5th April 2020
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Last orders for Valhalla Brewery owner

4 comments, , by , in News

In a shed in Baltasound in 1997 Sonny Priest started producing beer as the Valhalla Brewery.

But now, over 20 years later, Mr Priest is looking to let new blood take over the business due to ill health.

Sonny Priest with some of his Valhalla ales.

Mr Priest, who is the brewery’s only full-time member of staff, said that he was sad to leave the business after successfully expanding it over two decades.

“I would have loved to have taen it to the next level”, he said.

But, on doctors orders, Mr Priest will now be entertaining offers for the business which has sold beer to countries such as Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and even as far afield as Japan.

Speaking of his time at Valhalla Mr Priest said: “It’s certainly the biggest challenge that I’ve taen on in my lifetime. There’s been a lot of stress but I’ve enjoyed it and learned a lot.”

Before he had even put the business on the market “word got out” that Mr Priest was thinking of selling up. As a result, Mr Priest has already received enquiries from Shetland and beyond.

Over 60,000 bottles of beer were produced by Valhalla in the most recent year, alongside kegs and real ale casks.

Reflecting on the successful expansion of his business over the years Mr Priest joked, “I think it was the sceptics that kept me going.”

About Keegan Murray

Reporter for The Shetland Times. Interested in politics, literature and music. Born and bred Shetlander. Long suffering Newcastle United supporter.

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  1. John Kristianson

    It is a real inspiration seeing people who do what they love and are successful at it. I have never had Valhalla Beer (unless it is somehow making it to Los Angeles). Hopefully, when I arrive in Lerwick, the new owner(s) will have kept the tradition and I can sample a bottle or two (or more).

    • Eccy de Jonge

      Try the Simmer Dim – you’ll love it. Great Beer – hope the new owners don’t mess with the recipe.

  2. Alan

    Sorry to read that Sonny is retiring due to ill health, I was first introduced to his real ale in 1997 by a good friend of mine whilst visiting him in Lerwick. Years later enjoyed it on draft and the simmer dim bike rallies, my favourite is auld rock.
    I hope the new owner puts as much passion into the making of these fine ales.

  3. Hubert Lorin

    I’m watching Shetland on Netflix here in Leesburg Virginia. At the beginning of the second episode on a board in port for visitors it says Vahalla beer sold here. Checked Google and came here to find sadly that Mr. Priest is in ill health . From all craft brew lovers here in Northern Virginia we wish you the very best. And thank you for all you have done. Wish I could have had an ipa with you.


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