What did you do before creating Stockport Gin?
Cheryl was a self-employed hairdresser, but had to give this up within 3 months of launching Stockport Gin as there just weren’t enough hours in the day. Paul worked for a large Architects practice in Manchester. However, after almost 20 years there, he left his job in Jan 2021 to join Cheryl working full time on Stockport Gin as the business had grown to the point we both now knew this is what we wanted to do full time!
What made you decide to create your distillery and gins?
We’ve always had a shared passion for Craft Gin and always loved to try the local gin wherever we went. Whenever we asked for a local gin in Stockport though there was never anything on offer. Everywhere seemed to have their own gin – apart from Stockport! Stockport is a town that is definitely on the up, and has a huge number of craft gin enthusiasts. We said for a long time ‘somebody should make a Stockport Gin’ …but nobody did, so we did!
What's the distillery like and can you tell us about the distillation process?
We first launched our gin in March 2019 and distilled from our garage at home which was converted to a mini distillery. However, since then the business has grown and in July 2021 we moved into our new distillery in the heart of Stockport Town Centre. This is where we now distil, bottle label and distribute all our gins from as well as having a shop and hosting tours of the distillery and other events!
We use a 100 litre stainless steel column still and are involved in every step of the process, including foraging pine from our local country park, distilling, bottling, labelling, delivering, and of course taste testing!
What can gin lovers experience if they visit your distillery?
At our town centre distillery, we offer tours where we invite people in to hear all about us and what we do. On arrival guests receive a G&T before hearing all about the history of gin plus the story of Stockport Gin. Then, after receiving a second G&T they are taken through to the distillery where we show them where and how all our gins are made. There is then a chance to sample our full range of gins too!
Can you tell us more about your gin range?
Our main aim for our gins was to make a range of gin that we love in the hope that others do too. We have what we call our ‘core range' of gins which include 2 dry gins (our Original Edition and Twist of Lime Edition, a flavoured gin (our Pink Edition), and a Navy Strength Gin (our Gunpowder Edition).
All of our gins have a citrus element to them but are all completely unique in their own way. Then we like to add limited edition seasonal gins to the range throughout the year that allow us to experiment with new flavours and botanicals!
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
Certainly, the challenge of starting our own distillery was bigger than we could have ever imagined! However, we’ve loved every second of it so far. In terms of achievements, we’ve been lucky enough to win a number of awards for all our gins, including our Twist of Lime Edition being named 'Best in Britain 2022' in The Gin Guide Awards! But our biggest achievement by far is the growth that’s allowed us to move from our garage to our new town centre distillery and make the move to both working full time at the distillery, which as we say, we absolutely love!
How would you describe your gins in 3 words?
Smooth, Fresh and Citrusy – if citrusy is even a word?!
What's your favourite way to drink your gins?
Normally in a classic G&T. Lots of ice, a good premium tonic and the perfect garnish to compliment the gin. We are partial to a cocktail too! Paul loves a Negroni - Cheryl isn’t a fan of them though and much prefers something like a Bramble or Gimlet.
Which gins would you always have on your gin shelf (other than your own of course!)?
We still love to try new gins from people we meet at shows and festivals so we never really have a regular gin on the shelves. We do love the gins by Tarsier, Shed 1 and Locksley Distilling though!
What's next for Stockport Gin - any exciting plans?
Our plan is to keep doing what we love doing, for as long as we can! We have a list of new products we want to start looking at launching… but they’re all top secret at the moment! Last summer we also opened our upstairs event space, named The Loft @ Stockport Gin. We use that to host a wide range of events to bigger audiences than our distillery tours which has been a huge success so we want to keep adding new events. The big plan though is to open our Gin School here, which we are hoping will finally happen in 2024… watch this space!
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