A Wet Week At White Peak

Heavy rains visited Derbyshire last week, bursting the banks of the River Derwent and flooding much of Ambergate, including White Peak Distillery.

Heavy rain last week has caused mayhem up and down the Derwent Valley with widespread flooding that has seen Derbyshire in the national news.  Sadly, many local businesses including White Peak Distillery didn’t come out of this unscathed although we have to say that we feel lucky compared to others.

The Distillery is located on the banks of the River Derwent at the former Johnson & Nephew Wire Works in Ambergate, nestled in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. If you have been following the news, much of the land around A6 that runs through the valley was subjected to severe flooding when the river burst its banks in several places.

For anyone who has visited us at the distillery, you will recognise that this is our car park!  When we finally managed to make it across the river last Friday, this is the sight that greeted us, which didn’t bode well.

Fortunately, although we had river water flowing through the building, we managed to get anything perishable off the floor before the River Derwent flooding hit its peak at midday on Friday. None of the distillery equipment was damaged and, vitally importantly for us, our maturing whisky casks were kept safe.

We have spent much of the time since the flooding cleaning up the inside of the building and have been overwhelmed with how many good wishes have been coming in following the news, so have been glad to be able to report that the team, the Distillery and all our stocks are OK.

We have been left with a few challenges though, as the Edwardian-era bridge that leads over the river to the distillery sustained flood damage from fallen trees, and has had to be closed to vehicles for the foreseeable future.  So we’ve put on our thinking caps in order to get public access up-and-running again!

The local cricket pitch in Ambergate

For our Distillery Shop, we have put in place a plan for a pop-up shop in a building off the main car park as you turn off the A6 into the Wire Works i.e. the other side of the river.  We are now busy setting up the pop-up and getting the signage erected so that visitors will easily be able to find us.  We plan to have the temporary shop fully open by the 23rd of November, from which you’ll be able to buy our usual selection of gins, glassware and other items.

Unfortunately we had to cancel tours on 8th and 9th November as there was no way of accessing the distillery, but we will be largely back to normal in time for this Saturday’s planned tours on 16th November. Please note though that for this weekend and for the foreseeable future, if you are booked on a tour, we ask that you arrive aim to arrive at least 20 minutes before advertised tour start time – this is so we can get you safely across to the distillery.  Please also note that sign-in for our tours will now be at our new pop-up shop, from where we can take you under cover through the internal workings of the former Wire Works to the distillery – consider it an extra adventure in the tour!

If you have any questions about visiting us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01773 856918 or by email on info@whitepeakdistillery.co.uk