Following three years of rapid growth and success for our now not-so-little gin distilling business in Callander, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially opened our brand-new distillery yesterday (Monday 13th May) on what was a momentous and very proud day for us all at Team McQueen!
The First Minister attended the 6,200²ft facility today to mark its official launch along with a selection of our friends, partners, customers and some members of the press. It was great to have the First Minister there for the official opening, and whilst addressing the attendees, she commented:
“The impressive growth of McQueen Gin proves that it is possible with the right idea, product and people to go from a small start-up business to exporting around the world in a relatively short period of time – and that being rural-based provides no barrier to international success.
“I am pleased that Scottish Enterprise has been able to help the company’s ambition by providing support and expertise in their growth. We want to be ambitious for Scotland and encourage private sector investment in a range of key markets, including food and drink.
“The formal opening of the new distillery is an opportunity to recognise the vision of the co-owners and the hard-work and dedication of the staff, and I look forward to seeing greater success as McQueen expands into markets around the world.”
We’ve had a wonderful recent few years and invested a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears into developing the new facility, which will see our overall manufacture, bottling, packing and shipping capacity increase by greater than 1,000% (great news for all you gin lovers out there!)Speaking prior to the launch event, our very own co-founder Dale McQueen acknowledged the part played by the working relationship between ourselves and Aldi in the acceleration of the new facility’s build. Speaking about the launch, Dale said:
“The McQueen Gin growth strategy has been strongly supported by the Scottish Government through Scottish Enterprise (SE) and we are thrilled and honoured to be officially opened today by the First Minister of Scotland.
“Our strong working relationship with Aldi, both here in Scotland and UK-wide has been instrumental to our growth in the past 12 months. The ongoing regular business secured through that relationship has allowed us to bring forward expansion plans to this year, which equips us with the facilities needed to meet rapidly growing demand domestically and internationally.’’
It was wonderful to have some of our friends from Aldi along to the event too, and speaking about the launch and our relationship with Aldi, Group Buying Director for Aldi Scotland Graham Nicolson said:
“We’re very proud of the strong partnership we’ve built with McQueen Gin and the innovative products that have been delivered to market as a result. Aldi has been working with McQueen since November 2017 when they featured in our first ever gin festival, and since then the relationship has gone from strength to strength. Last summer we commissioned McQueen’s Forest Fruits Colour-changing Gin, which flew off our shelves. It was such a hit with consumers in Scotland that later in the year we extended the contract and now the colour-changing gin is available in Aldi stores across the UK.
“At Aldi, we’re proud to champion local suppliers and it is fantastic to see McQueen’s distillery expand thanks to the strong partnership we have built. I wish McQueen Gin all the best for the future, and I’m looking forward to working together on the next big innovation in the gin market.”
We also had representatives from Visit Scotland along at Monday’s event where Neil Christison, Regional Director for Visit Scotland commented:
“It is incredibly exciting to welcome the McQueen Gin Distillery to the visitor experience in Callander.
“The opening of this new attraction in such a stunning location will certainly boost the wider region’s tourism offering. It is important that we continue to encourage new investment in tourism businesses such as distilleries which benefit from visitors’ love of Scottish gin, as well as the surrounding towns and villages, with the creation of new jobs and increasing visitor spend.
“This ripple effect means that tourism is more than a holiday experience, it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community.”
Whilst we allow ourselves to get excited about this great day and have a drink or two to celebrate, we’re also continuing to work on more new and exciting opportunities for our brand! The launch of the new facility and its increased capacity means that we can be ambitious in our growth plans as we look to bring our adventurous spirits to a wider audience. Distillery visits are now also open to the public and all tour details can be found online at: www.mcqueengin.co.uk.