Experience Scottish GinAt Crafty Distillery, home to Hills & Harbour Gin.
Published: 12th September 2019
Our Experience Scottish Gin feature series discovers Scotland’s gin makers who offer a Scottish Gin experience. As the popularity of Scottish Gin continues to grow and the number of visitors to Scotland grows year on year, there’s never been a better time to experience Scottish Gin for yourself. From distillery tours and gin and food pairing experiences to gin making and distillation schools, the number of experiences is diverse guaranteeing there’s a Scottish Gin experience out there for you to discover and enjoy.
Established in 2015, the team at Crafty Distillery are known for producing original Scottish Gin and spirits with flair and creativity along with a good dash of fun. In 2017 they released their award-winning Hills & Harbour Gin, distilled using a variety of botanicals including many of which are foraged from the local landscape including the rugged hillsides and untamed coast. Crafty Distillery is one of only a select hand full of gin makers in Scotland who use a grain to glass approach in their distilling, making their own base spirit which they create from scratch at their distillery. We talk to Managing Director Graham Taylor about what visitors can expect when they visit and experience Scottish Gin at the Crafty Distillery.
Where is your Scottish Gin experience based?
Nestled on the edge of Newton Stewart in South West Scotland, our modern distillery delivers panoramic views over the stunning Galloway Hills.
What does your Scottish Gin experience consist of?
We offer two distillery experiences.
Our Tour & Taste covers a very detailed story of how we make our very own spirit from scratch and the process for making our gin. After the tour you get to enjoy a perfect serve of our Hills & Harbour Gin and a taste of our Smokey & Citrus Distilled Cocktail.
Our Gin Escape takes things a big step further, where we get our boots on and take small groups on an exclusive tour of the unspoilt hills and coastlines of Galloway. Essentially our visitors help us forage for the key botanicals that make our Hills & Harbour Gin unique, and when we return they help us make some tasty and vibrant gin cocktails using the foraged botanicals from the day. We also take them on a distillery tour then finish the day with some tasty lunch from our Galloway picnic concept, which serves up a range of award-winning produce exclusively from our region.
How long does your average Scottish Gin experience last?
Our Tour & Taste experience lasts 1 hour depending on the group size and our Gin escape takes around half a day.
What are some of the best bits of your Scottish Gin experience?
We pride ourselves on being one of the very few distilleries who make our own spirit to add to our gin, so our visitors get to learn first hand how our base alcohol is made from local grain and the extra time, cost, energy, knowledge and craft that it takes to achieve this. Our Gin Escape offers up a truly unique experience that really connects our visitors to the provenance of our gin.
How many people can take part in your Scottish Gin experience?
For our Tour & Taste, we have up to 15 people per tour (though we have been know to squeeze a few more in). In the peak of summer we run tours 3 times a day 6 days a week. For our Gin Escape, we take groups of up to 4 per trip.
What’s the feedback from visitors?
We are consistently rated stars on Trip Advisor as people love our unique approach, modern environment, our staff and our dedication to crafting products that deliver on the ‘craft’ promise. But don’t take our word for it. Check us out on Trip Advisor.
We were also awarded the ‘Scottish Gin Destination of the Year’ title at the 2018 Scottish Gin Awards based on the leading approach we offer in our experiences.
How can visitors make a booking?
You can make an enquiry online, but we recommend calling us on 01671 404040 between 9-5:30pm Monday to Saturday. That way we can discuss your booking and ensure the best possible experience is had.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about your Scottish Gin experience?
Alongside our tours you can come and have lunch in our Tree Bar & Cafe. Our Galloway Picnic concept offers up a unique taste of Galloway from the region’s best producers. Grab a basket and a chopping board, then help yourself to a range of cheeses, smoked goods, fresh breads and a range of preserves. We’re also shaking up a range of tasty cocktails and serving up artisan coffees and teas.
Do you think Scottish Gin experiences are an important part of the story of Scottish Gin?
Absolutely. For us, it is crucial that we share our unique home and story to allow new and existing customers to learn and taste what makes our products unique. We now receive 20,000 visitors a year, which is a really important part of our business and to the tourism of both our region and to the Scottish Gin sector.
What are some of the other attractions in your local area that you would recommend visitors check out?
We are set alongside the Dark Skies Park in the Galloway Forest, which due to the clean air and and low light pollution, is one of the few places in the world that offers up amazingly clear views to the stars (weather permitting of course). We also have the world famous 7 Stanes Mountain Biking tracks, hundreds of coastal and mountain walking tracks and a real abundance of wildlife. For anyone looking to discover one of Scotland’s best kept secrets, we can’t recommend Galloway enough.
You can learn more about Crafty Distillery here.