Deerness Distillery: Family create new Orkney whisky using locally grown grains

Deerness Distillery: Family create new Orkney whisky using locally grown grains

On a peninsula in the east end of mainland Orkney lies Deerness Distillery. Set up in 2016 by husband-and-wife team Stuart and Adelle Brown, it is known for its multi-award winning Sea Glass Gin.

But now the family firm is venturing out to create a new island whisky, made using Scottish barley and speciality locally grown grains from Orkney.

The existing premises at Deerness will be extended to house a new café, visitor centre and larger retail shop that allows visitors to see the production process. Additional buildings will house whisky malting and distilling equipment and whisky casks.

Open this summer, after a £820,000 development, the Brown’s are making a big push towards becoming net zero.

Plans include using spent grains from the distillery and food waste to produce electricity to provide power, heat and hot water.

The couple also hope to produce animal feed from the draff, the waste grains, which will reduce waste from the whisky production cycle and complete the sustainability loop for the ‘grain to glass’ whisky production.

A £246,000 grant towards the project, from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, will contribute towards the building works and the cost of equipment for the café and the distillery including mash tuns and copper whisky stills.

‘We’re delighted to be embarking on this development, which would not have been possible without the support of HIE,’ said Stuart.

‘Building on our success with gin and vodka production is an important step in our journey, allowing us to increase sales both nationally and internationally while creating employment in the islands, attracting more visitors and having a greener footprint.’

Graeme Harrison, area manager for HIE’s Orkney team, said: ‘Whisky and gin production is a key part of our food and drink sector in Orkney. It provides valuable employment and contributes to community resilience.

‘The development will help grow the business to a size where it can have a sustainable future.

‘Orkney continues to experience a steady growth in volume tourism and this will be a valuable addition to our range of visitor attractions, particularly outwith Kirkwall, so we are very pleased to support this venture.’

Read more Whisky news here.

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