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 round 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 found 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 1. Now, we have moved to a 100x20ft former calf shed, just across the road. The still has also increased in size to 100 litres. We found that our recipes work best by starting with a full compound gin which we filter, then distill in a traditional-style pot still. This produces the bigger, bolder flavours we desire.
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, we’ll take them into the visitor bar. Nowadays, we are producing 6 premium gins and 2 full strength, traditional liqueurs. Depending on the time of year, there will always be a minimum of 5 gins available to taste and discuss.
What have been the biggest achievements so far?
Getting the garden shed licensed was a very proud moment and we have found that our success has inspired others to venture into this world. Every award we achieve encourages us to continue to experiment and innovate and try to be the best that we can be.
How would you describe your gin in 3 words?
Smooth, Bold, Adventurous
What's your favourite way to drink your gin?
With friends, a classic tonic (or soda) and ice.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
Zoe loves her gin martinis created with Fifty Pounds Gin.
What's next for Shed 1 Gin - any exciting plans?
We moved into our new shed in October 2019 and started offering gin experiences in January 2020, so we are already in an exciting phase. We are the only distillery in Cumbria where you can come and make your own gin and through this we hope to play our part in keeping Ulverston and Cumbria on the map.
There are also some interesting collaborations in the pipeline which will involve more foraging of local botanicals. Watch this space!