In Conversation With… BrewDog
Please tell us a bit more about your background and how you ended up working as Brewdog's Head Distiller?
I've had a massive affinity for the Scottish spirits industry since I started as a tour guide at the Oban distillery in my hometown 14 years ago. After that, I started as a whisky distillery manager making single malt whisky in Speyside. So in 2015, I jumped at the opportunity to join BrewDog to lead their venture into the spirits industry. Since then, the team and I have been distilling incredible spirits that we love, and we're just getting started.
Please tell us a bit more about where you source your ingredients?
We put quality ahead of everything. We work with different experts to source the best quality ingredients that we can find. This takes us around the world, especially for our gin which is laden with botanicals. Our juniper is always Tuscan as it's the best in the world, our lemon peel is from Italy, and our lime is from Mexico. This is a labour of love for us as we seek out the best ingredients possible.
How do you reduce and offset your emissions as a carbon-negative business?
This is twofold; we're currently offsetting our emissions in collaboration with the Eden Project, where we've planted over 1 million trees to date. We also have purchased a 9000-acre estate in the Scottish highlands. We will begin planting our forest and reintroducing peat lands onto the estate.
The second part of this is removing carbon from our supply chain; this is something we're very focused on. The most seismic change we've made this year is the installation of our new anaerobic digestion plant, which processes waste products from the brewing and distilling process and converts this waste into biogas which we can use to fuel our operations, we will also be able to put green energy back into the grid in times when we don't have a demand for the gas ourselves. So our focus on carbon reduction in all areas of our process is a real focus. We're proud to be partnering with Flexi-Hex to remove plastic from our e-commerce business.
"We switched to Flexi-Hex because we're passionate about reducing our impact on the planet."
What do you think makes Brewdog Distilling Co stand out from the crowd?
Our passion for quality and flavour makes us stand out in the industry. We're not afraid to take risks and mix things up to offer our customers great spirits they can't get anywhere else. Our team passionately craft each of our spirits from scratch for an authentic sip from grain to glass. Our mission is to bring honest and charismatic spirits to the people. You won't find any half measures here.
Why did you decide to switch to Flexi-Hex packaging? What have been the main benefits?
We switched to Flexi-Hex because we're passionate about reducing our impact on the planet across our manufacturing process. As a business, we want to minimise the use of plastic wherever possible, and Flexi-Hex is just as strong and sturdy but can be easily recycled by our customers - it's a no-brainer.
So far, we've received great feedback from our customers when they receive their spirits, and we love feeling confident that our products are safely packaged throughout their journey.
Brewdog is renowned for its innovative ideas. Any exciting projects or product launches you'd like to tell us about?
There are lots of exciting new product developments in the pipeline. Unfortunately, we can't give too much away, so you'll have to follow us @brewdogdistillingco to stay up-to-date with all the news.
AND FINALLY, WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE BREWDOG COCKTAIL?
It has to be a Negroni - so simple to create but always a crowd-pleaser. We even have it sold by the bottle in our BrewDog bars if you don't want to make one from scratch.
25ml sweet vermouth (we love Regal Rogue Bold Red)
Twist of orange to garnish
First, pour the gin, vermouth and Campari into a mixing glass or jug with ice. Stir well until the outside of the glass feels cold. Then, strain into a tumbler, add one large ice sphere or some fresh ice and garnish with an orange slice.