The whole world knows it: Scotland loves the water of life. For decades, whisky-fans have made a pilgrimage here to learn more about the heritage of the Scottish dram, but gin and beer are now having their time in the sun as craft distillers pop up all over the country. But why leave it to the tourists? Here’s some of the best distilleries that you can visit.

1. Glengoyne Distillery, Stirlingshire

Dumgoyne, Near Killearn

01360 550 254

Open every day, tours run from 10am-5pm

Prices vary depending on tour, starting at £11.50 per head

It might be close to Glasgow -being a mere 40-minute drive from the city – but the picture-perfect Glengoyne distillery feels a world away from urban life. Visitors can take a short bus out from the city to greet the enthusiastic Glengoyne guides, who will lead you through both the history of the distillery and what makes it a special dram. Despite being a Highland single malt, Glengoyne doesn’t use peat in the drying process, giving it a noticeably different flavour to some of its Speyside rivals. The distillery also places a particular emphasis on environmental issues: with wastewater redirected to local wetlands, beehives kept on site to help increase honeybee populations, and 100% of their power being sourced from renewable electricity. There are a huge range of tours to suit any level of knowledge - but be sure to check the tour options online as some of them require pre-booking.

2. Ogilvy Vodka, Angus

Ogilvy Spirits, Hatton of Ogilvy Farm, Glamis, Forfar, Angus

01307 840 444

Tours run Friday at 4pm, Saturday at 11am and 2pm and Sunday and 11am and 2pm

£15 per person

Historically made from potatoes, most mass-produced vodkas now use corn or wheat as their base. But Graeme and Caroline Jarron returned to traditional methods for their Ogilvy Vodka, which is produced in its entirety in a potato farm in Forfar. In March this year the couple opened a brand new £150,000 visitor centre at the farm: offering people the chance to learn more about Scotland’s first ever potato vodka. Tours start with a tractor ride through the fields, before heading into the distillery to see how the vodka is cooked, fermented, bottled and labelled. Of course, you get to try some before you go.

3. Macallan Distillery, Speyside

Macallan Distillers, Easter Elchies, Craigellachie, Moray, Speyside

01340 318 000

Tours run every day, times vary (advanced booking recommended)

£15 per person

Only opened last year, the £140m purpose-built Macallan distillery is a far cry from the antiquated distilleries that populate much of Speyside. Its futuristic curves were designed to emulate the surrounding hills, a decision described as ‘ingenious’ by the Royal Incorporation of Architects when they named it one of the ten best buildings in Scotland. It is a visually spectacular distillery to tour around, and there are plenty of lighting effects and high-tech additions to make the experience more interactive. Even if you are used to more traditional distilleries, you won’t be disappointed by Macallan.

4. Edinburgh Gin Distillery

1A Rutland Place, Edinburgh

0131 656 2810

Open every day, from 9:45am-4:45pm (advance booking essential)

Prices vary depending on tour, starting at £10 per head

Edinburgh Gin has been one of the biggest success stories of the Scottish spirits industry in the last few years. After only launching in 2010 it has already proved popular both domestically and internationally, winning various awards for their range of gins and flavoured liqueurs. If you want to learn more about their gin production -and the history of distilling in the city- then there are three separate gin experiences on offer at the west end distillery. The most extravagant is the Gin Making Tour, a three-hour session that gives participants the chance to conjure up their very own gin and then take it home with them to show off.

5. Brewdog DogTap Tour, Aberdeenshire

Balmacassie Drive, Ellon, Aberdeenshire

01358 724 933

Tours run every day, times vary

£15 per person

Like it or loathe it, Brew Dog is now a mammoth force in the world of craft brewing. This tour takes visitors back to where it all began, to the corner of Aberdeenshire where James Watt and Martin Dickie first began micro-brewing in 2007. The visitor experience gives a sense of just how colossal they have become since then: taking you through a 300hl brewhouse and sour beer facility before heading to the DogTap bar for some food (and more beer) if you want. The tour itself – which is pretty good value at £15 for 90 minutes – will show you the firm’s original brew kit and packing lines as well as sampling plenty of beer along the way.

6. Highland Park Distillery, Orkney

Holm Road, Kirkwall, Orkney

01856 874619

Tours run every day at various times

Prices vary depending on tours, starting at £10 per person

You can’t get much more memorable than the Highland Park distillery. Set out on its own in the remote Orkney landscape, it is the most northernmost distillery in Scotland and places a firm emphasis on its Viking roots. This focus on tradition extends to the distilling itself, with even their ‘new’ kiln being more than 100 years old and each batch of malt still being turned by hand. Gimmicks and gadgets this is not.

7. Crafty Distillery, Dumfries and Galloway

Wigtown Road, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway

01671 404040

Open Monday-Saturday, tours run three times per day

£12.50 per person

The location is the star attraction at the Crafty Gin Distillery, with floor to ceiling windows that offer some spectacular views of the Galloway hills. The gin is pretty good too, being made from grain to glass in the distillery using a unique base spirit that the distillery’s founders pride themselves on. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the distillery and a taste of their Hills & Harbour Gin, then unwind in the picturesque Tree Bar and Café. While there, make sure to try the £12 Galloway Picnic: which allows you to help yourself to a range of local cheeses, smoked goods, fresh breads and preserves.

8. Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery, Glasgow

161 Duke Street, Glasgow

0141 202 7145

Tours run every day, various times

£12.50 per person

Fancy craft beer might be all well and good, but nothing will ever rival the cultural affiliation that Scots have for Tennent’s. A visit to its Wellpark Brewery will take you through the 400-year history of the brand, outlining how Tennent’s came to be such an important part of the Scottish drinks landscape. You can marvel at the sheer size of their production facilities -giving some insight into the demand that there is for Tennent’s – before getting a fresh pint poured straight from the tanks.

9. Edradour Distillery, Perthshire

Pitlochry, Perthshire

01796 472 095

Tours run Monday-Saturday, various times

£12 per adult, £6 for those aged 12-17

As the smallest traditional distillery in Scotland, Edradour has a pleasantly intimate feel about it. Visitors are warmly greeted with two drams to sample, before being led around the distillery to admire their small-scale, traditional whisky-making process. The guides are enthusiastic and knowledgeable -and the whisky is excellent- but one of the best things about Edradour is its enviable location in the Perthshire countryside. Be sure to leave enough time to have a walk along the Edradour Burn before your tour.

10. Isle of Harris Distillery, Outer Hebrides

Harbour Street, Tarbert, Harris

01859 502212

Tours run Monday-Saturday at various times (advanced booking is advised)

£10 per adult, £5 for children

If you’ve visited any bar worth its craft-spirit mettle, then you probably will have seen a bubbled Isle of Harris Gin bottle behind the bar. This small island distillery has been steadily making a name for itself among spirits connoisseurs, with a popular gin in wide circulation and a single malt whisky on the way. They describe their Tarbert base as a ‘social distillery’ where they try to help out the wider Harris community, a warmth that is also extended to any visitors who embark on their tours.