GlenWyvis seeks £2m to boost production

Highland whisky distillery GlenWyvis is aiming to raise up to £2 million (US$2.5m) to increase its production and build a new visitor experience.

The ‘world’s first’ 100% community-owned distillery has launched a Crowdfunder campaign, raising £1,750 (US$2,183) to date. Each share is priced at £50 (US$62) with a minimum option of five shares and a maximum investment of £100,000 (US$125,ooo).

The funds will be used to expand a bonded warehouse and build a low-volume bottling facility. GlenWyvis, based near Dingwall, hopes to step up from five mashes to nine mashes a week – a production increase of 80%.

The distillery said the funds would also help it to drive tourism in the area through the construction of a new visitor experience on Dingwall High Street.

In return for buying shares, backers get exclusive member bottlings, investment rewards and a 20% discount on all sales.

GlenWyvis was established in 2015 by John McKenzie, a former Army Air Corps helicopter pilot.

Since its founding, GlenWyvis has raised £3.7m (US$4.6m) for the construction and operation of a renewable energy distillery, generated £50,000 (US$62,000) for the local community and awarded grants totalling £30,000 (US$37,000).

The distillery’s first share offer raised £2.6m (US$3.2m) in 2016 and the second totalled £1.1m (US$1.4m) in 2021.

David McIntyre, chair of GlenWyvis, said: “We are excited to extend an invitation to participate in our third share and members’ bonds offers. This is an opportunity to become part of a community that is not only dedicated to the craft of whisky and gin production but also deeply committed to making a positive impact on people’s lives in Dingwall and beyond.

“At GlenWyvis Distillery we carefully handcraft our spirits with a blend of traditional techniques and modern environmental consciousness.

“We are passionate about supporting our local community and in line with this commitment, we are proud to have allocated grants to educational and cultural initiatives, as well as to local entrepreneurs to help their businesses grow.”

GlenWyvis currently has 3,625 shareholders: 28% live close to the distillery, 44% are from the rest of Scotland, 16% reside in the rest of the UK, and the remaining 12% come from 36 countries across the world.

To date, the producer has distilled more than 222,000 litres of alcohol and filled at least 1,550 casks of varying sizes.

GlenWyvis launched its first whisky at the end of 2021, followed by a second batch in June 2022, and a third in August 2023. Its first five-year-old single cask was released in December 2023.

In addition to whisky, the distillery also produces a range of cask-matured gins.

GlenWyvis is powered by renewable energy, which is mostly generated on-site by a wind turbine, hydro and solar panels.

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Author: Nicola Carruthers