As much as part of the city as a stick of rock, Brighton Gin recently hosted a party to celebrate moving into a new distillery premises. Nick Mosley talks to founder and managing director Kathy Caton about the expansion and plans on the horizon this year.
It’s hard to believe that Brighton Gin has now been around for ten years. From a crazy idea formed on a morning-after-the-night-before jog on the seafront, Kathy Caton has created one of the city’s most iconic and recognisable brands.
With production increasing, the team have been on a hunt for a larger premises for several years. Despite being gazumped on three occasions, they finally landed on a new site just up the road from their original distillery in Portslade.
“We've been bursting at the seams for years”, said Kathy. “There is a heck of a lot of bulky stuff involved in what we do such as pallets of empty bottles, 25kg sacks of juniper and never-ending cardboard boxes for packing. It all takes up a lot of room”.
“With all of the well-publicised supply chain issues and the huge spike in prices caused by global events, we've needed to take on more space to ensure we can keep the supplies of Brighton Gin flowing”.
Spread over two floors, the new premises is considerably larger than their previous one.
“Even better, our new site has lots of windows – after the last 6 years in a windowless unit, it's a delight. All of the natural light here has to be good for us mentally and physically”
The company is still retaining the old site to help accommodate their growth.
“By keeping hold of our previous site for storage and moving in to the new premises, we have the capacity to not only bring on new products when the time comes, but massively increase our production capacity. We're working hard on building our export markets and as those orders hopefully increase from single pallets to multiple ones, we need the space to build those up and to be able to safely run the stills too”.
The team are always keen to welcome visitors to the distillery whether it’s just to say “hello” or to refill bottles with gin. Exciting plans for 2022 include expanded distillery tours every Saturday.
“We're loving running our distillery tours at the new site and they're a much more comfortable experience for our guests. We've got some exciting plans on guest experiences too”.
The business has grown not only locally and nationally in hospitality and off-licences – including a recent listing with a nationwide pub group – it’s also making waves in international markets with 12% of turnover being generated overseas and forthcoming launches this year in Canada and Taiwan. Brighton Gin is also in a number of European markets including Scandinavia, Germany and The Netherlands.
“We’re really excited to be showcasing at a number of trade shows and consumer events in The Netherlands this Autumn including an international chef exchange gin-themed dinner with talented chef Caspian Armani from Isaac At during The Hague Cocktail Week in October”.
“We're on a mission to take the Spirit of Brighton to the world”.