Husband and wife team to open Orkney’s first gin distillery

Husband and wife team to open Orkney’s first gin distillery

A husband and wife team have unveiled plans to construct the first ever craft distillery on the Orkney Islands.

Stephen and Aly Kemp from Kirkwall - trading as Orkney Distilling Ltd - are seeking planning permission to create the artisan distillery, visitor centre and shop on the town’s Ayre Road.

If approved, the distillery will produce the Kemps’ own variety of gin – Kirkjuvagr – which has been in development over the past few months.

Production of Kirkjuvagr will initially be carried out on mainland Scotland using the same artisan process Orkney Distilling will employ when production moves to Orkney, upon completion of the Kirkwall distillery.

Stephen Kemp is general manager of family firm, Orkney Builders (Contractors) Ltd, which owns the Ayre Road site being proposed for the new distillery.

“From the outset with our plans for the distillery, we were keen to create a new focal point for Kirkwall and a new attraction for Orkney,” said Stephen.

“That’s why we’ve incorporated visitor and exhibition space in our plans, in addition to creating a welcoming and atmospheric environment for anyone who wants to come in and savour our gin at their leisure.

“People will be able to come in, learn about the distillation process, see it in action and sample the product.

“We’re also keen to use the exhibition and visitor space to tell visitors more about Orkney and showcase some of the many wonderful products from our islands.”

Following approval, work on the distillery will start in the autumn of this year, with an official opening likely in April 2017.