Long-Term Program With Barley Farmers A Seed For Fettercairn’s Future

| June 28, 2022

Fettercairn Distillery, along with Bairds Malt, recently launched the new Fettercairn 200 Club, a long-term partnership with Scottish barley farmers all within a 50 miles radius of the Highland distillery.

The partners all call the local Aberdeenshire farming community home.

A statement from Fettercairn notes that as of this summer, members of the 200 Club have committed to supplying the distillery with 100 percent of the barley required to produce Fettercairn Single Malt Whisky.

Fettercairn 200 Club

Fettercairn 200 Club (image via Fettercairn)

The distiller states that this will ensure end-to-end transparency of the highest quality, locally sourced barley.

The launch of the 200 Club is the latest step in Fettercairn’s land management vision for the next century, ultimately enabling the production of its own single origin, single malt whisky.

In line with the push for greater transparency across the industry, the Bairds Malt team is part of the club to help nurture the relationship between the distillery, the land and those that will define the future for whisky made by Fettercairn.

The celebration of partnership also marks the reopening of the Fettercairn Distillery Visitor Center, following closure due to the pandemic and upgrades made while it was closed.

The new visitor center upgrades include an iconic new sculpture, Forest Flow, made by environmental artist Rob Mulholland.

All the new developments follow last year’s unveiling of the Fettercairn Forest, which saw more than 13,000 sessile Quercus petraea and Quercus robur oak saplings planted next to the distillery on the historic 8,500-acre Fasque Estate.

This is work representing a wider commitment by distillery owners Whyte & Mackay to develop a sustainable future for responsibly-sourced Scottish oak.

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Stewart Walker, distillery manager at Fettercairn Distillery, said, “We talk about being progressive and defying convention and the 200 Club truly supports this commitment. Working with local farmers not only supports our vital community, but also ensures the highest quality of locally supplied barley is used in our unique distillation process while truly cementing our relationship with the land. We’re delighted to be looking to the future so positively and today is a landmark for the future of Fettercairn, we cannot wait to welcome our partners and visitors back to the distillery.”

Charlie Strang Steel operates Sluie Farm in Aberdeenshire, less than 15 miles from Fettercairn. There, his family has been farming for three generations in beef as well as wheat, oats and barley. He said he believes the time is right for this new initiative.

“It’s really important to have the distillery using Scottish barley from some of the amazing farms in the area, rather than taking it across the border or in a boat from somewhere else,” Steel said. “We are able to farm to a very high standard in Scottish quality-assured crops, especially as more and more people are looking for local produce. Scottish whisky should use Scottish barley – it’s as simple as that for me and it’s great to support local people and business.”

David Innes and his son Matthew farm 560 acres at Mains of Fordoun Farm growing spring barley, wheat and winter barley, oil seed rape and seed potatoes.

“We’re pretty proud that we’re supplying the distillery, it’s good to know that Fettercairn is using grain coming from the immediate area … true to its nature and the location,” Innes said. “We love the idea that if you give someone a bottle of whisky, you can tell them you helped grow the barley, the raw material. A lot of the time farmers like us don’t really know where our barley ends up. This completes the circle in a really pleasing way and we know we are supporting the local economy too.”

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For more information on Fettercairn and the 200 Club, check out www.fettercairnwhisky.com.

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Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether...