The Isle of Harris Distillery was established in 2015 to create sustainable local employment linked to a range of premium quality products. The team, including five distillers, was recruited locally and trained from scratch, with the input of carefully chosen expertise for guidance. The team has now created an award-winning gin and a single malt whisky which is a few years away from coming to market.
Managing Director Simon Erlanger says:
HIE has been involved from the beginning, delivering funding, advice and support across a variety of operations, including facilitating the relationship with SDI, and helping the distillery team with export administration compliance.
Moving into international markets was viewed as an attractive mechanism to complement the booming UK gin market and reach millions of consumers around the world.
The distillery is currently doing business in Europe with Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, and further afield with Japan, Taiwan and Canada. By the end of the year, the business is looking to have an export portfolio of about a dozen countries, with distributors from Spain, France and New Zealand already taking part in discussions. It’s also clear that international success motivates the team, driving towards greater success.
Simon comments: “If you’re thinking about exporting, HIE offers comprehensive support, providing a cost-effective route into international markets. Just choose one market and build it up from there. It’s a marathon, not a sprint!”