewart Brewing. It’s about making great beer, having great customer service and having fun. Our ambitions are to maximise our potential. When we started in 2004, there were 36 breweries in Scotland, now there are over 100. Craft beer is going through a huge upsurge and Stewart Brewing has been at the forefront of that. 

“We have so many ideas for the next five to ten years and we wouldn’t dream of working with anyone other than Johnston Carmichael to help us fulfil those dreams.“