The Rebirth of Ardgowan Distillery
The planning permission has been granted, the investment secured, so now work can start re-establishing whisky production on the southwest coast of Scotland.
Following £8.4m of equity investment, the name of 'Ardgowan Distillery' will be resurrected on the Ardgowan Estate, just 30 miles from Glasgow.
The plan is to start construction in Q4 of 2021 on a site adjacent to a cluster of ancient farm buildings on the Ardgowan Estate's Bankfoot site, which has been various incarnations over the years, from a sawmill to an equestrian arena. The new facility will retain much of its historic character, including existing cut stone and brickwork.
The build is expected to take around two years to complete, and the vision is for the site to produce a flagship seven-year-old Lowland single malt with a maritime influence.
The first phase of the distillery will incorporate two copper stills and six washbacks, and there is potential for the addition of two further stills and washback as demand increases.
With over 100,000 cruise ship visitors to the region in 2019, the aim is to add a visitor centre to the distillery to capitalise on the potential tourist market that will create several jobs for the local area.
There will be a first-class food and drink service as well as a retail opportunity.
The team at Ardgowan have tasked Master Whisky Maker, Max MacFarlane with creating his own series of whiskies under the Clydebuilt label. The second of these, Shipwright, is already available and has a large fanbase.
The distillery is the brainchild of whisky connoisseur Roland Grain, CEO of Grain GmbH, Martin McAdam and Alan Baker, who have an ambitious vision for the Ardgowan.
"My wish is for this project to create a lasting connection to the community and produce the highest possible quality whisky and over time achieve the lowest possible CO2 footprint,”
“The company founders Martin McAdam, Alan Baker and I have a shared vision of what we can achieve. Already they have built a strong team around them – not least their chairman Willie Phillips and their whisky maker Max McFarlane – and together we will craft the finest quality single malt whisky based on the extraordinary location of the Ardgowan Estate and the unusual microclimate of the Inverkip area.
“My hope is that the distillery will become a landmark building and a significant tourist attraction in the years ahead, and I very much look forward to seeing work commence this year,” Grain says.