What’s in a name? Well, quite a lot in this case, as the change from Eden Brewery to Eden Mill for this St Andrews-based business is a significant one.
Brewing a range of fine local ales only since 2012, Eden Brewery quickly established a following and a huge reputation for the quality of its beers, with brews like their Spring Blonde Ale, Shipwreck IPA and Seggie Porter becoming firm favourites in both bottle and cask. However the ambition and lateral thinking of the Eden team, led by owner Paul Miller and Head Brewer Scott Gowans, could perhaps best be seen in their range of limited edition whisky cask-finished special brews. Carefully produced ales finished in casks from Eradour, Ardbeg and others top distilleries produced uniquely flavoured – and strong – beers that were lapped up by aficionados.
So was the next step the logical one? Last year Paul Miller announced that he had secured planning permission to extend their premises, not solely to up beer production, but to begin distilling with their own range of single malt whiskies and gins.
That makes Eden Mill Scotland’s first – and so far only – all-in-one brewery and distillery, hence that change of name: the new full name being ‘Eden Mill Distillery & Brewing’.
In fact their ex-paper mill premises is a hugely apt location for the new venture, because if you could travel back to the early 19th century you would find distilling and brewing happening on that very site. Eden Mill see their new venture as a revival of ancient traditions, going back to a time when: “tradition, craft and artisanship were revered.” They promise their spirits will be just as high quality and just as rooted in their Fife homeland as their beers, made from “locally, ethically sourced ingredients from our very own, verdant garden or the fecund forests, farms and coastline of Fife.”
Whisky-wise, the focus is on a range of small-batch, hand-crafted single malts aged in the finest casks from Jerez in Spain. Most will have an outrun of just 300 or so bottles – though you can of course purchase your very own cask. Gin lovers will love the exotic botanicals used to distil their crystal-clear, highly aromatic spirits, like red rose petals, marshmallow root, goji berries and whole hibiscus flowers, with some of the flavourings sourced from St Andrews very own Botanical Gardens.
Those tasting the Eden Mill beers or spirits at this year’s Crail Food Festival are in for a treat, but note that Eden Mill will also welcome you on a tour at their facility in Guardbridge, St Andrews, full details on http://edenmill.com/
Author : Tom Cannavan
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