The Boys Behind the Beer


A story…almost 30 years in the making…

1990 – Gary and Jonny meet, aged 9, at the Kinross after-school gulag and bond over custard creams and table football. Gary wins the football. Jonny eats most of the biscuits. Instant friends. 

2000 – In the days before Facebook, the old friends become reacquainted after bumping into each other on a bus. Jonny ignores Gary. Gary definitely does not go home and cry himself to sleep. Jonny finally finds his way off the bus in late Spring.

2001 – They shack up in a student flat in Edinburgh. They brew their first beer together following Uncle Jocky’s fabled recipe, first conceived in 1976 as a direct protest against the 1972 Geneva Protocol on Weaponised Biological Agents. Coincidentally, Jonny’s bowels were added to the Protocol shortly after syphoning.

2002 – Inspired by the success of Popstars: The Rivals’ One True Voice, Jonny and Gary form a band. Together with their band mates, they write the song, ‘Cross Borders’: a haunting, if poorly spelled, ballad about angry lodgers.

2006 – Gary meets a New Yorker and embarks on a transatlantic romance. On one of his trips across the pond he falls in love – with American beer culture. They marry a few years later. The New Yorker doesn’t receive an invite.

2010 – The boys decide to start a brewery. Jonny goes back to school, is told that he can’t repeat Primary Six a third time, so instead enrols at Heriot Watt to study Brewing and Distilling. Gary makes him his packed lunch in a Power Rangers lunch box.

2010 to 2015 – Jonny supports his studies by working at some of the UK’s best independent breweries. Gary continues to support Jonny by making him his packed lunch in a Power Rangers lunch box.

2016 – Gary and Jonny officially launch Cross Borders Brewing Company in July 2016 at the Stockbridge Tap in Edinburgh. Gary works hard on the business paperwork; Jonny makes him his packed lunch in a carrier bag. He’d left the Power Rangers lunch box at work.

To learn more about our first few months in business, check out our first post on the BLOG