Managing Director, Isle of Harris Distillers
Simon Erlanger is the managing director of Isle of Harris Distillers, an independent distiller and marketer of gin and single malt Scotch whisky. Since its launch in 2015, the company has created 30 local jobs and boosted tourism on the Outer Hebridean island. It achieved all of this while turning a profit and launching in eight countries.
“This company was started to create local jobs and to act as a catalyst for economic generation for Harris” says Simon. “I think the distillery is already boosting tourism and helping to put us on the map.”
The distillery has won accolades at the 2017 ‘Scottish Gin Awards’ and took top prize at the ’2018 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards’, amongst others. Despite the success, Simon stresses he still has plenty more to learn: “I have a lifelong hunger for learning. The more I know, the more I realise I still have to find out.”
Simon says the biggest lesson he’s learned in this venture is the importance of working together: “When you’re building a distillery on a remote island, the most important thing to do is build a cohesive team of advisors and technicians who can communicate and cooperate effectively with each other.”