Workshops Whisky is a division of Kenny Beverages Limited (est 1976) originally servicing the need for bulk “post-mix” soft drink dispensing systems in hotels and clubs. Managed by father and son team Douglas (Doug) and Anthony Lawry, we operated very successfully in this sector competing against Coca Cola, Pepsi (DB Breweries) , New Edition and Fountain Softdrinks.
Bulk wine dispensing systems with Penfolds was also an early part of our operations. The soft drink syrup supplies and cordials business required bottling and this saw the company commision automated bottling plant systems. Interest from various wineries led to contract wine bottling and carbonation services. (NZ14 registered wine bottlers)
The 2011 Christchurch earthquakes saw the end of the post-mix business and enabled us to focus on contract bottling of wine, pure water, soft drinks and Whisky. Doug’s very capable hands and engineering talents, and some redundant equipment in the form of tanks and ancillary pumps etc, allowed us to explore a long held curiosity to produce Whisky. Doug got down to building an 800 litre copper pot still, mash tuns, fermenting tanks and the necessary steam heating plant.
Our first spirit was produced in 2012 and feedback from Greg Ramsay (NZ Whisky Co) , Bill Lark (Lark Distillery), and Michael Fraser-Milne (Whisky Galore) , encouraged us to pursue the dream. It became obvious pretty soon that one 800 litre pot still would not produce commercially viable quantity’s and so a second stripping still was built and commissioned in 2013.
The brand Workshops Whisky represents the past history of our distillery location , the former Addington Railway Workshops, and the endeavour of our distillery construction.
Our vision and passion is to create superior single malt New Zealand whisky utilising locally sourced New Zealand barley, malting, and pure water, all in our hand crafted stills. The father and son partnership in this venture ensures that the vision will come to fruition with upcoming releases of barrel aged spirit.