Beinn an Tuirc Distillers to launch café and gin school

Bridge of Allan architect Willie Brown's impression of the new café.
Bridge of Allan architect Willie Brown's impression of the new café.

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These are exciting times for the home of Kintyre Gin, Beinn an Tuirc Distillers, on the east coast of Kintyre.

Following on from the success of the distillery shop and the popularity of its gin tours, the Beinn an Tuirc team, headed by the Macalister Hall family, have now decided to expand further, transforming the existing office area of the farmhouse into a licensed café, while a new building adjoining the farmhouse will provide space for gin schools.

The distillery itself is housed in a former piggery building on Torrisdale Castle Estate.

This latest phase for the award-winning distillery will help to encourage even more visitors to the area.

Emma Macalister Hall, Beinn an Tuirc Distillers Ltd director, told the Courier this week: ‘This is a major development for the business but an obvious step for us to take. We have been bowled over by the success of the distillery shop and the popularity of our gin tours.

‘Despite our remote location, we have benefited immensely from passing trade and hope that a café on site will encourage even more visitors to the area.

‘The gin school ties in perfectly with our self-catering business and we plan to offer weekend courses as well as day courses.’

The café will seat around 20 inside, with a significant amount of outdoor space – Argyll weather permitting.  The menu will be simple and fresh, using as much local and Scottish produce as possible. It is hoped the café will open in July, with the first gin school courses beginning in August.

Bridge of Allan architect, Willie Brown, has been working on the plans and has created contemporary designs that reflect the sustainable ethos of Beinn an Tuirc Distillers while maintaining the charm of the traditional building.  The aim is to power both buildings from the 100kw hydro scheme which currently powers the gin still.

Emma’s co-director Niall Macalister Hall added: ‘Highlands and Islands Enterprise has been instrumental in helping our plans become a reality and its support since we started the business has been fantastic.

‘This new expansion will help us fulfill another objective, which is to increase our workforce and become a major employer in an area where opportunities are often scarce.’

November last year saw the launch of Hall’s of Campbeltown, a shop on Longrow, which as well and their own range of gin, stocks a hand-selected collection of fine wines, an eclectic selection of craft beer and cider, some particularly interesting spirits such as UWA tequila, and a good choice of mixers.

And that is not forgetting their ever popular bar-in-a-horsebox, which is a hit at events such as Kintyre Agricultural Show.

Bridge of Allan architect Willie Brown’s impression of the new café. NO_C03gin01

An idea of how the gin school may look. NO_C03gin02