Brewer made special beer for his own funeral

Iain Turnbull. Picture: Justin Spittle
Iain Turnbull. Picture: Justin Spittle
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Family and friends are preparing to toast the life of Iain Turnbull – with a glass of the beer he created just for his own funeral.

After losing a seven-year battle with prostate cancer, Mr Turnbull, 66, who spent much of his career working in Edinburgh, passed away at his home in Stornoway.

When he discovered he was terminally ill in 2008, Mr Turbull vowed to make a final beer that loved ones at his funeral would remember forever.

He carried out his final wish and prepared Brewer’s Swansong, an 11.5 per cent ABV brew, for his wake in the Capital.

Friends and family today paid tribute to the father-of-three.

Daughter Cath Evans, 38, said: “My dad was very stubborn but very strong willed. He was at his happiest when he was helping others.

“I’m so proud of him for being so individual and fulfilling his wish of making one last beer.”

“He had lots of friends in Edinburgh – one of his hopes was to move back there one day.”

Mr Turnbull was brought up in both England and Wales before moving to Scotland in the 1960s to study brewing at Heriot-Watt University.

He went on to have a 40-year career in the brewing industry, with many of those years spent working in Edinburgh.

John Hein, 57, from the Capital, who was a close friend of Mr Turnbull, branded his final recipe “dark, thick and evil”.

Mr Hein said: “Brewer’s Swansong was brewed several years ago. I can’t remember the exact date but it is different from all the other beers Iain has made.

“It’s quite similar to the beer he made previously that was sold to raise money for Macmillan cancer support, with just a few added extras.

“Iain was so well known in the brewing industry, he brewed for everyone.

“There’s no point really questioning the logic behind why he wanted to make a final beer, it’s a perfectly sensible thing to do.

“Iain was so experienced. He was one of the last remaining brewers that could just look at a beer and say immediately whether it was going to be good or not.”

As one of his final requests, Mr Turnbull asked that Brewer’s Swansong be served during his funeral reception.

Mr Hein said that he is sure enough has been brewed to cater for everyone that attends.

It was previously reported that Mr Turnbull had said he wanted his last beer to be “super strong” with a “toffee apple” flavour.

Mr Turnbull’s funeral will be held at Warriston Crematorium on April 8 at 2.30pm.