Harris Distillery recognised for Outstanding Contribution to Regional Economy

Award comes as distillery is on the countdown to launch The Hearach, the first single malt Scotch whisky ever released from the Hebridean Isle of Harris.

Industry news
Published: 15/09/2023

Acclaimed Hebridean distillery, Isle of Harris Distillers, has been recognised by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) for making a significant positive contribution to the economy of the Highlands and Islands region.

At a prestigious ceremony yesterday evening (14 SEP) at Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, Isle of Harris Distillers was honoured by industry peers for making a measurable difference to the local community and beyond in a way that exemplifies business excellence. Highlighting its efforts to retain talent in the region, Isle of Harris Distillers was handpicked by SCDI as the deserving winner.

Based in Tarbert, the distillery employs over 40 permanent members of staff together with seasonal staff – a significant number for an island population of around 2,000 people. Launched in 2015 with a small team of 10 locals, Isle of Harris Distillery was formed with a simple idea from Anderson ‘Burr’ Bakewell, who believed the unique spirit of Harris could be bottled and shared with the world.

The distilling team is testament to the company’s commitment to the development of young people’s careers, with four distillers with an average age of 25 making whisky under the mentorship of head distiller, Norman Ian Mackay. 

With just one week to go until the launch of the Distillery’s first single malt whisky, The Hearach, and the team recently filling its one millionth bottle of the award-winning Isle of Harris Gin, it is a hugely exciting time for the business – which is expected to grow significantly over coming months.

Ron MacEachran, Executive Chairman & CFO of Isle of Harris Distillers, said: “We are absolutely delighted and humbled to be receiving this award. It is a great honour, especially as it recognises the founding Purpose of the distillery – to help reverse population decline on the Isle of Harris and to act as a catalyst for the wider economic prosperity of the island.”

Grant Campbell, Regional Manager, SCDI, said: “The Isle of Harris Distillers puts the future success of the community at the heart of its business. They have made a measurable difference in their community and in a way that exemplifies business excellence.’

The Hearach, the first single malt Scotch whisky ever released from the Hebridean isle of Harris, will be unveiled at a Launch Event in the Distillery starting at 2.30pm on Friday 22 September.  

Inviting people from across the world to witness the inaugural dram of this historic malt, the Tarbert-based distillery will be hosting a live stream via its website (www.harrisdistillery.com/behere), allowing lovers of malt whisky and the Isle of Harris to join the ceremony and be part of this momentous occasion.

For more information on The Hearach or the Isle of Harris Distillery, visit www.harrisdistillery.com.

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