What did you do before creating your distillery and gins?
Andy is a professional actor and has been for 25+ years. He has toured all around the UK and beyond, working mainly in theatre but also on the small screen.
Zoe started her work career as a special paint finisher before moving to Japan, just for a year, to be an English teaching assistant. The year turned into 7 and Japan turned into South Korea, where she met Andy who was performing at Seoul National Theatre with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre!
What made you decide to start a distillery?
When we started compounding for fun, we realised we enjoyed bolder flavours that we couldn't generally find in other gins. We could also see potential for us to spend more time in the beautiful county we live in, rather than having to work away. Once we looked into it as a business, we realised that we could fit a small (25 litre) still in one of our garden sheds, thus keeping start-up costs low, and so we decided to go for it!
Can you tell us more about the distillery and distillation?
We started in our 7x7ft shed in our garden. Having two sheds gave us the name as the still went into Shed One. We moved to The Old Calf Shed, 100x20ft, just across the road on Ulverston’s Auction Mart. Our traditional-style pot still is 100 litres and we don’t have any plans to increase in size. We found that our recipes work best by starting with a full compound gin which we filter, then distil. This produces the bigger, bolder flavours we’ve become known for.
What can visitors expect when they come to the distillery for a tour or gin experience?
They can expect a welcome G&T in a relaxed atmosphere. We’ll show visitors the distillery and talk about the process and our story. Then, it’s back into our stylish and relaxing visitor bar. There are always at least 5 gins available to taste and discuss, then guests can choose their favourite for a second G&T. We keep public groups to around 15. It makes it more personal and gives everyone a chance to ask questions.
For our Make Your Own Gin Experiences, we have a maximum of 6 stills so that guests are guided through every part. It’s a good 4 hours of tour, chat, guidance and giggles! While everyone’s gin is being distilled, we serve scones and sweet treats. And talking of sweet treats.., Zoe has created a botanical-inspired Afternoon G&Tea (with Distillery Tour). Using botanicals found in our gins, our scones and sweet treats include coriander, cardamom, lime, rose, meadowsweet and more.
For the ultimate gin experience, Shed One is licensed for weddings, up to 30 guests. Plus, we specialise in Gin Elopements, where you can get married and then spend the afternoon making your very own wedding day gin. We, Andy & Zoe, host all our gin experiences with the help of our Gin Elf and Botanical Pixie.
What have been the biggest achievements so far?
In 2023 we were awarded our fourth “Environmental Sustainability” Award by The Gin Guide, as well as being named the Icons of Gin “Best Visitor Attraction”, and Cumbria Tourism’s “Experience of the Year” (for our MYOGin). From starting in our garden shed only a few years before, these achievements and the recognition for all our hard work, through some crazy times, has been wonderful.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
Premium, distinctive, bold.
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
With friends, a classic tonic and ice.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Beefeater Gin is always a go-to. Perfect for a classic G&T and great for Gin Martinis.
What's next for Shed 1 Gin - any exciting plans?
Our “Ulverston” gin incorporated locally-foraged botanicals and we worked with charity and community groups. Part of every sale was donated to charity through our Marmalade Fund. Due to that, we have forged a closer relationship with Ford Park Kitchen Garden and we are using their botanicals to make our gins and to create a special gin for them. Plus more bespoke gin collaborations including working with a Masterchef Champion, an award-winning restaurant and a castle!
We’re also showcasing local artisans with our “Crafternoons and Gin”. From abstract printing to candle-making and all things in between, we feel privileged to be able to support these talented people and give them a space to share what they do. We continue to research and implement green initiatives as well as giving talks, writing blogs and supporting others’ environmental sustainability commitments.
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