Edinburgh Gin brings distilling back to Leith

Edinburgh Gin brings distilling back to Leith

Gin distilling is set to return to Leith for the first time since 1974 as Edinburgh Gin opens a new facility and quadruples production.

The craft distiller has transformed part of the former United Biscuit’s factory into its second distillery, in response to growing demand.

The Edinburgh Gin Distillery began production at its new site yesterday, where it will produce its Original and Cannonball gins, as well as recent addition, Seaside Gin.

Gin distilling came to end in Leith with the closure of the Melrose Drover distillery more than 30 years ago, but Edinburgh Gin’s new facility will bring the industry back to the area.

Alex Nicol, founder of Edinburgh Gin said: “Leith is steeped in history as an iconic gin port and was the centre of a home grown spirits industry.

“It made perfect sense to carry on that tradition and ensure the legacy lives on.”

Edinburgh Gin, which employs 22 people, currently distils in a basement beneath The Rutland Hotel at Shandwick Place, with a capacity of just 20,000 cases per year.

Production is led by Head Distiller, David Wilkinson as part of the long-standing partnership with Heriot-Watt University’s MSc in Brewing & Distilling course.

The new facility will enable the company to produce 80,000 cases and expands both its export and domestic business.

Nicol said: “Gin is growing internationally; we’ve got exciting plans for our core range and our raspberry and elderflower gins.

“You’ve got to have a product that offers something different, that you can take to consumers and trade partners.”

The company has recently signed distribution deals in Europe, Scandinavia and North America for its core range.

It has also recently appointed a European sales manager and is looking to recruit a North American sales manager in the near future.

The UK is already the biggest gin exporter in the world- and 70% of it is made in Scotland, in total worth £1.76bn to the UK economy.