Barra Barn 'What’s After Gin?' Event - establishing the next big thing and learning about the Gin Industry's staggering success. 

As part of North East Business Week, Elevator hosted an Innovation Event at the amazing new Barn at Barra Castle, looking at ‘What’s After Gin?’. 

We spent the first hour at the event looking at the craft gin revolution hearing from some amazing speakers: 

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Our Hostess with the Mostess, Sarah Stephen welcomed the masses to her new amazing venue and took us through the outstanding journey of turning what once was a beaten down cattle shed into a luxury wedding and corporate events venue. 

Porters Gin ben iravaniWe heard the story of Ben Iravani’s Business Journey from Law student, to Bar Owner, Emerging Entrepreneur before launching Porter’s Gin. Jayne Carmichael Norrie of The Gin Room gave us an insight into the Gin industry which by no means seems to be saturated, certainly between now and 2020 the industry looks to experience an accelerated trajectory.

Ben Iravani of Porter’s Gin accepted his challenge of making a Barra Asparagus Gin Cocktail, which Sarah Stephen has affectionately named AsBARRAgus ;-) 

Ben named the cocktail Worth the Wait if you’d like to re-create this masterpiece yourself this weekend:

Worth the Wait 


10ml juice of Barra asparagus

40 ml Porter's Gin

20 ml Cocchi Americano

15 ml elderflower liqueur

15 ml lemon juice

Top with Soda.


Add all ingredients to shaker. Shake and strain over ice into highball, top with soda. Garnish w/ lemon zest

- Ben

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The second half of our event was an Ideas Factory led by Steve Harrison of Scottish Enterprise.  

Delegates travelled through their groups (named after local Gin companies) following steps within groups to identify what the next BIG thing could be. Ideas generated varied from Meade to Council Run BBQ pods! 

Barra Barn Corporate Event

Members of each group were pushed out of their comfort zone to work on their ideas with other groups and eventually pitch to all delegates at the event - the pitches were outstanding! some amazing ideas had been generated. 

We were extremely fortunate to have the artist, Fiona Chance present throughout the event to create an "art in motion” piece.

The idea behind this is to pose a question on the topic and she is stationed throughout with a flip chart/canvas and create a piece of work from answers formulated in the session. This worked very well as you can see here below - in action, and the finished article. Thank you, Fiona, for sharing your time and talents with us. 

Fiona Chance

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Elevator’s Accelerator Programme Founders participating in the current Cohort were assisting at this event as group facilitators for the Ideas Factory - looking at what might be coming after Gin. 

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Caren Santos of UrPal said:

'''Had a fantastic time, great inspiring event on a fab venue! Well done to all who have organised the event and to the attendees who have contributed to a great atmosphere!"

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Arizona Brodie of Arizona Botaniq said:

What's after Gin was a great event at an absolutely stunning location. The talks were genuinely entertaining and inspiring. Looking around, you could tell that the crowd were engaged and enjoying themselves. 

The ideas factory was an unusual experience but I highly recommend it. It's a bit crazy, a bit out there, it really forces you to think on your feet, but at the end of it all we actually came up with some great ideas that you could very feasibly imagine as viable businesses. Great opportunity to meet people and stimulate some new thinking!  

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Hamish Blythe of Twigd said:

Yesterday was a great event, listening to the progress of those previous ElevatorUK alumni and how they have faired. The IdeaFactory was interesting, enjoyable, and bizarre, some of the concepts conceived were impressive and the way people adapted to the new ideas that were formed added to the enjoyment of the process. In all it was a brilliant time, aided by the cosy fire, coffee, and treats.

Please note that applications for the next Cohort of the Elevator’s Accelerator Programme are open until this Sunday - 30th April 2017. You can apply HERE. 

Sarah Stephen said:

“Thank you to all those who attended the first corporate event at The Barn @ Barra Castle.  We were delighted to work in partnership with Elevator UK on “What’s after Gin? and hear Ben and Jayne’s inspiring stories.   With the new As’Barra’gus cocktail recipe my Friday night G&T will never be the same again”  

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed hosting this event. Big Thank Yous go to:

Our Host: Sarah Stephen of Barn at Barra Castle

Jayne Carmichael Norrie of The Gin Room

Ben Iravani of Porter’s Gin

Steve Harrison from Scottish Enterprise


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Elevator and Business Gateway Team

Caber coffee who provided the coffee

Wilde Thyme

Ten Dollar Shake

Salt & Sauce

Isla Duncan Florist

A Line

Country Flavour

North East Events



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