Ardbeg distillery launches its first ever beer as part of Brewgooder's global clean water campaign

Renowned Islay whisky distillery Ardbeg has announced the launch of its first-ever beer - with the profit from the sales of the new drink going to support clean water projects in Africa. 

Published 10th Mar 2020
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Named after Ardbeg’s beloved Jack Russell mascot, The Shortie is a limited edition Smoky Porter launched in partnership with Brewgooder as part of their Global Gathering campaign.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg director of distilling, whisky creation & whisky stocks explained the reasoning behind the name, he said: “We all dig Ardbeg, and no more so than Shortie. So for this life-saving, well-digging clean water brew, it was only fitting that our canine mascot should represent Islay."

The brain-child of flatmates Alan McIntyre, global brand manager at Ardbeg, and Alan Mahon, Brewgooder's founder, the beer has been produced in aid of World Water Day on the 22 March with all profits from the new product donated to support clean water projects in Malawi.

To produce this one-off beer – which will be available exclusively in the UK for a limited time only - Ardbeg has joined forces with Williams Bros. Brewing Co.

Made using the same peated malt as the award-winning Ardbeg Ten Years Old whisky, The Smokie captures the distillery’s signature smoky character and combines it with notes of bitter dark chocolate, malty biscuit, dry espresso coffee and a hint of liquorice.

Why are Starbucks making a pork flavoured latte - new limited edition coffee and where to try it


Dr Lumsden stated that though the new porter is "smooth and creamy", the Ardbeg malt has helped make it "distinctly smoky", the way they imagined an Ardbeg beer is meant to taste.

The only spirits brand alongside around 250 craft brewers from around the world, Ardbeg will be joining all of the beer firms involved in releasing their own unique, one off-brew in aid of the Global Gathering.

A coordinated release of the beers will take place over the weekend of World Water Day – March 20th - 22nd 2020.

The surprising Scottish link to Tate & Lyle Golden Syrup - and why a dead lion featured on the tin

Mickey Heads, Ardbeg distillery manager, said: “Not only is this a hugely important cause – that we’re delighted to be a part of – but The Shortie Smoky Porter is, of course, a first for the Distillery.

"Helping brew a beer may seem like unchartered territory for Ardbeg, but as any whiskyphile worth their malt will tell you, beer and whisky share the same DNA. Just like brewers, we ferment our malt. The only difference being, we hold on to the hops. We hope that Ardbeggians and craft beer lovers alike will enjoy this extra special limited edition.”

Alan Mahon, founder of Brewgooder, added: "This collaboration is particularly special for me. To create an incredible beer that helps empower people's lives is one thing, to do it with one of the world's best whisky brands is another, but to bring it to life with my best friend: there are few things I have been prouder of in my life. I

"look forward to working with the team at Ardbeg to turn the profits from this beer into life-saving clean water wells for those who need them."

The Shortie Smoky Porter will be available to purchase exclusively in the UK from the Ardbeg Distillery Visitor Centre, online at, and in select stores across the UK from Tuesday 24th March – priced at £14 for a four-pack.

Martin Compston on hopes for UK launch of Restless Natives beer ahead of BBC Scotland Norwegian Fling travel show

Brewer's Tasting Notes for The Shortie:

ABV: 6.2%

Colour: Dark peat bog brown

Nose: On the nose, Ardbeg’s distinctive peat gives rise to more oily notes intermingled with sour cherries, rich coal tar and pine. Ardbeg’s malt then begins to reveal itself, with aromas of toasted nuts and sweet lemon and lime.

Taste: On the palate, this smoky porter boasts a typically creamy texture, with bitter dark chocolate, malty biscuit, dry espresso coffee and a hint of liquorice.

Finish: In a finish that lingers long beyond the can, delicious and distinctively smoky notes guide the palate towards the bitter end.

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
Copyright ©2024 National World Publishing Ltd
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram