North East’s first whisky draws closer

North East’s first whisky draws closer

The small-batch craft distillery is set to relocate to Durham’s city centre as part of an expansion this year, where the Durham Whisky will be created.

Those keen to be part of whisky history can now sign up to reserve a Founder’s Cask from the first whisky run, as well as cases or bottles, which will be ready to drink in 2021.

The distillery is already known for its gin and vodka products, which are stocked in the likes of Fenwick Food Hall and Majestic Wines stores across the UK. Now distillery owner Jon Chadwick and head distiller Jessica Tomlinson are eager to reach this next milestone for the brand.

Jon said: “We are gearing up for what will be a huge year for the business, moving from the outskirts of Durham to a larger city centre premises to begin producing the first whisky to be made in this region, alongside increased production of our gin and vodka.

“Our new home will not only give us additional operations and storage capacity, but will enable us to become a visitor destination. The aim is to host guided tours daily, as well as private functions and corporate events, in addition to being a welcome space for local people to enjoy as a meeting place.

“I realised my dream when Durham Distillery was founded in 2014, and to see it go from strength to strength with significant growth plans on the horizon is fantastic.”

Jessica added: “Heading up the production of Durham Whisky is very exciting, and we can’t wait to start the process in 2018. As well as it being a first for this part of England, it’s also a shake up for the industry as there are very few female distillers, especially producing whisky.

“We’ve really honed our craft over the last four years widely establishing our gin and vodka, seeing it positioned on shelves in stores and venues next to brands which have been around for decades. The chance to be part of whisky history is a limited opportunity for fans of the spirit as well as those interested in the region’s heritage, with reservations now open.”  

Durham Distillery was the first emerging business to be invested in from the Finance Durham Fund – a £20m pot set up by Business Durham, part of Durham County Council, to help businesses grow in the county.

The fund, which is managed by private equity house Maven Capital Partners, invested £250,000 in the distillery to assist its relocation and production of Durham Whisky.

Published: 03 January 2018

Article by Ellen McGann
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