Kent Spirit of the Year 2021: George Bishop London Dry Gin by The Maidstone Distillery
Learn how Maidstone Distillery make their business sustainable
Maidstone Distillery is situated in the historic, beautiful setting of the Market Buildings, in the heart of the county town.
Maidstone has a fascinating history of distilling dating back to the 18th Century, and spanning 250 years. This history played out on an international stage involving two significant families and their distilleries. This legacy inspired us and is central to our brand and flagship spirit, George Bishop London Dry Gin.
Our distillery was incorporated in 2018 and after 2 years of planning, opened during the pandemic in 2020. We are a visitor destination where visitors can learn about the history behind us, see our production methods and enjoy hand crafted spirits next to the still that made them.
We currently manufacture three spirits with all processes completed on site, and we run Tours and Experiences such as Guided Gin Making. Our George Bishop Gin is award winning, taking a silver medal at the prestigious 2020 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The ambition behind the product is to do justice to the legacy of George Bishop who was the founding father of the original Maidstone Distillery and his celebrated Maidstone Gin of 1785. A homage to him, the resulting gin is bold, complex and distinctively smooth.
A perfect balance of 15 exotic botanicals, warm Mediterranean orange combined with delicate spice. Sweet citrusy notes from coriander and peels are balanced with the tangy piquance of tellicherry pepper, ambrette and perfumed chamomile. Each bottle is finished by hand, with handwritten batch and bottle number.
Maidstone Distillery welcomes visitors through the doors on Tours and Experiences such as our Guided Gin Making, and we also operate a small shop. But we are a manufacturing business too, proudly making spirit from the finest English grain neutral spirit and we operate the whole process from distillation to bottling, labelling and boxing all on site.
This brings us into contact naturally with a lot of raw ingredients and we have been mindful from day one of our impact on the environment and to strive at each step to make decisions that are environmentally sustainable. Here are some of the steps we have taken to do our bit for the environment:
We have forged an exciting partnership with UK conservation charity Plantlife, and have created a contemporary gin distilled with wild and sustainably foraged botanicals from Plantlife’s flagship nature reserve in Cuxton, Kent. We donate over 2.5% from the sales of Ranscombe Wild Small Batch Gin to Plantlife, to help them continue their important conservation work. https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk
Bottling and labelling
All of our fine spirits are packed using the innovative Flexi-Hex plastic free packaging. This remarkably robust solution is made from recycled paper and is fully recyclable again at the end of use. What’s more, we can also proudly state that we do not use plastic based tapes, polystyrene or shrink wrap in any of our packaging – even our bottle labels are made from paper!
Production, Efficiency and energy
We are proud to declare that Maidstone Distillery runs on 100% green energy. It may be more expensive, but we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations to the absolute minimum. All of our Distillery equipment is modern and energy efficient right down to light fittings which are energy efficient LEDs.
Waste disposal, reduction and recycling
We separate and recycle all cardboard and paper based waste.
We re-use paper based protective packaging supplied on our deliveries.
We launder hand towels, cloths and aprons to avoid single use items, such as disposable aprons and paper towels.
We are currently working on a new bottle refill scheme, which will allow our customers to return their empty bottles to us for refilling at a reduced cost. This scheme will not only reduce the number of bottles destined for landfill, but also lower the number of new bottles being transported to the distillery, helping to reduce our carbon footprint further. We hope to launch this new scheme in 2021.
Come and visit us in the Market Buildings in the centre of Maidstone to find out more about our processes and sample our delectable spirits too.