It happened in August 2018 when Colin was enjoying a gin and tonic with family, in a log cabin on the West Coast of Scotland, whilst on holiday from his job as an NHS GP.
During the early evening, the potential for starting a gin distillery was raised in one of those “conversations with no boundaries” and within five minutes, it crystallised into a text message to Wayne, asking if he wanted to set up a Gin Company.
The positive reply came back within seconds. Believe it or not - but that was how it started. Five minutes to create a business from nothing.
Months went by as the idea crystallised and we decided to find a practical distiller’s course that would tell us not just what to do, but also how to do it, bearing in mind that the two of us had the combined skills of a GP and an electrician (with no distilling experience at all).
Our course attendance was either going to spark our enthusiasm or tell us not to take it the dream further. So we went along with an open mind - hoping for inspiration but knowing that common sense had to prevail if things were not achievable.
The week was worth it – the rest, as they say, is history. Only a month later, Colin put in his cards to retire from the NHS. Truth be told, it was going to happen anyway, but the gin project had ignited an enthusiasm of purpose that had last been felt many years previously.
The Startup & Lockdown
The still was ordered in October 2019, licenced by HMRC and then commissioned on the 17th of March 2020 - the Tuesday of the week of the first National Lockdown.
Using the principle of “Adapt and Overcome” and with fantastic local support, our first months saw the development of a strong and vibrant local community of distillery friends and supporters, soon followed by a nationwide network of aficionados who have helped us through the most challenging business times in living memory.
November saw us the proud recipients of silver medal international awards for two of our gins (Raspberry & Vanilla and Rhubarb and Ginger with a hint of Chilli) quickly followed at Christmas by the success of our gin crackers which took off in a big way.
For the future, we want our customers to appreciate that their voice matters. Flavour suggestions, development ideas and listening to our community is important to us as and such an approach has helped us developed already and will continue to do so.
We anticipate exciting and rewarding times in the years to come, ranging from worldwide export to developing a carbon-neutral footprint for the distillery. Add in our new botanical spiced rums along with our new “Gin Experience” (allowing anybody to become an expert gin distiller for the day) and the possibilities for the future are almost endless.
We would like you to feel welcome in sharing this journey with us.
Colin & Wayne