NEW-ZEALAND – Scapegrace, a New Zealand-based small-batch distiller of craft spirit, has announced its plans to construct the country’s “largest-ever distillery” facility for £13 million (US$16million).

The distillery will be on a 36-hectare facility in Central Otago and is expected to be ready by November 2023

It will produce the company’s entire portfolio of super-premium gin and vodka, alongside an unreleased single malt whisky, with plans to expand its line in the future.

Currently, Scapegrace, which was founded in 2014, produces its drinks at a contract facility and exports its spirits to more than 40 countries worldwide including the UK, the US, and Canada.

The company said the decision on the construction of the facility factored in sustainability, which is an incremental step forward in the company’s quest to eventually become carbon neutral and create a property that enhances the region.

This new facility, which is a work in progress, will contain the new Scapegrace head office, bottling hall, warehouse, and the first barrel room on the first building that is set to be complete in August this year.

Each barrel room will be able to hold almost 2,000 casks of whisky with additional three-barrel rooms planned in the next few years.

The second building, which will contain the distillery, will be completed and open in October of next year.

The distillery will be based on the banks of Lake Dunstan and will use water from New Zealand’s Southern Alps, according to managing director Daniel McLaughlin.

McLaughlin added: “The halfway point between Equator and South Pole runs directly through our distillery site, giving us extremes in hot and cold temperatures – an optimum environment for aging whisky.”

Naturally, the pristine water quality is also ideal for distilling gin and vodka, pulling from glacial run-off from the Southern Alps.”

Scapegrace is planning its own distillery at a time when the combined spirits category in New Zealand is growing steadily and is predicted to be worth US$4.2bn this year, according to GlobalData.

The data analytics and consulting company is forecasting the category will be worth US$5.7billion by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 6.4%.

Whiskey is set to be the biggest spirits category within the segment, with sales of US$2.64bn predicted in 2026, according to the data and analytics company.

While the fastest-growing category is predicted to be ‘Flavored Alcoholic Beverages’, which is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 8.09% between 2022 and 2026.

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