William Grant lived in Dufftown, the heart of Speyside. During his early years, Grant worked at the Mortlach Distillery where he learnt about whisky production. In 1886, with the help of his children, William Grant began the construction of the Glenfiddich Distillery. Distillation at the Glenfiddich distillery commenced on the 25th December 1887. Five years later, William Grant acquired the nearby Balvenie distillery. William Grant was instrumental in the advent of single malt whisky; at a time when blended whiskies dominated the market, Grant marketed Glenfiddich as a single malt. The company remains one of the few family-owned spirits brands. Furthermore, William Grant is the third largest producer of Scotch whisky. The company have a number of brands today. Aside from whisky, William Grant produces rum, vodka and beer.