ScotGrad Associate helps start-up distiller launch first product

Argyll-based, Beinn an Tuirc, a start-up sustainable distillery situated on the Torrisdale Castle Estate in Kintyre, has launched a new product thanks to taking on a graduate for a ScotGrad placement project.

Published: 04/05/2017

With a rise in the craft spirits sector in Scotland, the team at Beinn an Tuirc were looking to start a new venture and enter the gin market. Beinn an Tuirc contacted ScotGrad to find a recent graduate to play a key role in finalising the distillery development and assist with the initial production of the recipe.

Beinn an Tuirc were looking for an enthusiastic and knowledgeable candidate, who had insight in distilling and help the owners realise their ambition of launching a Kintyre Gin.

Through ScotGrad Beinn an Tuirc appointed Su Black, a brewing and distilling graduate from Heriott Watt. After a successful 14 year career in the oil and gas industry, Su went back to university to study a brewing and distilling Masters degree as a foundation to move into the craft drinks industry.  Whilst studying, Su also gained experience working for small craft breweries and distilleries.

Beinn an Turic landscape

Su joined the Beinn an Tuirc team on an initial six-month placement in October 2016. Her role involved procuring equipment and botanicals to use in the distillery process, including the commission of a 230L still. Su was able to put into practice the theory and techniques she had learned from her university degree to produce the distiller’s first product, ‘Kintyre Gin’.

Niall Macalister Hall, Director at Beinn an Tuirc, said: “We heard about ScotGrad through our account manager at Highland and Islands Enterprise. Through a short and simple process, we found Su who had the exact knowledge and enthusiasm we were looking for.

“Su brought a knowledge base that we simply couldn’t find locally. She is passionate about distilling and fit well into the team, which was imperative for us. Her insight has been invaluable for the project, across at all aspects of the business including equipment purchases as well as health and safety policies.

“We’re really excited to introduce Kintyre Gin to the market but it couldn’t have been possible without the placement project. We’d absolutely recommend the ScotGrad programme and look forward to using it again as the business grows.”

Beinn an Turic distillery

Su has now moved to Kintyre to continue her placement for another six months where she will help establish a good operational platform and optimise the original recipe ready to scale it up for larger volumes.

For more information on how ScotGrad can help your organisation, visit our Employers pages or contact us.