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Interview: This Scottish couple opening a Craft Rum Distillery

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David and Lara Beach aim to raise £65,000 by the end of the October to begin their dream of owning and operating what will be only the second craft rum distillery in the country.

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Beach Craft Spirits – named after themselves but also their passion for the Moray coast where they live – will be based on the coastline near to their Hopeman home.

David and Lara are crowdfunding to generate the money needed without resorting to bank loans and credit cards and if successful they hope the distillery will be operational by next Spring.

As part of the crowdfunding campaign, Beach Craft Spirits is offering five different exclusive benefits packages for investors ranging from £50 to £1000.

Investors that donate a minimum of £50 will receive a launch party ticket and a 500ml Bottle of Spiced Rum.

Whilst those putting in the top level of funding of £1000 will get a launch party ticket, will be able to turn distiller for the day and will personally bottle a 700ml of the spiced and intense rums, will be given a three year old aged rum in a specially crafted driftwood presentation box, a t-shirt, samples bottles of new flavours, branded glasses and a hoodie, six rum stones and an exclusive 36 Knots beanie in the Beach Craft colours.


Lara Beach said: “We are so excited about launching the crowdfunding and we hope that people will understand our ethos and want to become part of the Beach Craft Spirits journey. It has been so busy the last few months trying to get this up and running. We have sold what we can of our own to get started and we are now ready to move to the next stage. We want people who have a passion for spirits and of course, in particular rum, to get involved. The craft gin market exploded onto the scene a couple of years ago and craft rum is going to emulate this success”

David who has a degree in brewing and distilling with 16 years’ experience in the drinks industry and latterly working for Diageo, a global leader in spirits added: “There is an abundance of local gin distilleries popping up all over Scotland and the United Kingdom offering people a wide range of choice of gins with exciting flavours. The rum market is completely different and is dominated by the mainstream players. We will be proud to become only the second rum distillery in Scotland.”

He added: “Morayshire is also a fantastic hub for craft produce. It already supports five craft breweries, and two craft gin distilleries all within the heart of whisky country. Such support for new and exciting produce, sets Beach Craft Spirits in a prime position for the rum sector in this area.”

Once operational, Beach Craft Spirits intend to launch a trio of rums – a spiced rum, a sloe rum and an intense rum which will be a unique blend of fruit, coffee and liquorice.

The company plans to use local suppliers and companies to ensure the best quality of ingredients as well as specially selected cane molasses which will be distilled in purpose made copper stills.

David added: “This is not a pipe dream or some pie in the sky idea. It has been well thought out and researched. Forecasts show that craft rum sales will explode in the same way as gin has, hence our strapline, ‘It’s a Shore Thing.

Our goal is to create a range of drinks that encompass the beach lifestyle. Beach may be our name, but it’s also where we feel most at home. Our spirits are aimed at people who have a similar vision to us, who like to work hard, but play hard too.”

To find out more about Beach Craft Spirits visit: www.beachcraftspirits.co.uk


After receiving the above press release earlier this month – I was intrigued and wanted to know more. As part of my partnership with The Craft Whisky Club, I chose to interview this inspiring couple embarking on their Rum adventure. And here’s what we discussed:

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What’s your personal relationship with spirits: first sipped – noticeable milestones on your spirited journey, any favourite brand/distillery/expression (whether it is whisky, rum, gin etc…)

Lara: I’m more reserved when it comes to spirits. I enjoy lighter and more fruity tones, although I have been known to try a good whisky. That’s partly why we are looking at launching three different styles of rum. We know that there is a rum out there for everyone. My favourite is our sloe rum.

David: It was a Personal and Social Education class at High School when I first had the idea of getting into the drinks industry. My classmates and I were joking about whilst looking at all the courses we may consider. An off the cuff remark of “you could do brewing and distilling” sparked an interest within my mind. It paired up perfectly with my A-Level courses. That’s when the idea started. I then went on to complete my degree course in distilling and brewing at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. I have not looked back since and continue to look for new and interesting twists on alcohol! There is not a flavour of spirit I don’t like, I choose my spirits depending on a number of factors such as weather, mood, social company, place… Since the years of university have passed, I now understand how much goes into making a quality of a product and how complex flavours can be.


Would you consider yourself as “craft distillers”? Why? Do you the rise of craft distilleries in Scotland (and more largely in Europe) as a threat or an opportunity?

Craft distillers is something that we would consider ourselves to be. We experiment and push forward with different ideas and our drink range will be no different.  We want to challenge the perception of normal flavours. The modern forefront of beers pushes forward the boundary of what is possible with flavours. This is not seen so much within the distilling sector. This is where we aim to make waves… The rise of craft distillers in Scotland and Europe is an opportunity to show people the range of products available and how diverse the sector is becoming. Craft industries especially among breweries are about learning from different companies and sharing ideas, hopefully the craft distillery market will become this too.


Why deciding to finance the distillery through crowdfunding? 

We researched many options. As a new start company especially in distilling it is an expensive mission. We didn’t want to start the business with the prospects of large loans hanging over us. We sold what we could to fund the initial costs and then decided that after talking to many different sources that crowdfunding was a better angle for us to gain funding. It meant people could join in with our story and watch the growth of the business as it unfolds. We took the bold decision not to use a platform when crowdfunding as it essentially meant we would have to raise a lot for funds to be able to pay the platform fees which we felt was unfair for us to put that extra cost on our investors.


How do you see Beach Spirits in 5/10 years time? Any crazy dream you’d like to achieve in the future?

Beach Craft Spirits in five years? We will have expanded the Beach Craft Spirits team with different positions within the distillery. We will have grown and moved into new spirits such as gin, vodka, brandy and liqueurs. We would love to have opened our first Beach Craft Spirits Bar.

Beach Craft in 10 years – World domination. In all seriousness though to have a healthy and sustainable business that is striding forward in the craft distillers movement.

Crazy dream – To get to Barbados and show off our rum and compare notes whilst sitting on the beach.


Will the distillery be open to the public for tours/tastings/experiences? 

Within our crowdfunding tiers that are live just now on our website we are offering the chance for people to come along and bottle their own. Personalised tours of the distillery are also offered with an evening of tasting too. We will be able to offer tours once up and running.


When do you expect the first spirit to flow from your stills and the first bottled expression to be released? 

We are aiming for a launch party to happen in April 2017. This is of course depending on planned timescales being achieved. At the launch party we would have our first rums launched and tastings will commence!


 (Psst! This article has been released under my partnership with The Craft Whisky Club, a Scotland-based spirited start-up aiming at showcasing the best of what craft producers have to offer – delivering artisan spirits and delicacies straight to your doorstep!)

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