Skye Brewery

The Island

People have lived on the island of Skye for thousands of years. And for almost as long, they’ve been brewing ale – there’s wonderful archaeological evidence on our neighbouring island of Rum.

Then, as now, people were shaped by the land around them – and the harshness of the weather. They brewed with what was at hand – porridge oats, heather and meadowsweet.

Here in Uig, you’ll find many of the ingredients used by those early brewers.

Of people and place

Just as the island has shaped its people, so too have people shaped the island. From Viking raiders to Jacobite rebels – and the clearances of the 1800s – the landscape has been formed by tumultuous human events. It’s said the clearances drove 40,000 people from the island – and that 10,000 Skye men were killed in the Napoleonic wars.

The population started to climb again in the early 1970s. Today, there’s a real vibrancy about the place – and a renewed interest in the island’s culture.


Customs have a long time to get established on Skye. Around 8,500 years, if you’re counting.

6500 BC

The earliest Scottish settlement discovered on Rum, Skye’s neighbouring island. Although there’s no proof, it’s very likely Skye was inhabited during these times.

3500 BC

The earliest evidence of people on Skye. The remnants of burial cairns, still visible today, are said to be protected by powerful ghosts.

500 AD

Skye inhabited by the Picts. Almost nothing is known about them – their language has completely disappeared, but some of their artefacts survive.

749 AD

The first documented raid on the Hebrides by the Vikings. They went on to have a great influence on Skye, eventually settling there during the 800s.

1200 AD

Mainland raiders begin terrorising Skye, encouraged by Scots Kings Alexander I and Alexander II.

1263 AD

The Battle of Largs. In the aftermath, Skye and the Hebrides became part of Scotland.

1200 AD – 1600 AD

Skye’s history is dominated by clan battles between the MacDonalds and MacLeods, each vying for land and power.

1700 AD

Jacobite plotting defined the early 1700s. Jacobites sought to restore the Roman Catholic Stuarts to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland.

1730 AD

The MacDonalds abandoned Duntulm Castle. They are said to have left for one of two reasons. The first was a family tragedy – one of the clans’ heirs was said to have fallen to their death. The second reason? It’s said the castle was haunted by Donald Gorm, the eighth chief.

1732 AD

Beginning of Skye’s ‘Clearances Experiment’ by MacLeod of MacLeod.

1745 AD

Bonnie Prince Charlie fled to Skye after the Battle of Culloden, and was smuggled back to the mainland by Flora MacDonald.

1773 AD

Dr Samuel Johnston and James Boswell tour Scotland. Around half their time was spent on Skye. Their resulting books helped attract more visitors to the island.

1877 AD

The Great Storm of Uig – so fierce it washed away bridges, houses and an ancient graveyard.

1973 AD

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig – the Gaelic language college – was founded in 1973

1995 AD

Opening of Isle of Skye Brewing Co.