Penderyn opens new Welsh distillery on same day Wales relaxes pandemic lockdown rules

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

A Welsh Government grant from the Tourism Investment Scheme and the Food Business Investment scheme’ has made the new distillery a reality. Pic: Penderyn
A Welsh Government grant from the Tourism Investment Scheme and the Food Business Investment scheme’ has made the new distillery a reality. Pic: Penderyn

Related tags: Whisky, Wales, pandemic

For 20 years, Penderyn Distillery - The Welsh Whisky Company – based in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales, has been working to bring back the spirit of the original Welsh Whisky distillery at Frongoch, near Bala, which closed more than 100 years ago due to Prohibition after receiving a royal warrant from Queen Victoria in July 1895.

Penderyn - despite continued and sometimes difficult coronavirus restrictions – is now set to go into production at a second distillery, with the opening of a new £5m ($7m) Lloyds Street facility in Llandudno.

Penderyn expanded its operation with the opening on Monday, May 17, 2021 of the second distillery, with the creation of 17 jobs, in the Grade II listed Old Board School built in 1887.

The opening coincides with a relaxation of pandemic lockdown rules in Wales on the same day. Pubs and restaurants can now serve food indoors, cinemas and theaters can re-open as can visitor attractions. It also means the distillery will be booking tours again on a limited basis as of June.

A £1.4m ($2m) Welsh Government grant from the Tourism Investment Scheme and the Food Business Investment scheme’ has made the new distillery a reality.

A new Faraday still (unique to Penderyn) has been installed and has been readied for production by Penderyn’s commissioning distiller Bethan Morgans, which will focus, for the first time in Wales, on peated barley single malt whisky. The whisky has to be in a barrel for three years and a day, so the product won’t be immediately available, but the company said even though it’s a peated whisky, it will be ‘light, fruity, and flavorsome.’

Penderyn’s director of operations, Neil Quigley, said, "Since its inception three years ago, this has been a hugely exciting and challenging project. I'm pleased to have kept this remarkable renovation on time and on track." 

With exports to more than now 45 countries, the company said Wales is now on the map of world whiskies.

As global expansion continues, Penderyn has been working with the UK Government to enshrine 70 Welsh Geographical Indicators (GIs) in terms of the unique production process of Welsh Whisky. And during the pandemic, Penderyn produced hand sanitizer for use in the NHS and for Transport for Wales.

Penderyn Distillery’s CEO, Stephen Davies, said, “We look forward to taking Penderyn to even newer heights when Penderyn opens a third distillery in the Swansea Hafod Copperworks development.”

Related topics: Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cider, COVID-19

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