Scotland's about to get its first "community distillery" and is looking for investors.
If your relatives were whisky-loving Europeans in the late 1600s, there's a chance they sipped Scotch from one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland—called Ferintosh—in the Black Isle area just east of Dingwall. Poet Robert Burns was a fan and even lamented its closing: "Thee, Ferintosh! O sadly lost! Scotland lament frae coast to coast," he wrote in 1785. Today, you and your family could conceivably buy shares in the distillery that will, arguably, take its place.
Locals get a better price: Introductory opportunities for investing in the forthcoming GlenWyvis Distillery start at £250 ($357)—if you live in a nearby postcode. Outsiders have to pony up £100,000 ($142,794) or more to get a piece of the action. More important than the financing is the ambition. The founders want this to be a 100% community-owned facility powered by 100% by green energy.
The construction will, of course, also draw tourists and help revitalize an area that hasn't seen any distilleries in many decades. "It is an opportunity for all social investors to help reinvigorate the historic town of Dingwall," says founding farmer John F. Mckenzie. "GlenWyvis will be built on its whisky heritage, its community ownership and its environmental credentials. We have amazing local resources and will be using only local barley from a farmers' cooperative."
Meantime, the clock is ticking. Construction begins in June and investments must be logged by June 24. The goal: To raise £1.5 million ($2,140,725) and get a first dram out by Burns Night—February 25—in 2017.
[h/t The Drinks Business]