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The SW Gin Digest – New Gin distillery guide

George Maguire

Did you know that as of 2017, gin (with the addition of tonic of course) is the nation’s favourite spirit? Where popularity flows, as does investment, opportunity and creativity so here is a bunch of South West distilleries – from Exmoor, Dorset to Bath producing unique bottles and experiences well worth the trip. Juniper never tasted so good…

 

1 Chew Valley Distillery @ Chew Magna – link here

Chew Valley has created something special. Link here.

Relative newcomer Chew Valley Distillery has reached global recognition with their hand-crafted gins, nestled in the cost and quiet Somerset village of Chew Magna. Started by Joe Kelley in 2019, the distillery has been busy claiming prizes such as a bronze at the World Gin Awards and a silver the London Spirit Competition. So where do you come in? Well the distillery is now open once more to punters, both for walk-in drinks at The Distillery Bar and soon – for their much anticipated tasting evenings. Stay tuned!

 

Where? Tunbridge Rd, Chew Magna, Bristol BS40 8SP.

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2 Psychopump Distillery @ Bristol – link here

The Willy Wonka of spirits. Link here.

Psychopomp Microdistillery is a small indie distillery situated in Bristol. Working with small batches and traditional copper pots, the distillery produces both traditional and seasonal flavours such as the Coffee Digestif (20%). If you’d like to take matters into your own hands and step gin-gerly into the world of distilling, the business is now operating gin tasting evenings on Fridays, alongside a popular Distil Your Own Gin workshop every Saturday and Wednesday.

 

Where? 145 St Michael's Hill, Bristol BS2 8DB.

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3 Bath Botanics @ Bath – link here

Bath Botanics interiors. Link here.

Like the last two picks, Bath Botanics keeps business small and personal. The company was started by medical herbalist Sue Mullett who began as a hobbyist getting creative with tinctures, herbs and drinks - eventually arriving at what she calls the No.1 Gin Bath Botanical Apothecary and Distillery.

 

Sue spotted a commercial opportunity with real value; to create a local botanical spirit offering of a high quality and integrity that could be used as a base for herbal exploration and health. Now, with a range of seasonal gins, cocktail bitters, elixirs, herbal tea blends and DIY kits there is plenty to experience…

Where? IA Prior Park Road, Bath, England, BA2, UK.

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4 Conker Spirit’s Dorset Dry Gin – link here

Conker’s Dry Gin. Link here.

Founded in 2014, Conker is a family and friend run distillery that was created by founder Rupert Holloway in his hometown of Bournemouth. Chiming well with what is known as the ‘new Nordic movement’ in food, Dorset’s first and only gin distillery Conker keeps things local; highlighting and revering foraged ingredients such as fresh New Forest spring water, wild gorse, elderberry and marsh samphire. With distillery tours now live and bookable for the first time, get your tickets in order before they sell out… We’ll have a Dorset Dry please!

 

Where? Unit 2, 163 Stourvale Rd, Bournemouth BH6 5HQ.

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5 Wicked Wolf Exmoor Gin – link here

Wicked Wolf. Link here.

Since 2015, Exmoor’s Wicked Wolf has been working with an array of exotic botanicals (typically 11) producing gin in small yet perfectly formed 100-litre batches. A passion project started by husband and wife Pat and Julie, make sure to try their Full Moon Gin (42%) which utilises the somewhat unusual inclusion of mango. Yum.

 

Where? The Old Chapel, Brendon EX35 6PT.

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