Beyla up for top industry award

Beyla up for top industry award

In these surreal and somewhat unsettling times, it’s nice to have some positive news to share with you.  Our Honey and Raspberry Kirkjuvagr Beyla Gin has been shortlisted for this year’s Gin Guide Awards in the Best Flavoured Gin category! These prestigious awards celebrate the world’s finest gins and so we are thrilled that one of our products has once again been selected as one of the finalists.

Beyla is named after the Norse goddess of bees and infuses Orcadian honey and Scottish raspberries with our legendary Kirkjuvagr Gin. Bursting with fruitiness and balanced with the sweetness of our island honey, it makes for the perfect summer tipple.

Let us bring a taste of summer to your living rooms and gardens with this refreshing spirit. Ideal served with lots of ice, fresh raspberries and topped with tonic or a premium lemonade. Order your bottle now with free delivery, and 10% off if you’ve not ordered from us before, by subscribing to our mailing list!

 

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Introducing the new Kirkjuvagr Gin bottles!

Introducing the new Kirkjuvagr Gin bottles!

We have today launched the bespoke new packaging for our award-winning Kirkjuvagr Gin.  A bold and eye-catching design, the bottle features several nods the distillery's Orcadian heritage. 

Our brand strapline - Unmistakeably Orcadian – is engraved on the lip of each bottle and the Norse word ‘Afl’ is found written around the neck in Runes, which translates as “strong” and attests to the Kirkjuvagr brand’s strength of connection to Orkney, both culturally and historically.

Orkney Distilling’s unique repeating wave pattern forms the body of the bottle, symbolising the seafaring traditions of the islands and the bold, exploratory spirit of Orcadians. Its fluidity serves as a reminder that life on Orkney never remains still!

Vegvisir, the mythical Norse compass, is stamped into the bottle and etched atop the bottle closures. The company’s key marque, this ancient Viking wayfinder was said to possess home-bearing powers and, like so many Orcadians who return home to Orkney, is an offer from us for customers to travel to, and explore, Orkney - the home of Kirkjuvagr Gin.

“He who holds this compass will find his way home” is a hidden detail inscribed in the bottle’s base and is cue to the literal contemporary translation, or meaning, of the Vegvisir.

Working in partnership with Stoelzle Flaconnage – who are an industry leader in bespoke premier spirits packaging solutions – the new look Kirkjuvagr bottles represent the latest stage of development for the Distillery.

In tandem with the packaging rebrand, we have also consolidated our product range.  Summer-inspired Harpa Gin is set to be discontinued whilst Beyla and Aurora gins both increase from 50cl to 70cl bottles in order to retain a consistent shelf presence across the range.

To coincide with the launch of the new packaging, a bottling line is set to be installed at the Distillery, which will support a planned increased production capacity.

Orkney Distilling Limited’s Co-Owner, Stephen Kemp said:

“We’ve been continually developing the Company now for almost six years.  A key component of our brand development plan has always been this move into the super-premium packaging category, which now aligns the package with the modernity and high quality of other aspects of the brand and the Company’s operation.” 

“The dramatic change in circumstance caused by COVID and the lockdown created space and time for us to really focus on these projects as a team.  We worked tirelessly for over a year to take them to fruition, and the super-premium package you now see really captures our story and helps us reinforce our prominent position within Scotland’s fantastic array of craft gin brands, whilst our new bottling line will enable us to serve larger markets.”

The updated range of Kirkjuvagr Gins is available here!

Great Days Out In Scotland

Great Days Out In Scotland

Welcome Adventurer! Your epic Orkney Saga Has Begun…

This winter, get up to 50% off of our distillery tour tickets as part of the ‘Great Days Out In Scotland’ campaign delivered by VisitScotland.

Situated on Kirkwall’s harbour-front, the Orkney Distillery is the ideal attraction for gin enthusiasts looking for a quality visitor experience in the heart of Orkney’s main town. Find out more about the history of our brand and how we craft our award-winning gins all while you enjoy a complementary G&T!

Book your distillery tour between the 4th of November 2021 and the 18th of February 2022 and get up to 50% off. 

Click here to book your tour

How to Claim

To claim up to 50% off when booking online please enter the code ‘DAYSOUT50’ at the checkout. If booking in person or over the phone, please just quote ‘days out offer’.

Offer details

All offers are up to up to 50% off, to a maximum of £20 per ticket from 4 November 2021 to 18 February 2022. Tickets are limited. Please pre-book in advance and enter/quote ‘DAYSOUT50’ when booking.

Meet the team: Anja Hall

Meet the team: Anja Hall

For the latest of our meet the team series we grabbed a gin and sat down with Anja Hall - our Business Operations Manager - to discuss her role within our distillery team.

When did you first join the Kirkjuvagr Team?

I first started working at The Orkney Distillery as a Bar Operative and Tour Guide straight out of school in August 2018. I then grew into an admin role and have progressed into my current role as Orkney Distilling’s Business Operations Manager.

What does a typical day at The Orkney Distillery look like for you?

Every day at The Orkney Distillery is different! I spend most of my time in the office taking care of HR and finance and, if you ever call us, I’m usually the person at the other end of the phone. 

Besides my usual admin responsibilities, I love getting stuck in on the bar when I get a chance. I don’t usually get much of an opportunity to be creative in my day-to-day role so love creating new cocktail recipes and posting on our social media pages when time permits.

Now you've mentioned it, tell us your favourite cocktail at the moment?

It's difficult to pick just one but I'd say a Beyla Blush! It's Beyla, Chambord, raspberry syrup and lots of ice topped up with lemonade and finished with sliced strawberries. 

The full recipe, for anyone who wants to try it at home!

  • 35ml Beyla
  • 25ml Chambord
  • Dash of raspberry syrup
  • Add lots of ice and top with lemonade and sliced strawberries

How have the ongoing effects of COVID-19 affected your role and what are you most excited about now that restrictions are beginning to ease?

At the beginning of the pandemic, we began producing hand sanitizer which was a huge change for me. I had never worked in production before, so it was really interesting for me to see another side of the company.

Oot The Back was another big project that was born out of lockdown. I really enjoyed seeing the project through from start to finish, and it was great being able to welcome back our customers to an environment where they feel safe!

I am really looking forward to our next summer season and being able to welcome visitors back to Orkney and to our distillery. Hopefully we will be able to expand our tour offering and return to normality!

Meet the Team: Anna Younie

Since the Orkney Distillery opened in 2018, the Kirkjuvagr story has been one of amazing growth – from the range of products and production volume to the skillset and size of our in-house team. Anna Younie has been a core part of the team throughout the journey – transitioning from weekends working behind the bar to our Events & Marketing Manager.

 

When did you first join the Kirkjuvagr Team?

I first started at the Orkney Distillery as a tour guide and bar operative in 2018 after graduating and returning home from uni. It was a great chance for me to get involved in a company that was just beginning to develop and it’s been a really exciting journey to be able to grow with the business.

 

What does a typical day at The Orkney Distillery look like for you?

No two days are ever the same for me - it’s great to have that bit of variety in your job! Between organising content for our social media pages, working with various publications regarding adverts to showcase our gins and helping local businesses and members of the public to arrange their events in the distillery’s function room, there’s always plenty going on!

I especially like being able to work closely with clients who wish to have a bespoke label designed for their own gin. We’ve previously had customers approach us to help them create a personalised label for the likes of weddings, business anniversaries and most recently the launch of a new fishing boat! It’s lovely to be able to help folk create something that’s special and a wee bit different to the usual keepsakes.

 

How have the ongoing effects of COVID-19 affected your role and what are you most excited about now that restrictions are beginning to ease?

I initially started my journey with the distillery team as a part-time worker on Friday and Saturday evenings before training to be a tour guide and later becoming bar supervisor in 2019! As time progressed, and the pandemic forced us all to close, we dived into the world of hand sanitiser where myself and some of the team began producing and bottling all we could to make sure our hospital, local schools, key workers and latterly shops had what they needed. Over a year later it’s still being distributed and used throughout the community.

I was then able to try my hand on the production line, assisting to distil and bottle the gin. This is a really exciting part of the business to try and learn a bit more about. As places started to reopen, we were able to shift our focus back to distilling our products and spending more time on our own marketing, which allowed me to relocate myself up to the distillery office in May this year. As part of the reopening I have now taken on the events and marketing side of the business. This is the part I really enjoy – being able to create content for our social media and keep you lovely lot up to date with the goings on at the distillery.

It’s been a speedy (and very eventful!) three years with the Kirkjuvagr team and its really exciting to be able to have a job where you can try your hand at a variety of different aspects to the business.

Northwest Passage Expedition Gin wins gold at The Gin Masters 2021

Northwest Passage Expedition Gin wins gold at The Gin Masters 2021

Our Northwest Passage Expedition Gin has won a gold award in the ultra-premium category at The Spirits Business’ 2021 Gin Masters awards.

This year’s competition recorded 472 entries from 233 companies – making it the biggest competition in The Global Spirits Masters series to date.

Each spirit was judged in a two-day blind tasting event in London, chaired by The Spirits Business and a panel of leading spirits specialists.

Launched late last year as a collaboration between Orkney Distilling and the Northwest Passage Expedition team, the gin’s unique flavours are drawn from Sugar Kelp, Angelica Archangelica, Ramanas Rose, and Burnet Rose.

Orkney boasts a strong connection to the history of Arctic exploration, water used during distillation sourced from the same well that early explorers - such as Captain’s Sir James Cook and Sir John Franklin - used to stock their ships in Orkney.

The Northwest Passage Expedition itself is an attempt to be the first to the row the 3,700km arctic route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Jack Hopkins, one of the eight crew members embarking on the expedition, was delighted to learn of the gin’s success: "To see Northwest Passage Expedition Gin win Gold in the The Spirits Business "Gin Master” is amazing. We have had so many great comments about our gin since it was launched and to be recognised by this award is really exciting.

We hope the award will help us market the gin to a wider audience and in doing so help us raise the funds needed for the expedition as well as help us with our goal of supporting Big Blue Ocean Cleanup, the marine conservation organisation.

We have to thank Stephen Kemp and the team at Orkney Distillery for all the support we have received and making this all possible.”

The gold award is the first formal recognition for Northwest Passage Expedition Gin, and the third award picked up by The Orkney Distillery in 2021 after both Beyla and Kirkjuvagr tasted success earlier this year.

If you’re ready to be transported back to the Age of Discovery, Northwest Passage Expedition Gin is available online now!

Northwest Passage Expedition team row Scottish coast with training trip to Orkney Distillery

Northwest Passage Expedition team row Scottish coast with training trip to Orkney Distillery

Later this month a crew from the Northwest Passage Expedition team will be rowing from Newcastle upon Tyne to Kirkwall as part of their training for next year’s world-first row along the Arctic’s Northwest Passage.

The expedition teamed up with The Orkney Distillery last year to launch Northwest Passage Expedition Gin to help fund the arctic expedition and support the team’s marine conservation partners, Big Blue Ocean Cleanup.

The gin’s recipe includes botanicals from the shores of both Orkney and Canada’s Hudson Bay, including Sugar Kelp which was hand-collected by Orkney Distilling’s Managing Director, Stephen Kemp, and local expedition crew member, Davie Flett.

Orkney-based Davie is one of eight crew members taking part in the expedition, with the crew aiming to become the first to the row the 3,700km arctic route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The team are set to leave Newcastle on 19th July and are expected to complete the 350-mile journey to Kirkwall in 7-10 days. Eyemouth, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen have been identified as weather-permitting stop off points along the route.

The crew will be training in Avalon - a 44ft, eight crew rowing boat – and will be visible from the Scottish coast for most of the journey. Their progress throughout can be tracked via Marine Traffic’s website or app – just search the boat’s Automatic Identification System callsign, ‘Avalon’.

Speaking ahead of the trip north, expedition Leader Leven Brown said: "We are delighted to start our offshore training with a row from Newcastle upon Tyne to Kirkwall. Each of the crew have been training on their own under covid restrictions and with those gradually being lifted now is a chance to bring the team together.

The row to Orkney is a challenge in its own right and will help with team bonding and developing the appropriate skills required for the arctic expedition. The 44ft Avalon is a beast of a rowing boat, designed with the Northwest Passage in mind, and I am looking forward to seeing how the crew work together.

Hopefully the conditions will be fair but being prepared for the unexpected is part of our training. We are also excited about visiting the Orkney Distillery in Kirkwall, who are supporting us by producing our Northwest Passage Expedition Gin, that should make for a great night.”

For those looking to taste the gin and unlock their spirit of adventure, Northwest Passage Expedition Gin is available through our shop here!