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Halewood’s London gin distillery completes refurb following visitor surge

Published:  04 October, 2019

One of London’s biggest gin destinations has reopened after it took time out to make sure it’s in tiptop condition for the 40,000 visitors it welcomes per year.

The City of London Distillery & Bar, which is owned by Liverpool-based distributor Halewood Wines & Spirits, recently underwent a general maintenance and refurb to ensure the venue meets the “high standards” of its increasingly international visitor base.

The popular tourist attraction, which is now open once again, receives visitors from all over the world, from Czech Republic to China.

Bookings of the distillery’s “gin lab” experiences have more than doubled in the past year, the company said, while the distillery’s tasting bar serves over 20 G&Ts per hour.

“Much has been made of the gin boom and we’re seeing no sign that gin’s unrelenting popularity has reached its peak,” general manager, Briony Fellowes, said.

“If anything, the spirit’s cycle of growth is showing new maturity as consumers move from a pure appreciation of taste to an appreciation of distilling and blending. This will fuel new demand for craft and small batch gins and will see consumers seeking more complex flavours as they acquire more in-depth knowledge of botanicals, blending and distilling.”

According to data from the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, sales of gin topped £1 billion in the 12 months to March 2019, with over £320 million worth of the juniper-based spirit sold in the first three months of this year.

Figures from HMRC also show that England recently overtook Scotland in terms of total number of gin distilleries – the first time this has happened in the UK’s long spirit-producing history.

The City of London Distillery, which opened in 2012 in London’s Square Mile, now “expects demand to grow further”.

After being set up by founder John Halewood in 1978, Halewood Wines & Spirits specialises in premium sprits, including Dead Man’s Fingers rum, Bajan Rum Sixty Six, Gelston’s Irish Whiskey and Crabbie Whisky. 

Outside the UK, it exports products to over 100 countries including the US, South Africa and China.