Orkney spirits scene grows with new distillery

12th July, 2018 by Amy Hopkins

The new Orkney Distillery has opened in Kirkwall after two years of planning and construction.

Orkney Distillery will include a gin and coffee bar, retail outlet and events venue

Founded by Orkney Distilling’s husband and wife team Stephen and Aly Kemp, the distillery and its visitor centre are based on Kirkwall’s historic harbour front.

Construction work began last February after the Kemps received planning permission in June 2016.

The new facility has created six local jobs. It incorporates a gin and coffee bar, retail outlet and events venue, and also offers tours around its production area.

“We’re incredibly proud of our new home and can’t wait to share it with the local community, and the many visitors who come to Orkney each year,” said Orkney Distilling managing director Stephen Kemp.

“From the outset it was our intention to create a place where people could relax and enjoy a drink in comfortable surroundings, while learning more about our gins and, indeed, Orkney.

“We also felt, given the very welcome rise in visitor numbers to Orkney, that there was a need for a new, high quality tourist attraction in the town. Hopefully we’ve filled that gap with a project that does the islands proud.”

Orkney Distilling produces the Kirkjuvagr gin brand, which launched in August 2016.

Kemp added: “Although our gin branding very much reflects the Norse heritage of Orkney, we’ve created a contemporary atmosphere within the distillery and visitor centre.

“That merging of the old and new, blending tradition and innovation, is unmistakably Orcadian in its approach, and something we’ve strived for with our gins too.”

The Scottish archipelago of Orkney has witnessed a distilling boom in recent years, producing its first rum and welcoming its first new commercial distillery in 130 years – Deerness. The area is also home to the Highland Park and Scapa distilleries.

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