Harrogate Distillery makes way for whisky with expansionBy Owen Bellwood
Whittaker’s Gin maker the Harrogate Distillery has revealed extensive expansion plans, which will allow the firm to open a visitor centre and start distilling its own whisky.
North Yorkshire-based Harrogate Distillery, which produces Whittaker’s London Dry, Navy Strength and Clearly Sloe gin expressions, will have room to run tours for up to 30 people every three days at its site at Harewell House Farm.
The distillery’s expansion will also include the installation of new stills and brewing equipment.
Jane Whittaker, co-founder of the Harrogate Distillery, said: “We were thinking of making whisky before we even started on the gin. Our original intention was to set up a micro-brewery, so having the facility to make whisky is something we have been thinking about for the last five years.”
As well as the expansion, the Harrogate Distillery intends to install solar panels to several of its buildings and to begin constructing its own herb garden – part of a move to become more involved in the “holistic grain-to-glass process”.
Whittaker said: “We are getting involved in more aspects of the distilling process and we believe that it will really establish our place in the craft movement in England as real ‘artisan and craft’.”
Harrogate Distillery currently employs four full-time and two part-time members of staff and, as part of the expansion, will take on more employees. It also hopes to boost tourism to its “corner of Yorkshire”.
Founded in 2015, the distillery produces gin for its Whittaker’s brand, as well as English Cassis Gin for UK-based department store Fortnum and Mason, and Double Sloe Gin for That Boutique-y Gin Company.