Chicken shed micro-distillery wins Shed of the Year

By James Evison

- Last updated on GMT

Chicken shed micro-distillery wins Shed of the Year

Related tags Scotland

A micro-distillery set up by Scottish-based Crossbill Gin, which is placed in a converted chicken shed, has just won Channel 4's Shed of the Year. 

The £500 renovation boasts a bar made from an upcycled part of an old chapel, a drinking parlour furnished with vintage armchairs, a shop and of course the gin distillery. The shed saw off competition from 2,520 other sheds to win the title.

The shed is placed in Inshriach forest in the Cairngorms National Park, which is one of the few places in the UK with an abundance of native wild juniper. By locating the distillery within the national park, Crossbill has the ability to place the freshly picked juniper into their still within five minutes.


Crossbill claims to be the first Scottish gin produced from 100% locally sourced juniper and rosehip. 

Taking its name from the Scottish Crossbill, a bird native to the Highlands, Crossbill’s micro distillery releases small batches of gin each year. Each batch is reflective of the distinctive properties of the hand-picked wild juniper.

Crossbill is currently working with the Forestry Commission and in reviving Scotland’s juniper production.


Estate owner Walter Micklethwait said: “We hope the recognition by Shed of the Year inspires others with a similar passion and drive. This award demonstrates that great things can come out of small spaces. All that is needed is a good idea, a lot of creativity and some basic DIY skills.”

Crossbill’s founder Jonathan Engels said: “This has been a passion project for me. I’d always been interested in reviving Scottish juniper harvesting to produce a truly Scottish gin. The forests of Inshriach provided us with the best conditions for cultivating a sustainable supply of wild juniper.

"I saw no reason to set up a distillery in a big city when we could set up shop right in forest, next to our precious juniper. No other distillery can pick their juniper and get it in the still in the time it takes to make a cup of tea.”

Related topics Spirits & Cocktails

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