Selkirk gin distillery set to open by spring

Allan Walker with a bottle of Selkirk Distillers' bannock gin.
Allan Walker with a bottle of Selkirk Distillers' bannock gin.

A new micro-distillery being built on the outskirts of Selkirk could be open by spring.

Allan and Jane Walker, along with David and Susan Myatt, all of Selkirk, have been given the go-ahead by Scottish Borders Council to convert an old workshop into a distillery for their range of gins.

The old joinery at Philiphaugh is set to become a new base for the foursome, trading under the name Selkirk Distillers.

The company currently produces Reiver’s Gin, made using whin flowers found on the lowland hills surrounding the royal burgh as its main botanical ingredient.

It has also produced a special batch of bannock gin, made using Selkirk bannocks from Cameron’s Bakery, and, though not available at the moment, it is due to be brought back due to popular demand.

A statement accompanying the planning application, put in by co-founder David Myatt, of Viewfield Park, Selkirk, reads: “The process produces no noise, makes no fumes as these are extracted to produce the spirit, and waste botanicals will be composted and used by the on-site gardens.

“We are currently producing and selling our gin throughout the country.

“We currently produce at the Strathearn distillery in Perthshire. We are now looking to move to Selkirk and produce in our own building.”

The group first produced Reiver’s Gin in September 2017 after the two couples decided that their native Borders would be the perfect place for producing quality spirits.

Their second creation, the bannock gin, was produced three months later in December, and such was the popularity of the unique spirit that it almost sold out in a single day.

These gins were distilled at the Perth and Kinross-based Strathearn Distillery at Methven, near Perth, under the supervision of head distiller Tony Reeman-Clark, but now Selkirk Distillers will be moving closer to home.

Fellow co-founder Allan Walker, a former police officer, said: “We’re hoping to open up the distillery in the next three months, though that depends on things such as purchasing equipment and hiring contractors.

“Everything’s in place for us to get started. We’re just waiting on the finishing touches.

“We first got into the business because we wanted a new challenge in life, and we believe that Selkirk needed something new as well.

“We’ve recently taken on a new member of staff, who’ll be helping us with marketing, and we’re always on the lookout for new staff to come and join us and help out at our market events.

“We’re also planning on putting in a new application with Scottish Borders Council for an off-licence, which will be situated in our new distillery at Philiphaugh, from which we can sell our products, although we’ll still keep appearing at markets and selling our products online.

“As well as moving to Selkirk, we’re looking at redeveloping the design of our bottles and introducing new and exciting products to our range.”