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The story behind Elgin drinks venue

“Against the Grain is more than just a drinks business, it’s a community” – the words of one of the venue’s four passionate directors, Callum Buchan.

The Elgin craft beer shop and taproom has been among the town’s food and drink scene since June 2018, and continues to build on its reputation.

Located on Batchen Street, Against the Grain is the brainchild of Ant Fitzgerald, a beer aficionado who once yearned for a venue that offered a cosy setting to enjoy a nice beer.

More than 150 beers are available to choose from. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson.

Alongside Tom Green and fellow directors Juliette Buchan and Callum, who both joined in April, the business is now considered a haven for beer lovers and sees drinks fans travel from far and wide to see what it has to offer.

Against the Grain

Against the Grain is a space with seating for up to 20 people. It may boast a modest interior, but its surroundings are far different.

Callum said: “Batchen Street is a bustling street in the heart of Elgin with many like-minded entrepreneurs investing in the community.

“We have four directors, each of whom brings their own area of expertise behind the scenes. But it’s the front-of-house team of four full and part-time staff that really make the place what it is.”

Inside Against the Grain. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson.

The space is predominantly a craft beer shop and taproom. However, it also offers other local spirits and, being in the heart of Speyside, an ever-growing whisky shelf.

There are in excess of 150 beers to choose from and more than 50 single-malt Scotch whiskies on its shelves.

The brands range from Six Degrees North and Dog Falls Brewing to Benromach and GlenAllachie.

“We have various suppliers and try to offer a diverse range of beers that would not normally be found,” added Callum. “We also have local beers from the north-east of Scotland.

Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson.

“Against the Grain often holds collaborative food events with our neighbours in the thriving street, too, and welcomes people to bring in takeaways and enjoy them with the beers on offer.

“We also do various tasting events involving whisky and beer pairings.”

‘We are a safe place’

In addition, Against the Grain is dog-friendly, so it welcomes a fair share of four-legged friends.

The space is open from 4pm to 10pm Monday to Thursday, noon to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3pm to 8pm on Sundays.

“It is a friendly and welcoming space where you feel part of the family,” says Callum.

“We are dog friendly and it’s surprising how many pooches enjoy dragging their masters in for a bowl of water and a pint.

The extensive beer fridge. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson.

“Against the Grain is more than just a drinks business, it’s a community. It is a safe place to enjoy a beer and chat with whoever is at the table next to you.”

For more information, visit the Against the Grain Facebook page or email

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[The story behind Elgin drinks venue]


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