The Grapevine

The WSTA's views, distilled.

Celebrating Scotland’s hidden gem

Gin may not be the first spirit you consider when you think about Scotland, but the industry in is undergoing a quiet renaissance that is bringing jobs, investment and exports to the Scottish Economy.

The gin boom across the UK over the past 5 years has been phenomenal, with sales increasing at a rate of around 20% a year, leading to a doubling of the number of distilleries in all countries of the UK. The industry is now worth over £1bn in UK sales (over £150m of which is in Scotland) and a further £530m in exports. Its growth shows no signs of abating.

While gin has always had a special place in the Scottish economy, with around two thirds of UK gin produced there historically, the recent gin craze has given the industry a renewed vigour from the Shetlands to Strathearn. Recent calculations estimate that there are now more than 50 distilleries in Scotland producing gin - that’s over a third of the 149 Scottish Distilleries in total.

To celebrate the innovation, creativity and provenance of Scotland’s gin producers, the WSTA launched “Scotland’s Gin Trail” back in 2015. Such is the extent of the growth that just two years later we published a renewed version of the trail which now features summaries on 20 gin distilleries that hold tours and tastings, and provides details for another 30 or so that we have identified.

The updated Gin Trail was relaunched in the Scottish Parliament in June, where the WSTA hosted a reception and showcase of Scottish Gin producers, both modern and traditional, to Members of the Scottish Parliament and others.

The investment in new gin distilleries in Scotland is helping to provide jobs and skills to the workforce, support local supply chains, increase exports and encourage tourism. Not to mention creating some of the world’s best quality and most iconic gin brands. All of which provides a boost the Scottish economy and, with the right business environment, this is set to continue over the coming years.

While Scotland will always be synonymous with its eponymous spirit, the renaissance and growth in the Scottish gin industry - its hidden gem - is certainly something worth celebrating too.

You can download Scotland’s Gin Trail here:



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