Setting the Standard

The global market for whisky has seen amazing growth in recent years and also important ongoing changes with great whisky now being made the world over. One such new category is English whisky which is gaining a reputation for championing quality and flavour. In response to this emerging presence, a group of English distilleries have come together to establish the English Whisky Guild (“EWG”). White Peak Distillery is proud to be one of the 15 founding members of the Guild.

The EWG launches with a vision to showcase and protect the remarkable quality and diversity of the now numerous, unique whiskies that are crafted in England. There are some 40 (and growing) distilleries across England, some of which are just starting up, with the oldest having been established for over 20 years.

The volume of spirit English distilleries produce is forecasted to grow by around 190% from 2019 – 2023.  To-date numerous awards, including World’s Best Single Malt Whisky (2022), have been won by whiskies created and produced in England. The goals of the EWG are to ensure that this high standard is upheld, whilst also encouraging diversity within the sector.

Scotland, Ireland, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have set out specific rules for grain specifications, distilling equipment, cask materials, ageing and labelling to protect their global reputations. The EWG aims to set these benchmarks for English whisky, so the category has an aspirational quality framework within which to evolve.

The EWG has submitted a Geographical Indicator (‘GI’) to DEFRA. The GI will legally define English whisky to ensure consistent, clear standards for all current and prospective distillers. The GI also contains proposals to support other related UK industries, for example, grains used must be both grown and malted in the UK.

The Guild will also strive to nurture a collaborative community of supportive producers who share achievements and learnings for the collective future benefit of English whisky. It will also promote and build the profile of English whisky with drinkers in the worldwide market. We’re looking forward to playing our part in these exciting plans for the future of English whisky.