Saturday’s World Gin Day provided the perfect opportunity for Carrick’s representatives from Westminster and Holyrood to visit Hendrick’s Gin Distillery in Girvan.
Corri Wilson MP, Dr Philippa Whitford MP and Jeane Freeman MSP heard from Hendrick’s Head Distiller, Lesley Gracie, about the booming gin industry and its crucial role in supporting jobs in Girvan and right across Scotland.
During the visit, MPs heard from industry body the Wine and Spirit Trade Association about the size and scale of the UK’s gin industry - the majority of which is operational in Scotland - and how British gin is growing both domestically and internationally as a brand.
Attendees also heard about the importance of European markets to the British gin industry, with over half of all gin exports going to EU markets.
British gin is sold in 140 different markets, with the top exports going to the USA, Spain, Germany, Italy and France. Hendrick’s alone produce over 800,000 9 litre cases every year and export their product to 130 markets. The spirits industry supports almost 300,000 jobs across the United Kingdom, in distilleries, bottling, logistics, marketing and hospitality.
Corri Wilson MP said: “It was fascinating to attend a guided tour and learn of the importance of gin production to the Scottish economy. In Ayrshire, we produce some of the world’s best food and drink exports and our gin is a prime example of that.”
Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the WSTA said: “British gin is booming at the moment and no more so than here in Scotland, where more than half of our gin is produced.
“Domestic sales have nearly reached the £1 billion mark and expect to go beyond that this yea. Last year saw a record-breaking number of new distilleries opening.
“To mark these milestones, we launched a Scottish Gin Trail earlier this year and will continue to work with distilleries such as Hendrick’s and Scottish politicians to promote the growth of this fantastic drink, both at home and abroad.”