Isle of Cumbrae Distillers is owned by 5 full and part-time “Millportonians”, distinctively positioned as being one of the few all-female distilling teams in Scotland, and the only international women’s team, drawing representation from the UK, Canada and the USA.
A love of the island…and gin, first brought us together, probably in one of Millport’s 5 pubs; certainly, the conversations blossomed during Thursday quiz nights at the Twa Dugs! Our conversations evolved from the general idea for an island distillery to raise funds to support the campaign to save Millport’s historic Town Hall building –a commitment that remains near and dear to us - to the realization that with our collective life experience, skills, enthusiasm, and “why the hell not” attitude, we could be the ones to start up a distillery for the island!
And so our story begins. While some might argue there is no need for another gin (Scotland boasts 175+ gins), we believe Millport's gin is distinctive and reflects the Scottish landscape and flora and fauna of our island; it also commemorates the landmarks and cultural heritage that makes Millport famous. We have created an “experience” in our gin tours, engaging visitors by focusing on the unique role women played in the history of gin as well as bringing to life the colourful history of 18th Century smuggling along the Clyde coast.
As Isle of Cumbrae Distillers prospers, an indicator of our success will be our ability to create employment and training opportunities for our young people in Millport; employment is one of the biggest challenges that hinders Scottish island development and sustainability. In the buildout of the company, we also plan to engage with business and tourism schools at Scottish colleges and universities, to provide internships for students interested in future opportunities in the distilling business.
We are proudly committed to sustainability and to ensuring our products and packaging are chosen deliberately and responsibly. As members of the island’s beach clean team, we know first-hand the impact that plastic has on our beaches and wildlife and are committed to conducting our business in a socially responsible and ethical manner, protecting the environment and benefitting the community.