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Ardgowan signs design deal for eco-friendly distillery

Ardgowan Distillery

The proposed distillery

Ardgowan Distillery has signed a deal with equipment supplier Briggs of Burton for its net zero plant planned for opening at Inverkip near Glasgow.

Working together, Ardgowan and Briggs are creating a modular distillery, which is being designed to adapt as sustainable technology evolves, ensuring that the distillery will remain at the forefront of sustainability measures.

Briggs, which designs, engineers and builds distilleries around the world, has specifically designed each part of the whisky making process – from mashing to distillation – so that new technologies can be swapped in to ensure that the Ardgowan Distillery will be at the forefront of energy reduction, heat recovery and CO2 capture as new technologies emerge.

The Scotch Whisky Association’s Sustainability Strategy launched in 2021 aims for the sector to reach net zero by 2040 – ten years ahead of the UK Government’s targets.

From the beginning, the new distillery will maximise heat recovery from all steps in the whisky making process and will minimise water usage through the use of closed-circuit cooling loops.

As with any distillery, the distillation process itself is a major user of heat and energy. At Ardgowan technologies such as vapour recompression and heat pumps are planned to drive a significant reduction in energy use.  

The ongoing partnership will explore new advancements in technology which can be adopted at the distillery and will deliver an increasing carbon negative impact from commencement of operations.


George Crombie, engineering director at Briggs, said: “It has been great to work with the Ardgowan Distillery team on a process concept for their new distillery.

“The next phase will now see work commencing on bringing this unique vision to life. We are delighted Ardgowan Distillery are so keen to explore sustainable technologies to build a distillery that meets their production targets in an efficient and sustainable manner.

“Building carbon neutrality along with energy and water reduction solutions is something that Briggs are keen to drive forward and are leading the way in putting sustainability at the heart of the Scotch whisky and distilled spirits industry.”

Martin McAdam, CEO at Ardgowan, said: “It was important to us that the Ardgowan Distillery was not only sustainable by today’s standards, but set-up to lead the way in terms of sustainability across the industry in the future.

“The process with Briggs has been thorough, but we are delighted with the plans that we have designed together and are now excited to put them into place and set a new standard for sustainable distilleries.”

Don Goulding, executive chairman at Distil, which pumped £3m into the distillery earlier this year, commented: “News of the partnership between Ardgowan and Briggs is excellent.

“We are in full support of Ardgowan’s carbon negative ambitions and are delighted that the proposed Blackwoods Distillery will also benefit from these technologies when constructed next year and for years to come.”

Distil owns RedLeg Spiced Rum, Blackwoods Gin and Vodka, TRØVE Botanical Vodka and Blavod Black Vodka, 

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