The team at GlenWyvis was celebrating this week as distillation commenced at the world's first 100% community-owned distillery. On Burns Day, 25th January 2018, the GlenWyvis master distiller, Duncan Tait, announced this final memorable milestone in the journey to bring distilling back to Dingwall after almost a century.
GlenWyvis, which is entirely powered by sustainable energy, sits high on a hill overlooking the historic town. Established as a Community Benefit Society, the distillery aims to take a lead role in the regeneration of Dingwall and the wider community. And with gin distillation moving to the site in the Spring, GlenWyvis is set to be one of a few dual whisky and gin producers in Scotland – as it seeks to offer something truly innovative and different in the burgeoning Scottish drinks market.
David O'Connor, chairman of the distillery board, said:
Duncan and the distillery team have been busy behind the scenes since the official opening of the distillery on the 30th of November. The results of their endeavours are now there for everyone to see. It is a truly historic day for the town and the distillery, and we have the casks onsite ready to fill with spirit that we believe will make GlenWyvis a name to reckon with in the whisky world.
John McKenzie, founder and managing director, added:
Duncan and myself always had the 25th of January as a target date, not just because it's my own birthday, but because it's the day we celebrate one of Scotland's greatest icons, Robert Burns. The GlenWyvis connection with Burns – through the old Ferintosh Distillery that once operated just outside Dingwall, and which Burns lamented the loss of in his poem Scotch Drink – made today a fitting date to bring whisky distilling back to Dingwall.
As a Community Benefit Society, thousands of people have come together to help build this distillery, and, in turn, this will help with regenerating the town, creating jobs, and, of course long-term, we will also see the profits being passed onto other worthwhile community projects both locally and further afield. With our first whisky now laid down, we must look to maximise the benefit to the town from visitors. Tourism, renewable energy, and food and drink - these are three huge things in Scotland – and a distillery that is 100% powered by green energy ticks all three.
Meanwhile, GlenWyvis continues to reap national and international recognition. The latest addition to a number of high profiles features sees the release of a short film from Co-operatives UK that looks at the ethos driving the GlenWyvis projects.
The film coincides with a further surge of investment from new members seeking to secure part-ownership of a distillery – with over £450,000 now invested in the GlenWyvis second open share offer.