The venture started in 2017 with a £24,276 investment from HIE towards the redevelopment of the distillery building where a new visitor centre and tasting room has been created.
The first batch rolled off production in July 2017. Since then, sales have dramatically surpassed expectations with more than 10,000 bottles purchased.
The business has created six full time jobs in distilling, sales, operations and tour guides, and a graduate placement under the ScotGrad scheme, operated in the region by HIE.
The distillery includes a viewing area and tasting facility. This adds to the area’s tourism offering, which is supported by flight and ferry connections in and out of Campbeltown, and the nearby ‘Kintyre Way’.
Beinn an Tuirc (hill of the boar) is the first distillery of its kind to be powered by an on-site hydroelectric scheme.
Gary Haldane, business growth account manager with HIE, said: “Beinn an Tuirc Distillery is shaping up to be a significant contributor to Argyll and the Islands’ growing food and drink growth sector, as well as boosting the tourism offerings. By creating valuable rural employment opportunities the company is also helping to strengthen resilience among local communities.
“We look forward to continuing our links with the company, supporting its growth, particularly through international marketing.”
Speaking at the opening, Mr Ewing said:
“It’s an honour to be here to help open this fantastic new distillery. Scottish food and drink is in rude health at the moment, with exports reaching a record £6 billion last year, and it’s encouraging to see another new, quality Scottish product making inroads into the domestic and international markets.
“On a local level, the creation of the distillery has brought vital new jobs to the area, which in turn will benefit the wider local economy. I’m also glad to see the company’s principles of doing everything on site, and sourcing water locally, which creates a product that can be authentically labelled as being from that area.”
Estate owner and company director, Niall Macalister Hall said:
“We hope to build on this phenomenal first year of trading and have already started to export to foreign markets. Closer to home, our new tasting room has enabled us to offer distillery tours which is encouraging more visitors to the area and helps to promote east Kintyre as a day-trip destination for tourists. We are committed to promoting this unique part of Scotland and feel a big responsibility to the region we have chosen as our brand.”
Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, with Niall Macalister Hall at the opening