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New ‘net zero’ distillery planned for Campbeltown

Plans have been revealed for a new ‘net zero’ distillery in one of the Scotch whisky heartlands, Campbeltown.

The plans, submitted to Argyle and Bute Council, see whisky brand Brave New Spirits work with sustainable engineers Organic Architects on creating the new Witchburn Distillery, which will be located on the former RAF Machrihanish airbase.

Located between Campbeltown Airport and the village of Machrihanish, the distillery will offer net-zero carbon production with capacity for two million litres of alcohol per year, powered by 100% renewable energy and heat and energy recovery systems. Running all day, every day, the facility aims to reuse as much heat and energy as possible to ensure it meets its net-zero objectives. According to the architects, it will be one of the most environmentally-friendly distilleries in Scotland.

Production at the distillery will be undertaken through one mash tun with a capacity of five tons, 16 washbacks – each with a capacity of 30,000 litres, allowing for a fermentation period of 96 hours or more, and two wash stills each with a capacity of 7,000 litres.

Production at Witchburn will be headed by founding master distiller, Andrew Nairn, former distillery anager of Glenkinchie, Strathmill and Borders Distillery.

Nairn said of the distillery: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with Organic Architects and Frilli to develop a distillery to produce a truly great Campbeltown Spirit to combine traditional artisan methods of whisky-making with the latest green technology is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The news comes as two other distilleries are planned for Campbeltown.

Speaking to The Herald, the owners of Brave New Spirits, Adam Hochul and Alexander Springensguth, said: “We are looking forward to becoming part of the community, contributing to the already worldwide reputation of Campbeltown whisky. We could not find a better location to build our first stillhouse.

“The distillery is a great addition to our existing portfolio of internationally recognised brands of Scotch whisky, but also an opportunity to give back to the outstanding community of Scottish whisky distillers.”

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