There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.
(‘Now’, Hugh Laurie).
In mid-2016 we had no premises, no partners or staff, no permits or consents, nowhere near enough funding and no track record in the drinks & spirits industry. But I had a dream that I’d been carrying for years, of making whisky and other spirits in Derbyshire. I was fortunate to find some investors who liked my ideas, I met two great distillers and I found the perfect premises. I decided I’d reached my now.
White Peak Distillery is Derbyshire’s first full-scale craft distillery, making award-winning whisky, gin and rum with a proud Derbyshire provenance.
Founded in 2016, we’re still close to the beginning of our whisky journey. We released our first Wire Works Whisky in February 2022 and we’ve been humbled by the response. We’re really excited for the future, with plenty of whisky releases planned throughout the year.
We look at every strand of the whisky making process in our pursuit of flavour. To create our Wire Works Whisky, we use local brewer’s yeast, combined with an uncommonly long fermentation for a distinctive new make spirit with character before it goes into a cask.
At the beginning there was no single event or grand decision. We had a dream that evolved and a plan (the plan changed – a lot). A collection of events, conversations, chance meetings and genuine interest from lots of people meant that with every small step, it felt like we could make the Distillery a reality.
‘Where’ was never in doubt. Derbyshire and the Peak District were at the heart of the dream from the beginning. We just needed to find the right location which we were fortunate to do early on. The former Johnson & Nephew wire works by a river and in an ancient woodland is an amazing location, with a rich history, so much so that the valley in which we make our spirits was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 2001 . Everything we’ve done in the realisation of the Distillery and our spirits always comes back to our location – from the visitor experience to the yeasts we use in our whisky and the botanicals we use in our gins. Once we’d made a start we never looked back. Once we had our home, the belief and momentum started to build and continues today.
Our small, dedicated team is at the heart of our Distillery. They craft our whisky, gins and rum with care, and they mature, bottle and label them on site. Every member of our team is passionate about what we do – making spirits the proper way, with honesty and endeavour.
The community of people we’ve gathered along the way are important to us. Those that worked at this site before us felt the same and we carry this tradition forward. We want to take people with us on this journey with us, and we do that in various ways, through our Temperance Club, Crowdfunding and through regular community events, like our litter picks.