Looking back at Ludlow Food Festival: Kirkwood Distillery Launch

Launching at this year’s Ludlow Food Festival, Kirkwood Distillery is a new local spirts company based in Stanton Lacy.

Buy-From Shropshire caught up with Scott Kirkwood at the festival to chat about the business launch. 

“It’s been a wonderful morning,” Scott tells us. “People are very complimentary so far.” 

From the initial planning of Kirkwood Distillery’s finances and products, as well as the building of the distillery, the business has been two and a half years in the making. 

“It’s interesting, starting a spirits business. You plan for several years but you don’t quite know what you’re going to get until the first of it drops out of your still,” he says. “It’s a bit like planning a fancy dinner party for two years, but you can’t taste it until five minutes before you serve. 

“But I’ve been very happy… we’re two and a half years in and I’m finally at the starting line.” 

Festival visitors have been reacting particularly positively to the company’s vodka so far, which Scott describes as having “a bit of a flavour and a sweetness to it” from the local barley that it’s made with. 

With some of the drinks on their stand made as recently as last Monday, Kirkwood Distillery plans to continue making, testing and improving their products to create the best quality spirits possible. Particularly with their gin, they are keen to hear people’s feedback and continue to develop it. 

“We wanted local people to have a say in what the local gin tastes like,” Scott says, adding “people have been very happy with it so far”. 

Looking forward, Scott plans to keep the distribution local as they are a small distillery. In terms of their products, however, he says, “we’re going to see where the seasons take us.”