Kirkjuvagr gin makers Orkney Distilling Ltd have announced plans for a new artisan distillery and visitor centre in Kirkwall – the largest town on Orkney – which will see the company expand its workforce and product line.
Work is now underway on the new Ayre Road distillery and visitor centre, which is expected to be open in August 2017 and will create between eight and 10 jobs locally.
Stephen Kemp, Managing Director of Orkney Distilling Ltd, said, “Our aim is to have the project completed by the end of August, with our focus then on training our new staff and gradually moving full production of Kirkjuvagr to Ayre Road.”
Orkney Distilling Ltd was formed early last year by local couple Stephen and Aly Kemp, who launched their first gin, Kirkjuvagr (meaning ‘Church Bay’ in Old Norse), last August.
Full production of the gin will move to the new Kirkwall seafront distillery once operational. The company also has plans for further product lines, which it will reveal later this year.
The new project promises to be a vital new Orkney’s tourist attractions, said Kemp.
He added, “It’s always been our intention to create a project that both the local community and Orkney’s many visitors can enjoy.
“With a major increase in tourist numbers predicted for this year, along with a rise in cruise ship visits, there’s a real need for more high-quality attractions in the county to enhance the experience of those travelling to our islands.”
Kirkjuvagr has been hailed as being “unmistakably Orcadian” and contains a blend of local botanicals including, Angelica, which grows in only a couple of specific locations in Orkney.