MORE than 100 years after the Langholm distillery closed, the town has the chance to begin distilling again.
Many people will know that Langholm was once home to one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, established in 1765 and, at its peak, was producing about 46,000 gallons of alcohol a year, including a rather rare birch whisky with a secret recipe.
Sadly, it closed in 1917 because of barley shortages but David Borthwick, a Bentpath resident and founder of His and Her Drinks, an online spirits business, has a vision that Langholm will once again be home to a working distillery.
David is keen to involve the community and asked locals attending MTAF whether they would like to see a distillery open in Langholm.
There was an overwhelming response of yes as they enjoyed a gin. With micro-breweries and craft distilleries opening all over Scotland, well known for the quality of its spirit production and water purity, Langholm is ideally situated to connect the Borders Distillery in Hawick and Annandale Distillery, creating a lovely tourist route for foreign visitors, who stay in Edinburgh, to come and sample some of southern Scotland’s finest tipples.
After visiting other distilleries in southern Scotland, David would like to hear from anyone who is aware of any suitable sites or buildings which may be available to house a distillery.
The ideal location would have access to natural spring water, be of sufficient size to hold several stills and classroom areas and office, be accessible for cars and perhaps even buses and within or a very short distance from the High Street to allow visitors to access the other shops in the town centre.
David said: “I’d love a distillery to play a part in regenerating Langholm, connecting the town’s rich history with modern day drinks production techniques.
“I’m passionate about businesses which do well by doing good and creating something which benefits the townspeople as well as creating high quality spirits produced without harming the environment.
“I believe there is an opportunity to create a learning centre which teaches distillation and brewing in southern Scotland so people from the Borders and Carlisle can learn these skills without the need to travel to Edinburgh.
“I hope to produce a Langholm gin within the next two years, ideally a lot less than that if I can secure adequate support and funding.”
Email your suggestions of any suitable buildings or locations to David at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are aware of the history of distilling in Langholm and any interesting stories or recipes from the past, David would love to hear from you.