THE SOCIAL DISTILLERY
The Isle of Harris Distillery began with a simple idea. The inspiration came from Anderson 'Burr' Bakewell, who has been bound to this island through a long connection with nearby Scarp, and many decades of life spent among the landscapes of Harris and people of our community.
He believed that the rare and elusive spirit of this island could be captured in a bottle and shared with the world.
Over the decades Burr, like many others, noted with sadness the long-term decline in the island's population, our community's numbers having halved over the last fifty years.
As young people left our shores to seek their fortune, few were able to return to find work, set down roots and build a life in the place they called home. He believed that a distillery, built for not just years but for generations, could be a way to help stem this tide.
So, he gathered a group of like-minded individuals around him and set out on a seven year journey to bring his ambitions to reality.
September 24th 2015 saw his simple idea finally come to fruition as the doors to the Isle of Harris Distillery opened for the first time.
That day, we gathered to light an inaugural fire in our distillery hearth. Three generations of Hearaich, the Gaelic word for the people of Harris, each placed a fàd, or block, of peat on the blaze to mark the occasion.
We then threw the largest ceilidh the island had ever seen with hundreds of our fellow islanders joining us in the cask warehouse for a night of music, dancing and song, as the first of our island spirit flowed.
The distillery started life with just 10 people and an ambition to double this number over the next five years. Today, we're proud to say we employ almost 40 permanent staff, a highly significant number in an island of fewer than 2000 inhabitants.
In these early days of our history, it is clear that Burr's vision is already making a real difference here in the Isle of Harris.
As a catalyst for positive change within our community, we continue to work with purpose, bringing new life to our island and supporting its aspirations to survive and thrive as we move forward together to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
50ml Isle of Harris Gin
3-5 drops Sugar Kelp Aromatic Water
Walter Gregor's Original Scottish Tonic Water
THE HARRIS SERVE
BUILDING AN ISLAND GIN & TONIC
Take your time and enjoy the ritual as you make an exacting Harris G&T to your personal tastes.
We recommend you start by sipping Isle of Harris Gin neat to appreciate the smooth and luxurious spirit on its own.
Then begin to build your perfect island gin and tonic in a Harris Gin Glass from there, you might find you need go no further!