Routes for new brand launches: Contracting out - Ginposium 2022

Charles Maxwell

Charles Maxwell, Thames Distillers’ Master Distiller

Routes for new brand launches – Routes for production of gin as part of funding, marketing, promotion and concept considerations. Production by contracting out of production.

Charles Maxwell’s family has been distilling since the 1680’s. Charles’ knowledge and experience is highly respected around the world. Charles is a great ambassador of gin and, having started his distilling life in his family company, he continues to distil gin at Thames Distillers in London.

1992 saw Charles, in partnership with Tony Chapman buy the stills and bottling line of a small contract packer in Wandsworth which had recently ceased trading. As he says he was going back to his roots, but had bought the ability to produce gin, and the cost of doing so without a customer in sight – not quite the suggested business school method!

However over the next thirty years through several highs and lows the business developed into Thames Distillers now one of the UK’s most recognised independent gin and spirit drink recipe developers and producers. Notable brands it is associated with being: Ford’s London Gin / Fifty Pound London Gin / London No.1 Gin / Portobello Road Gin / Hotel Chocolat Cacao Gin and Salted Caramel Vodka Liqueur / Oxley London Gin / Thunder toffee Spirit Drink / Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Kings Ginger Liqueur.

Charles is a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, sits on its Court and is a member of the Industry Committee, he is also one of the founding directors of the Gin Guild and a judge for the IWSC (International Wine and Spirits Competition). Charles’s son George has recently joined him at Thames Distillers to keep the gin blood line flowing! Charles was the first and much deserved recipient of the Gin Guild Lifetime Award.