Historic Derbyshire wine shop set to become gin distillery

The premises on Bank Road
The premises on Bank Road

A shop used as a wine and spirit merchants for more than 100 years is set to return to use as a micro-distillery.

Built in 1870 at 70 Bank Road, Matlock, the shop was a well-known establishment under the ownership of Luke Bridge, and from the early 1900s under William Brailsford – who renamed it Brailford’s.

It remained an off-licence until the mid-1980s when it became a bridal shop.

Nearly 40 years later and an application has been filed with Derbyshire Dales District Council to return the site, close to the county council’s headquarters, into a micro-distillery and a craft spirits, beer and cider emporium.

The application, submitted by Grain Artisan Ltd, would also see the shop sell sauces, jams, and honey.

It also intends to use the venue as a small art gallery that will highlight work from Derbyshire artists.

Reports submitted with the application, which will be decided later this year, state that 300 litres of gin would be produced from the building each week.

It states: “The proposed micro distillery will be housed towards the back of the building. Consisting of a 50-litre pot still.

“The gin will be produced by an experienced distiller.

“The distillery will attract people who are interested in the distilling process as well as interested in purchasing the product, thus acting as both a production line and a draw to visit the site.

“Grain Artisan gin will be produced (where possible) using home grown botanicals and locally sourced ingredients.

“This ties the product into the area and Derbyshire as a whole.

“The process is odorless, creates no steam or smoke and the bi-products of the process are spent botanicals, such as juniper and coriander, which we will compost.

“The cooling water, which is simply pure, uncontaminated tap water will be recycled back into the cooling process.

“The shop will sell hard to find craft spirits and the latest craft ales and ciders. It will also stock easy to keep, long life local produce.

“As part of the gin, vodka and ale offerings we will stock and heavily promote Grain Artisan products.

“Wayne Fallen, who does all our hand drawn artwork, has offered to place his art collection in the shop for sale.

“We are currently in discussions with other artists in the Derbyshire area who are interested in exhibiting their work in the shop.

“We intend to use Grain Artisan as a venue for Wayne and other artists during the Derbyshire Open Arts festival that takes place each year during the early summer.”

The new owners also plan to develop a “botanical garden” to the rear of the property to grow the “large proportion” of the plants needed for production.

The report states: “Our aim is sustainability, using local and home grown ingredients and as little power, water and environmentally impactful processes as possible.

“In creating a micro distillery and craft drinks emporium on Bank Road we feel this will enhance the existing offering to tourists visiting Matlock and the surrounding towns.

“We believe this will generate more interest in the Bank Road area and complement existing businesses nearby by encouraging people to visit the distillery and shop.”

The report states that the gin made at the site would also be sold at pubs and shops in and around Matlock.

It says that Oak Hill Orchard in Cromford has already agreed to be one of the shop’s core suppliers in providing seasonal fruits for gin ingredients.

To blend in with the Matlock Bank Conservation area, the company seeks to replace the front door with a traditional Victorian single glass door. Paint and woodwork would also be refurbished.

Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service