Field-to-Bottle Distiller Arbikie, which is based on Scotland’s scenic East Coast by Lunan Bay, is owned and run by the Stirling brothers, who named their award-winning AK’s Gin after their father, Alex Kirkwood Stirling, who recently passed away after suffering from the disease for a number of years.
The family wanted to celebrate his life and provide an on-going legacy by announcing this charitable donation this month - when he would have been celebrating his 84th birthday.
Alex Stirling farmed at Lunan Bay for over 60 years and built a sizeable mixed arable farming enterprise that provided an ideal base for the development of one of the world’s few field-to-bottle distilleries.
Distilled using honey and wheat farmed at Arbikie, the gin also uses black pepper, mace and cardamom as the other key ingredients.
The Stirling Brothers already have a close relationship with MND Scotland and the Euan MacDonald Research Centre and will be working with these charities to ensure their fundraising helps all of those affected by MND.
Director, Iain Stirling said: “Our family is keen to support the great work already being done by our partners to support, prevent & cure Motor Neurone Disease whilst also celebrating the life of our father Alex Stirling, a humble and hard-working farmer, who along with our mother gave us a great start to our drinks business and inspires us to create a truly world class family of spirits.
"Everything that goes into our drinks is grown by our farming business that was built by our mum and dad, and it just seemed an appropriate way to keep dad’s memory alive and to give something back”.
Professor Siddharthan Chandran, director of the Euan Macdonald Centre at The University of Edinburgh said: “We are immensely grateful to the Stirling brothers for their support of MND research. Celebrating the life of their father in this way provides a wonderful legacy.
"It will help us improve quality of life for the people with MND and support drug trials and help us develop new medicines to treat this devastating condition.”
Iain McWhirter, head of fundraising at MND Scotland, said: “We are delighted that the Arbikie Distillery, and the Stirling family, are making their ‘pledge’ from all ongoing sales of their AK’s Gin to support the work of MND Scotland.
“MND Scotland is the leading Scottish charity providing physical, financial and emotional support to people affected by Motor Neurone Disease, as well as funding ground-breaking research into a cure. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this if it wasn’t for people like the Stirling family helping us reach even higher.
“We have been humbled by the charity spirit of the Stirling family and we’re looking forward to working with Arbikie Distillery to make a big difference in the lives of people affected by MND.”