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Cameron and June McCann

Stirling Distillery has seen online sales increase by 250% over the past year, thanks to the success of its virtual drinks experiences.

When the nation went into lockdown in March 2020, the company’s distillery tour, shop and gin school were all temporarily closed, forcing founders June and Cameron McCann to rethink their business model. They decided to create a virtual drinks package and virtual distillery tour, while also offering live Zoom tastings for those who wanted a way of connecting with friends, family or colleagues.

The distillery has also launched three new products over the past year – Stirling Pink Gin, its Sons of Scotland whisky range and Tropical Triumph liqueur. Steeped in local history, these products have all contributed to a sharp rise in online orders.

The family-run business has enjoyed great success with its live tastings, hosting over 45 in December alone – with nine in a single day. Those taking part include friends, colleagues or family members wanting to meet up virtually to share a drink, companies wanting to host clients, and even virtual hen parties. Customers have spanned the globe, with orders coming not only from Europe but also the US, Australia and Singapore.

Over the past year it has established partnerships with various online retailers including Master of Malt, The Sample Guys, Craft 56, Drop24, and the Craft Bottle Shop. It has also teamed-up with local companies to provide traditional Scottish products including glasses by Angel Share Glass, Stirlingshire tablet from Johnston’s and Chrystals shortbread alongside its gin and whisky in a bid to promote other local Scottish businesses. The distillery also creates bespoke seasonal gift bundles throughout the year, including Valentine’s, Father’s Day and Easter gift sets.

The distillery recently announced that its annual whisky and gin festivals – cancelled in 2020 – will be going ahead in the autumn, run by its events company Stirling Spirit Co.