On March 4, 2020, Sêr SAM got together for a team away day to the Penderyn Distillery located in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons, South Wales. The group spent the afternoon learning about the history of the Penderyn Distillery and how their world famous whiskey is made. The tour was very informative and highly interactive. Group members were taken through the distillery by a guide and walked through the process involved in making whiskey from the brewing of the beer used in the distilling process (brewed on site), viewing the stills that the Penderyn Distillery charges with their own malted barley wash, learning about the spirit safe where the distilling spirits are drawn from after evaporation, to the barrels that Penderyn ages their whiskey in and the history behind them. The guide spent a lot of time explaining the science behind distilling whiskey and answered the questions group members had about the environmental sustainability of the business (for example, the distillery recycles their spent grain by giving it to local farmers). At the end of the tour, the group was able to sample and shop Penderyn’s wide range of whiskeys. Here are some highlights from group members when asked what their favourite part of the afternoon was:
Rhian: “For me it was seeing how interested all of the group were in the science behind the processes.”
Greg: “Seeing a successful business being set up in Wales was great [as well,] seeing them doing well in an industry that is dominated by other regions (Ireland, Scotland) was very encouraging.”
Heather: “I liked viewing the stills, and learning more about the differences in Whiskey barrels and how the type of barrel adds to the character of the final product.”
Due to the current world circumstances, we are unsure as to when our next in person away day will be, but we are keeping in regular contact and hanging out lots using online platforms. Until that day comes, we have the Penderyn Distillery to thank for a fun and informative afternoon!