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The Craft distilling movement - Ginposium 2014

Mark Gamble

Mark in his presentation will give his perspective of Craft distilling and what he considers to be a micro distillery. He will look at the American model and compare it to the current UK craft movement offering reasons why it will be difficult under current UK restrictions to match the full craft achievements of the American Craft distilling movement.

Mark will also provide an insight to becoming a Craft distiller, using his own experience as an example. He will briefly outline the various stages of the process before any still can be purchased and the various routes to the UK craft Gin market.

 

The Craft Gin Distiller profile.

  • 1 Entrepreneurial
  • 2 Innovative
  • 3 Passionate about Gin –your Gin

 

Some background history. UK v USA

  • 1726 – Estimated 1500-2000 stills making Gin in England – Mostly illegal
  • By 1760 after the final Gin Act of 1751 most had closed
  • 1890 – Estimated 5000 distilleries in the U.S.
  • By 1933, after prohibition, only 8 distillers in operation legally

 

The start of the Craft Movement

  • 1970 – Micro-brewing starts in the UK.
  • This quickly spreads to America. The Micro Distilling movement in U.S. starts in 1982
  • Craft Distilling, Micro-distillery terminologies are adopted.
  • 2008 – First UK Craft UK Gin distillery based on the American Craft model

 

UK Gin distillery openings 2008 -2014

  • 2008 – 2
  • 2009 – 1
  • 2010 – 1
  • 2011 – 1
  • 2012 – 5
  • 2013 – 11
  • 2014 – 15 projected, with 8 now open

 

Where we are today

  • Around 30 Craft Gin distilleries in the UK – In 7 years
  • Estimated 100 Craft Gin Distillers in America (out of 400 craft distilleries) – In 30 years
  • UK has 1/5 of the population – We now have more Craft Gin distilleries per head of population than U.S.
  • 30 UK : 20 US per 65 Million people.

 

Credentials to be Craft Distiller in a Micro Distillery

  • Independently owned
  • Product is physically distilled on-site
  • Bottled on-site
  • Maximum Still capacity? – 450 litres?
  • Producing a limited amount? – 600,000 bottles (50,000 month or 2500 day)
  • Using a combination of traditional and innovative techniques to produce quality products.

 

Industry marketing buzz words

  • Craft Distilled
  • Handcrafted
  • Artisanal
  • Small batch
  • Triple distilled

 

Process to start up a Craft Gin Distillery.

  • Apply for a Premises Licence.
  • Obtain a Personal Licence
  • Register as a Food establishment
  • Apply for a Rectifying Licence
  • Submit an Excise entry list
  • Register with the duty stamp scheme
  • Get a trade facilities status
  • Apply to be a warehouse keeper
  • Apply for duty deferment

 

Challenges for the Craft Distiller

  • HMRC
  • Trading Standards
  • Marketing and Brand Building
  • Distribution
  • Increasing competition
  • Scalability