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The North in figures – the boom in distilleries leads to “ginaissance” UK News

A resurgence of gin – dubbed “ginaissance” – has led to a continued boom in distilleries across the North.

Dan Walsh, the maker of Rascal Gin in Liverpool, cut his teeth with the event company Gin Festival, where he worked from 2014 – right at the start of the gin boom.

Speaking to Annie Gouk, host of The North in Numbers, he said: “They were setting up an online event and selling thousands of tickets, selling venues 10 times as many, in a matter of hours – just to have some gin. in the title.

“Gin was on a spike, it was unprecedented madness. It was such a big phenomenon, and it continues.

The North in Numbers podcast tells the human stories behind various statistics for the north of England.

This episode takes a look at the distilleries explosion seen across the North, featuring industry experts as well as gin brands and artisan distillers from across the region.

Listen now:

Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that between March 2010 and March 2020, the number of distilleries in the North exploded from about 15 to closer to 125.

Most of this growth has been observed since 2015, with the number more than quadrupling in the past five years alone.

This increase is largely due to a resurgence in popularity of gin, the drink overtaking whiskey and more recently vodka to become the most popular spirit in the UK.

PitWheel Distillery in County Durham is a small distillery with a story to tell about their area.

Derrick Rickard, who started selling gin with his family from the comfort of their own home in June 2020, said: “Personally, I wasn’t in the mines, but my family – my brother, my dad, my big -father – were all minors.

“We thought about the legacy of where we are, mining and the wheels of the mine. Locally, each village has its own pit wheel monument where the coal mines were actually located.

“So we drove around the northeast looking at different things and thought that might work out very well for us. We are just trying to preserve that heritage.

The connection to their region has proven to be successful, with a massive response from locals – and their gins also had national recognition at the London Spirit Competition.

It is these local connections and the attention to flavor that have allowed gin and the number of distilleries to continue to grow, although many have long predicted that the boom could not continue.

And the pandemic hasn’t slowed it down – as the coronavirus made the year difficult for business, gin and the number of distilleries continued to grow.

Flavored gin in particular has played an important role in the growth of the spirit, with this category now accounting for around 40% of all gin sales.

Liam Manton, who launched Didsbury Gin in Manchester in 2017 with co-founder Mark Smallwood, said: “I think consumers are curious about everything that is considered trending, and they will always want to push and explore.

“It has certainly been driven by consumer demand rather than brands bringing products to market.

“You just have to look at the supermarket shelves and bar menus – there is a very good variety of gins and flavored spirits.”

Didsbury Gin in Manchester

Growth has also been driven by developments in technology in the field, which have made it possible to have smaller stills in smaller spaces – resulting in an increase in microdistilleries.

Indeed, nearly 90% of the distilleries in the North are what the ONS defines as micro-enterprises – those with less than 10 employees.

This was also made possible by the easing of restrictions on gin production just over ten years ago.

Due to its reputation as a “mother’s ruin” in the 18th century, the Gin Act of 1751 prevented small-scale, home-based gin production by restricting it to larger distilleries.

These rules were relaxed thanks to lobbying from the makers of Sipsmith, who were granted a license to produce gin in 2009, opening the door to other smaller gin distilleries – although the company has since moved on to larger production. ladder.

But with so many new gin makers launching every year, brands have to work hard to stand out.

Miles Beale, Managing Director of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “One of the things that’s probably pretty obvious about gin is that it’s generally clear, so you’ll have to make it interesting in a slightly different way.

“It’s definitely about the flavor, it’s how you pair it, and it’s especially about local inspiration.

“Gin is still doing well because these new stories and local color continue to add flavor beyond the palate.”

The latest national figures from HMRC, obtained by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association via an FOI request, reveal that across the UK, a record number of distilleries were registered in 2020.

The number increased by 28%, from around 440 in 2019 to more than 560 in 2020.

Gin Castle Hill …

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This notice was published: 2021-07-19 11:44:43

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