A New Dawn

We look ahead to the re-opening of some of Scotland's Gin distilleries and experiences.

Published: 14th July 2020

2020 will forever have changed the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. What has felt like being trapped in a bad Hollywood movie has been the reality we’ve all been living through the last few months. The lasting impact of the pandemic is already being felt as many businesses look to the future; a future which is now a lot less sure footed. A few business sectors in particular have been hit the hardest. 

The tourism and hospitality sectors have been at a complete stand still. With visitor attractions, hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, B&B’s, venues and more asked to closed. Normally hubs of chatter, laughter, making memories and creating experiences, have fallen silent. It’s been terrible seeing a number of businesses take to their social media channels to say they simple cannot continue to operate and sadly their doors will not reopen.

For many Scottish businesses, summer is the busiest period as the weather warms and the evenings draw out; millions of people enjoy a long weekend away at a highland retreat or city break exploring the old cobbled streets of Scotland’s capital. A family visit to see the latest attractions at the stunning V&A in Dundee. Scotland’s Gin makers who offer distillery experiences have also found themselves caught in limbo. On the one hand, many have used their skills, resources and distilleries to produce hand sanitiser, directly supporting their local communities: front line care workers, including people working in the NHS, police, fire, care homes, health workers and more. Many have went above and beyond to play their part in helping support the brilliant and brave people who are working tirelessly to help those most in need.

How businesses operate and how they deliver their services has had to adapt literally overnight as new guidance and advice is issued. The general public appear to be hopeful and scared in equal measure. Businesses are also feeling the exact same way; hopeful that the worst is behind them and they can now return to some sense of normal and yet scared that when the doors reopen, will visitors, customers, guests return? Scotland’s Gin makers and distillery owners are closely following the guidance and many have implemented new ways of working to ensure both staff and visitors are kept safe.

As lockdown here in Scotland continues to ease and businesses look at reopening their doors to the public, many communities, in particular smaller rural towns, villages and locations that rely on tourism, will be looking forward to welcoming visitors back to their area. We caught up with a number of gin makers to learn more about what plans they’ve put in place to ensure visitors can enjoy a great Scottish Gin experience, safely and sensibly. 

Please remember that all Scottish Gin experiences will aim to provide a fantastic visitor experience but as the advice they are following continues to change please keep a few things in mind before you visit a Scottish Gin experience this year:

Also, some of the smaller rural communities who rely on tourism will be delighted and nervous in equal measure about an influx of visitors so please keep in mind if you’re feeling unwell, think you may have any Covid related symptoms, stay at home and do not travel. Your Scottish Gin experience and Scotland will still be here once you feel better and it’s safe for you to travel.

We’ve collated the opening times and contact details for some of our members, but for any Scottish Gin experiences not listed below please check the brand’s social media channels for the latest information. And remember a number of Scottish Gin brands are offering virtual Scottish Gin experiences, which you can enjoy from home.

Pixel Spirits Gin School – Open 15th of July 2020

Telephone: +44(0)1478 611117

Email: info@pixelspiritsltd.co.uk

Visit: www.pixelspiritsltd.co.uk/gin-rum-school

Virtual Experience Available: Yes

Crafty Distillery – Open 15th of July 2020

We will re-open 11:30am-3pm, Wednesday to Saturday. We will offer 1-2 tours a day and still be able to accommodate private groups out with these hours on a case by case basis. We won’t be running a bar or cafe service at this time, but the new tour includes 3x perfect serves so visitors can still enjoy our spirits. We also welcome private tour bookings, which would be discussed on a case by case basis. Guests can book directly with us from 15th of July online or by phone. All tours need to be booked in advance.

Take your taste buds on a tour of our modern distillery to learn the secrets of our process, from how we make our very own spirit, to the botanicals we’ve selected to create our unique and vibrant gin. After the tour, we’ll then take you on a guided tasting through 3x perfect serves of our spirits. You’ll get to enjoy our smooth and vibrant Hills & Harbour Gin, our fruity Smokey & Citrus Distilled Cocktail and our silky smooth limited edition Galloway Vodka… all while enjoying the amazing views over the Galloway hills.

Telephone: +44(0)1671 404040

Email: info@craftydistillery.com

Visit: www.craftydistillery.com/distillery

Virtual Experience Available: No

Holyrood Distillery – Open 15th of July 2020

We’re not reopening for tours right now, but we’re opening a courtyard bar, right in front of the distillery from Wednesday 15th of July – partnering with Innis & Gunn and Pizza Geeks! Find more details on our website here.

Telephone: +44(0)131 285 8977

Email: askus@holyrooddistillery.co.uk

Visit: www.holyrooddistillery.co.uk/visit-us

Virtual Experience Available: No

Fairytale Distillery – Open 15th of July 2020

We are open for tastings and tours, which are pre-arranged by appointment only for a maximum of four people. Visitors will be asked to bring along and wear a face mask. 

Telephone: +44(0)7739 533938

Email: ordermygin@fairytaledistillery.uk

Visit: www.fairytaledistillery.co.uk

Virtual Experience Available: No

Darnley’s Gin Cottage at Kingsbarns Distillery – Open 15th of July 2020, Shop and Cafe Open 7 Days a week, 10am – 5pm

We’re having a staged reopening from Wednesday 15th. On Wednesday morning, we’re reopening the shop and cafe (takeaway only) in the Visitor Centre at Kingsbarns Distillery, as well as our outdoor terrace. The shop and cafe will then be open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm.

Due to the current social distancing guidelines, we won’t be returning to tours until later this summer. The current plan is to begin a limited number of tours from the start of August, and further details will be announced in the coming weeks. We’ll also start to offer private dining experiences and private tours again soon. Unfortunately we won’t be able to offer the Gin School Experience in the near future due to the safety requirements when making your own gin, but hope to resume these soon!

Excitingly, we’re hosting a live streamed virtual tour and tasting from our Gin Cottage on Friday evening 17th July. Our distiller, Scott Gowans, will be taking customers on a live tour of the distillery as well as a tutored tasting of three prefect serves of our core range of Gins.

To take part, customers purchase a tasting pack at £45 which serves two people, and will be emailed the invitation to join ahead of the livestream. The tour will take place at 7pm on Friday 17th July, however we also plan to share a recording of the tour with those who’ve purchased the tasting pack in case they missed it or wish to watch it again. The pack is exclusively available on our website here.

Telephone: +44(0)1333 451 300

Email: info@darnleysgin.com

Visit: www.darnleysgin.com/journal/welcome-back

Virtual Experience Available: Yes

Wee Farm Distillery – Open from 15th of July 2020

We are offering our distillery tours and tastings by appointment only for groups of 10 or less along with a tour of the farm where we’ll explain a little more about our vision for the future and how our Scottish Gin distillery will play a role in our unique Scottish food and drink offering.

Telephone: +44(0)7725 126905

Email: theweefarmdistillery@outlook.com

Visit: www.theweefarmdistillery.co.uk 

Virtual Experience Available: No

Lussa Gin Shop – Open 15th of July 2020

We’re reopening the distillery shop this Wednesday 15th July and have the ‘Good To Go’ Visit Scotland accreditation. At this stage, we can’t offer tours but we’ll see how it goes in the next month or two.

Telephone: +44(0)1496 820196 

Email: contact@lussagin.com 

Visit: www.lussagin.co.uk

Virtual Experience Available: No

Beinn an Tuirc Distillery – Open from 15th of July 2020

We will be re-opening our shop and starting tours from Wednesday 15th July – we are running two standard tours per day at 11am and 2pm with only one household group per tour to allow for social distancing and Government guidelines to be followed. All information can be found on our website or social media channels. Regarding experiences and our new Distillery School facilities, construction has not quite finished yet so this won’t be open to the public for now but watch this space!

Telephone: +44(0)1583 431 528

Email: info@kintyregin.com  

Visit: www.kintyregin.com 

Virtual Experience Available: No

Deerness Distillery – Open from 15th of July 2020, Monday to Friday, 10am – 4.00pm

Our distillery shop will be open to visitors. Visitors can visit, ask questions and see the distillery processes from the viewing area, as well as sample our multi-award winning spirits and liqueurs along with browsing and purchasing from our selection of carefully selected gifts, food, drink and of course our selection of Deerness Distillery products including our Sea Glass Gin and Scuttled Gin.

Telephone: +44(0)1856 741264

Email: sales@deernessdistillery.com

Visit: www.deernessdistillery.com 

Virtual Experience Available: No

The Borders Distillery – Open from 16th of July 2020, Monday to Friday with tours at 10am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm

Telephone: +44(0)1450 374 330 between 10am and 2pm, Monday to Friday

Email: info@thebordersdistillery.com

Visit: www.thebordersdistillery.com/distillery-tour-in-the-borders

Virtual Experience Available: No

The Gin Bothy Experience – Open from 16th of July 2020, Thursdays – Sundays

Telephone: +44(0)1575 570111

Email: bookings@bothyexperience.co.uk

Visit: www.ginbothy.co.uk/pages/bothy-experience

Virtual Experience Available: No

Stirling Gin Distillery – Open 18th of July 2020

We will be opening our doors and our tours are back from the 18th of July under the current government guidance.

Telephone: +44(0)1786 596 496

Email: hello@stirlinggin.co.uk 

Visit: www.stirlinggin.co.uk/visit-us/distillery-tours

Virtual Experience Available: Yes

Isle of Skye Gin School – Open from the end of July 2020

We’ve amended the layout of our gin school, located in the centre of Portree, to ensure we can deliver a fun and safe Scottish Gin experience for our visitors. Our fully-stocked shop also has a selection of premium spirits and drinks available to purchase.

Telephone: +44(0)1478 611117

Email: shop@isleofskyedistillers.com

Visit: www.isleofskyedistillers.com/gin-school

Virtual Experience Available: No

The Orkney Distillery (Kirkjuvagr) – Open from the end of July 2020

We’re just finalising the work on our outdoor area beside the distillery that we’re calling ‘Oot the Back’ which will have seating, tables and shelter. This area will provide visitors the opportunity to  order from the distillery bar and enjoy our award-winning gins safely. If you can’t make it to the distillery, we’re still offering local residents our weekly Cocktail Kits!

Telephone: +44(0)1856 875338

Email: info@orkneydistilling.com

Visit: www.orkneydistilling.com/pages/the-orkney-distillery

Virtual Experience Available: No

McQueen Gin Emporium (Stirling) – Open from early August 2020

Telephone: +44(0)1786 940011

Email: info@mcqueengin.co.uk

Visit: www.mcqueengin.co.uk/gin-emporium

Virtual Experience Available: No

Lost Loch Spirits Distillery – Open 15th of August 2020

We will be re-opening Saturday 15th if August. We’ll be honouring customers who had pre-existing bookings, for tours and tastings and Spirits School experience first. Then we’ll be accepting new bookings from October onwards.

Telephone: +44(0)1339 883411

Email: info@lostloch.com

Visit: www.lostlochspirits.com

Virtual Experience Available: No

Kinrara Distillery & Shop

We have added a shop area to our tasting room area, located on the Kinrara Estate on the edge of Aviemore. Stocked with the full range of Kinrara Scottish Gin expressions, including a number of exclusive Estate gins and limited edition expressions, we look forward to welcoming guests to our shop where they can learn more about the distillery, the estate, our distilling process and try our award-winning range of Scottish Gin expressions.

Telephone: +44(0)01479 816362

Email: info@kinraradistillery.com

Visit: www.kinraradistillery.com 

Virtual Gin Experience: No

The Old Curiosity Distillery – Open 5th of September 2020

Telephone: +44(0)131 285 6833

Email: info@theoldcuriosity.co.uk

Visit: www.theoldcuriosity.co.uk/tours

Virtual Experience Available: No

1881 Distillery & Gin School – Opens 15th of July 2020

We’ll be offering two experiences from 15th of July 2020, namely our Gin Tour & Tasting and Make-Your-Own Gin Experience. You can expect welcome drinks, cocktails, samples of our full range, gin to take home and exclusive retail discounts.

Telephone: +44(0)1764 651846

Email: stay@peebleshydro.co.uk

Visit: www.peebleshydro.co.uk/1881-gin

Virtual Experience Available: No

Dunnet Bay Distillers – Opens 16th of July 2020

We have re-opened our distillery shop to visitors. One bubble of visitors will be allowed into the shop area at any one time. But during busy times, while you wait, there’s the opportunity to wander the beautiful grounds and gardens or even pop next door to the Northern Sands Hotel.

Telephone: +44(0)1847 851287

Email: info@dunnetbaydistillers.co.uk 

Visit: www.dunnetbaydistillers.co.uk

Virtual Experience Available: No

Make sure you’re following your favourite Scottish Gin brands across their social media channels for the very latest updates on their Scottish Gin experiences.

Distilleries Scottish Gins Experiences