The Future of Gin Distilleries In Scotland
Is gin still on the rise? Will we continue to see more distilleries opening up across the country?
Gin distilleries in Scotland are being faced with some of their most difficult circumstances to date. The demand for premium, artisanal gin has begun to falter slightly, but there is still a high demand for new and interesting flavours and styles of gin. Scotland has a long and rich history of distilling, and gin is a relatively new addition to its repertoire, but one that has quickly become a major player in the global spirits industry.
In recent years, the Scottish gin industry has seen tremendous growth, with over 150 distilleries across the country. The rise of craft gin has been driven by a number of factors, including the growing popularity of cocktails, the increasing consumer demand for high-quality, locally-sourced products, and the emergence of social media.
What has driven the interest into Scottish Gin?
One of the key drivers of the growth of the Scottish gin industry is its unique terroir. Scotland's abundant natural resources, including its clean water, wild botanicals, and rich agricultural heritage, provide the perfect ingredients for creating exceptional gin. Many Scottish gin distilleries are located in rural areas, close to the source of their ingredients, and are deeply rooted in the local community. Which is certainly true of ourselves!
Looking to the future, the Scottish gin industry is set to continue, whether it will stand the test of time like whisky, we will have to see! Scotland’s gin distilleries will have to think outside of the box to be able to stand out from the crowd within such a saturated market and many distilleries are exploring new and unusual botanicals to create unique and distinctive flavour profiles.
Sustainability is also becoming an increasingly important consideration for customers and gin distilleries in Scotland. Many are adopting environmentally-friendly practices, such as using renewable energy sources, reducing waste and water usage, and sourcing ingredients from local and organic suppliers. We currently recycle all our waste products taking them up to a biogas plant or using them for compost, and also reducing our water usage. Some are even creating gins that are specifically designed to have a lower carbon footprint, by using recycled materials in their packaging or donating a portion of their profits to environmental charities.
Another trend that is likely to shape the future of Scottish gin is the rise of experiential tourism. Like ourselves, many gin distilleries are already offering tours and tastings (book here), allowing visitors to learn about the production process, sample different gins, and take home a bottle of their favourite. We love having people in our small distillery because it really is an opportunity to see a part of our world. Our distillery is our second home and sharing that with customers is really special!
Threats to the Gin Industry
Finally, the Scottish gin industry is likely to face some challenges in the years ahead. Firstly, one of the biggest is the potential impact of Brexit, which could make it more difficult to export gin to the EU and other international markets. The industry will need to adapt to changing trade conditions, and explore new markets and distribution channels to maintain its growth.
Secondly, the Deposit Return Scheme which will be introduced in August 2023 will completely change the way in which customers return their glass bottles. On-going concerns regarding the recording and tracking of those bottles is yet to be ironed out but with yet another membership fee, bottle fee and tax for using glass bottles - many distilleries like ourselves will be worried about the impact this will have on pricing and costs.
Lastly, due to a two year long pandemic and the Ukrainian Russian War, energy prices and the cost of living have dramatically increased. Customers are forced to be a lot more careful with their disposable income and businesses are being forced to up the prices of their products. All of these factors will impact the gin industry and gin distilleries in Scotland, however we are positive that we can keep moving forward by focusing on the positive aspects Scottish distilleries have to offer.
In conclusion, the future of gin distilleries in Scotland is steady, with a focus on innovation, sustainability, and experiential tourism. The industry's unique terroir and commitment to quality and craftsmanship make it well-positioned to meet the demand for premium, artisanal gin around the world. We believe Scotland has offered consumers who might not like whisky and alternative distillery to visit, taste and try some exciting new gins. While growth might have slowed down over the last year, there is still a good demand from consumers of gin to continue innovating new flavours of gin.