2020 is officially underway as our team returned to work here in Tarbert earlier this week. Our distillery doors opened to the public on Wednesday morning, the Spirit Hall sparked into life and the peat fire was lit in our hearth for the first time this year.
The previous day we gathered around the same hearth to re-group after the festivities and look towards the coming months together. It was one of those rare moments to have (almost) everyone in the same place at the same time.
From individual presentations to group workshops, we spent some quality time as a distillery family sharing ideas and giving each other input on all manner of work-related matters before breaking bread with hot soup in the Canteen.
As a young distillery, there is much of our story still to tell and we’re looking forward to sharing more of life here in Harris with you as our island enterprise continues to grow. Whether with those of you we meet in person or simply here online, we hope to deepen our mutual connections.
Through our storytelling, we plan to reveal more about our beautiful island, the hidden corners and those special characters who make up our wider community. There is much history and language to pass on and aspects of island tradition and culture which can only be found in this special part of the world.
The way of life here can be different, a deeper sense of time and awareness of nature exists, and we’ll try to convey more of what this means through the digital tales we tell. From finding more mindfulness to stepping away from social media, we can all benefit from less pressured ways of thinking.
As we begin Scotland’s Year of Coasts & Waters, you can expect to hear more about our maritime connections. Our forthcoming Marine Project will also begin our journey towards understanding and addressing our environmental responsibilities at this important time in human history.
From community beach cleans and single-use plastic reduction to exploring the fascinating Sugar Kelp botanical we use in our gin, there will be lots to which our ‘Always Learning’ value will be brought to bear as we seek to face up to the local challenges of global climate change.
Our slow-burning Diaspora Project will continue to reach out to all who are bound to the Outer Hebrides through family and friendship. There are many incredible personal stories to reveal as we look to the past to better understand our goals for the future.
Finally, there will be much to enjoy from our spirit-making as we build on the success of Isle of Harris Gin and begin to release the first eagerly-awaited samples of maturing whisky to our Private Cask owners scattered across the world.
As the Social Distillery, we want to help you feel a real sense of belonging to the place we call home and hope you will enjoy playing a part in all of our plans. We are an enterprise built with real purpose, and it is your support and enthusiasm which ensures we continue to survive and thrive.
So from all of us at the Harris Distillery, here’s to all the new stories still to be written and the opportunities that 2020 will bring, we wish you all every success with your own endeavours and aspirations for the year ahead.