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Metal on demand helps Scottish whisky distillery keep spirits flowing


whisky distilleryMaking great whisky requires skill, precision and years of patience. Much like the technicians at Metal Supermarkets, a master distiller also only uses prime quality materials in their products.

Established in 1885, the North British Distillery Company is one of the largest scotch grain whisky producers in Scotland. North British does not market a brand of its own. They sell their spirits to many well-known brands for blending purposes, including The Famous Grouse, J&B Rare, Johnnie Walker Black Label and Cutty Sark.

The distillation process involves a labyrinth of large machines, cookers and conveyor belts that rivals most manufacturing plants. This intricate system is specially designed to take barley grains through the various stages of distillation and eventually yield pure whisky spirits. Since the process technically involves food preparation and extreme heating of the barley and its byproducts, metal is the required material for distilleries. And there are only four acceptable metals to use in the distilling process: silver, copper, treated brass and stainless steel.

When Frank McCafferty, North British Distillery engineer, needs material for the stills or the surrounding workspace, he calls on the Metal Supermarkets’ Govan store to get the metal he needs to ensure the whisky keeps flowing. McCafferty regularly orders brass rod to make pedestal bearings for a parts used to move cooked barley, or mash, through the distillation process. As he describes it, “the pedestal is like a paddle that moves the mash through the process … picture a giant food mixer.”

Additionally, McCafferty submits regular orders to Metal Supermarkets for general maintenance and parts needs. He may pick up some flat or angled steel bar to repair or create ladders and platforms, or he may order some carbon steel expanded structural grating for walkways along the distillery workspace. “Metal Supermarkets always has what I need. They are very helpful at all times,” explains McCafferty. “And if there is ever a major breakdown at the distillery, then Metal Supermarkets would be crucial toward getting us back up and running.”


Metal Supermarkets

Metal Supermarkets is the world’s largest small-quantity metal supplier with 125 brick-and-mortar stores across the US, Canada, and United Kingdom. We are metal experts and have been providing quality customer service and products since 1985.

At Metal Supermarkets, we supply a wide range of metals for a variety of applications. Our stock includes: mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, tool steel, alloy steel, brass, bronze and copper.

We stock a wide range of shapes including: bars, tubes, sheets, plates and more. And we can cut metal to your exact specifications.

Visit one of our 120+ locations across North America today.

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