What did you do before launching 1000 Trades?
I worked in sales for big blue chips in FMCG for 15 years, including what at the time was Constellation Brands - the world’s biggest wine company. Since 2010 I have owned and run a small alcohol and soft drinks distributor and agency and we supply most of the UK's On and Off trade with our own contract packed brands and other brands that we represent and/or import.
What made you decide to establish your own distillery and what's the inspiration behind your gin?
In 2019 I decided that I wanted to not only sell brands but to make some ourselves too. As I enjoy drinking gins, rums and vodka it didn’t take long to work out that a distillery was a great idea. The inspiration for our gin is very much Birmingham as it is such a young, multi cultural and vibrant city.
Can you tell us more about your distillery and the still you use?
Our distillery is quite functional, possibly not the romanticised version of a distillery that many would imagine. What we do have is a great space for our still and all the shiny stainless steel tanks that go with it. We hold all our packaging on site. Most importantly we distil, blend and bottle everything in the distillery. Our still, Beorma (named after the 7th century Anglo-Saxon founder of the city we now know as Birmingham, takes pride of place in the corner with its columns rising up towards the roof.
Can you tell us more about the distillation process and botanicals?
All our gins start in the same way. We use a 96% neutral grain spirit with the chosen botanicals. Each of our flavoured gins has its own distinct recipe to be the best representation of the expression we are making. Our signature gin is zesty with a slight spicy warmth on the finish and once distilled we leave the distillate to settle for 24 hours and then blend out to the correct strength over the following 24 hours. Once bottled, stock is set aside for a brief maturation process of 2 weeks and then it’s ready for sale and most importantly consumption!
What have been your biggest achievements so far with 1000 Trades?
We picked the skyline of Birmingham to feature in our bottle and one of the most recognised is Selfridges in the Bull Ring shopping centre which features on our label. It was great to hit the shelves of Selfridges last year. It's a brand that everyone can aspire to and it was a circular moment.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
Bright, modern, unique.
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
With lots of ice, a large wedge of pink grapefruit and Mediterranean tonic water.
Which gins would you always have on your gin shelf?
Martin Miller's Gin which is a standard. We also enjoy a Monkey 47 Gin too.
What's next for you and 1000 Trades - any exciting plans?
Having just come back from a trade mission to India, it’s definitely export!
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