Food & Drink

Welsh distillery gets green light for whisky expansion

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In the Welsh Wind Distillery has received planning approval for a multi-million-pound expansion, which will support the development of grain-to-glass Welsh whisky.

In the Welsh Wind Distillery

The Welsh gin distiller moved to its current site in March 2019

The distillery, based five miles north of Cardigan on the west Wales coast, gained planning permission from Ceredigion County Council to extend the current building and construct a cask and grain store.

This ‘significant’ expansion will be fundamental to creating grain-to-glass whisky, the distillery said. The distiller expects the whisky to be available from 2024.

Joe Lewis, business manager for In the Welsh Wind, said: “We are delighted that our planning application has been granted. The potential for a high-class business on this prime site has never been fully reached.

“This planning permission paves the way for us to build a world-class distillery business here in west Wales with the addition of quality buildings designed to allow for growth and to showcase our gins and our grain-to-glass Welsh malt whisky.”

In March 2019, the distillery moved from its original site in a cowshed to the Gogerddan Arms pub, located on a main road in Aberystwyth. The distiller purchased the site in early 2020.

The distillery initially produced spirits for other businesses, before unveiling its own gin, In the Welsh Wind Signature Style, in summer 2020. It was followed by a cask-aged variant.

Welsh whisky project

During 2020, the Welsh distillery worked on its single malt whisky project. The producer collaborated with local farmers to grow barley at its site and in fields near the distillery in South Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire.

Furthermore, the distiller said it has created what is thought to be the first malting floor ‘of any significance’ in Wales for more than 100 years.

The producer has also installed new stills and reduced energy consumption during whisky distillation.

Alex Jungmayr, co-founder and distillery owner, said: “By malting on site, we remove the need for kilning the malted grain. Although this has been assumed for years to be an integral part of the distillation process, one of the only reasons malted grain needs to be kilned is for it to be transported and stored ready for use.

“By carrying out all processes on site, in small batches, the need for kilning, a hugely energy-heavy part of the process, is removed. Our distilling process will create the flavour notes that might otherwise be added by the kilning process ”

The distillery will also mature its new make spirit in smaller casks, which will be held in the new cask store.

In addition, the producer also has pre-planning approval to create an ‘industry-leading’ education and research centre in Tanygroes, just north of Cardigan.

The Aber Falls distillery in North Wales, which is owned by Halewood Artisanal Spirits, is due to release its first whisky this year.

In May 2020, Welsh whisky maker Penderyn secured planning permission to build a new £5 million (US$6.1m) distillery in Llandudno, North Wales.

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