A DUMFRIES & Galloway microbrewery, thought to be Scotland’s highest, is set to quadruple production to meet growing demand.

Lola Rose Brewery, which is based 1531 feet above sea level in Wanlockhead, started producing 1,160 pints of its 1531 red ale with every production cycle at the end of February. Previously, the brewery produced 290 pints.

Named after owner Dean McKelvey’s daughter, the business was established a year ago after the former gamekeeper at Leadhills and Wanlockhead estates sought advice from his local Business Gateway Plus.

McKelvey, who is just 21, has established a microbrewery at his parents' pub, the Wanlockhead Inn. "I bought the equipment and did some training but the first few brews went down the drain," he said.

"After that I made a blonde ale and a stout but quickly realised that the red ale was going to be my biggest seller as the first batch sold out over a weekend.

"Until now, I’ve not been able to keep up with demand but thanks to the installation of the larger equipment I will.”

As well as producing more red ale, which is made to a secret recipe that produces a creamy, caramel taste, McKelvey aims to perfect his blonde ale and stout this year and make a limited-edition Beam Engine Bitter, inspired by the village’s lead mining history.

He also hopes to secure additional stockists and potentially export to Spain after meeting a hotel owner who has expressed interest in the ale at a Business Gateway Plus event in Glasgow.

“I’m still completely surprised by how successful the ale has been – people just love the taste," said McKelvey. "Everything has grown by word of mouth and through social media – just a couple of posts in the run-up to Christmas helped me sell 500 bottles of our festive ale in just one week.

"It’s an exciting time and I am glad that I decided to become my own boss.

Fergus Watson, an adviser at Business Gateway. said: “As a young entrepreneur whose business idea has great growth potential Dean fitted the criteria for additional support through Business Gateway Plus.

"With no previous business experience, one-to-one advice and workshops have increased his knowledge and confidence, and helped him put in place a strategy that will allow him to capitalise on its immediate success.

Co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Dumfries & Galloway Council, Business Gateway Plus offers specialist advice to local business owners and young entrepreneurs who qualify for support in areas such as HR, tax and growth.