Gin is the new tonic for business growth

A new generation of boutique gin distilleries – some in residential homes – is driving a British gin revival.Gin is the new tonic for business growth
London is in the midst of a craft distilling revival.

New microdistilleries can be found in residential houses – such as Sacred Spirits, based in London’s sedate Highgate. And they’re tucked away in terraces – such as gin and vodka makers Sipsmith in Hammersmith.

These new distillers are a far cry from the back-street operators who turned out rough booze in the 19th Century.

The gory excess of London’s spirit craze at that time was gruesomely portrayed in the artwork of George Cruikshank and William Hogarth – whose print Gin Lane depicts dead babies, binge-drinking children and starving alcoholics.

It is not exactly a refined image of alcohol – but despite this, some of today’s gin makers still take a measure of inspiration from the past.

“We try to reflect the old school way of distilling, which is known as one-shot,” says Sipsmith co-founder Sam Galsworthy.

He proudly shows off Prudence – distillers traditionally give their stills female names. She is an impressively gleaming room-sized copper machine, but she could easily fit several times over in just one of the stills used by bigger spirits brands.

“We do not blend, we do not make a concentrate,” Galsworthy says.

“People are drinking less, but they are drinking better. If they’re going to have a gin and tonic, they’re going to have a better gin and tonic, they’re just going to have it less frequently.  That is one of the indicators that will happen in a recession.”

These new companies are operating in a tough economic climate, but even more surprising is that some are thriving in a stable-to-declining market for gin, one that is dominated by big brands with marketing clout.

Since Sipsmith opened up the first new copper-pot distillery in London for nearly two centuries – requiring the issuing of a special licence – at least half a dozen more distillers have opened up elsewhere in the capital, some in the most unlikely places.

January 5, 2012  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Building Businesses, Business Development, Business Growth, Business Sales, Business Win, Growing Businesses, Uncategorized

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