Derbyshire distillery's bid to create green gin

A new Derbyshire distillery located on a farm and made in an old grain barn has vowed to grow the business sustainably, using solar panels, a forest and plastic free packaging.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 8:00 am

Business partners Tony Brindle and Seb Michaud co-founded Dog and Spoon Distillery on Westhouse Farm in Alfreton two years ago.

But as the pair were just about to launch their passion project while still juggling full-time jobs, the Covid-19 crisis hit and their plans to launch their first gin were shelved.

Despite the set back of the pandemic, the business which prides itself on its commitment to sustainability has been up and running for the last 12 months now, located on a picturesque farm and their hand-crafted gin made inside a former grain barn.

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Tony Brindle from Dog and Spoon Distillery in Alfreton.

While the company is still relatively small scale, retailing just one smooth, London Dry Gin with juniper and citrus notes called Science Project 6a, Tony and Seb will release their launch product’s stronger sister – which will be labelled ‘miner strength’ at least 57% alcohol by volume.

Their second gin, which is a nod to Derbyshire’s mining and coal heritage, is expected to be released next week and available to purchase via their website, with the business partners keen to experiment with different spirits including limoncello in the future.

Tony said: "Both myself and Seb have other jobs so we don't want to put too much stress on either of us or the business and we want to organically grow it.”

The business partners who are passionate gin lovers themselves made it clear creating a sustainable distillery was always a high priority.

The Science Project 6a Gin with its cardboard packaging made by Deckle and Chop and The Corrugated Case company.

Currently, part of the energy used to power the farm’s still to create the alcohol is sourced from solar panels located on the barn’s roof.

Tony and Seb also installed a computer-controlled still to ensure their water measurements to create the gin are precise, along with biomass boilers and a closed water recycling system.

"We built the company on the ethos that we will always try and do the best thing wherever we can and to that effect we've implemented a few things to try and lower our foot print", Tony continued.

The co-founders even planted 600 trees and shrubs on their farm, with the help of The Woodland Trust, to aid the area’s biodiversity and encourage native insects and animals back into the environment.

Seb Michaud co-founded the small-batch business with Tony in 2019.

Conscious about the high quantity of plastic used to package most online-ordered alcohol, Dog and Spoon Distillery teamed up with Clay Cross-based cardboard manufacturer Deckle and Chop and The Corrugated Case Company to create their plastic free packaging which is also recyclable.

Tony and Seb are both keen to make the distillery their full-time jobs and have plans to offer contract distilling services to commercial clients.

Passionate about staying loyal to their Derbyshire roots, the business owners are urging local artists to get in touch to design artwork for their bottles.

Tony added: "Generally, in the industry if your bottle looks good it means you spent a lot of money getting a custom design and that is a terrible impact in terms of your global foot print.

The owners intend to branch out into distilling different types of alcohol in the future.

"If we can take a bog standard bottle and get local artists to decorate it, we see that as being quite a nice and niche entry point.”

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Dog and Spoon's signature gin is a London Dry Gin with juniper and citrus notes.