Brewer and distiller Eden Mill to double turnover as gin sales rise

Brewer and distiller Eden Mill is looking to double turnover to about £4.5 million in its current financial year to March, and £6m in the following 12 months as it pursues its recent expansion into the US and other markets.

Scotland's Grant Gilchrist helps to promote the rugby team's new sponsorship agreement with Eden Mill Gin
Scotland's Grant Gilchrist helps to promote the rugby team's new sponsorship agreement with Eden Mill Gin

The St Andrews-based firm’s founder and owner, Paul Miller, told Scotland on Sunday that the headcount is currently 37, but he could see this rising to 45 employees within a year on the back of growth during what he said was a “transformative” period in its development.

He said that Eden Mill is the only distillery and brewery in Scotland operating on the same site, having started out as a craft brewer in 2012 and in late 2014 moving into spirits.

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The firm recently announced the launch of its gin range in the US, including its Hop Gin for beer-lovers and Oak Gin suitable for whisky fans, and working with California-based Imp Ex Distribution, which can take the business to key markets such as Florida, California, New York, and Texas.

Miller said the company is launching in 14 US states this month and it expects to see that grow to 30 by the end of this year, which he said will be a great platform for growth there when its whiskies are ready.

Blended versions of the spirit are to go on sale from October and its single malt is launching in the first quarter of 2018. “It’s quite exciting,” he said.

This comes after it signed a “breakthrough” distribution deal, thought to be worth more than £1.5m, for its gin range to be exported to China from October last year.

The business is currently also present in more than a dozen markets altogether, including Hong Kong, Japan and European countries such as Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal.

It is looking at growing into Spain, Singapore and Thailand, and closer to home it was announced last month that it had struck a partnership to become the first-ever official gin partner of Scottish Rugby as well as the official gin of Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby.

The firm, which Miller noted has been voted the top attraction in Fife on TripAdvisor, has also in the last few weeks launched a range of pre-mixed cocktails, which he said has had a great response, and it has also collaborated with the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh hotel to create a pop-up gin bar.

He said the Gin House at The Caley, which runs from this month until October, provides the drinks firm with a great means of engaging with gin-drinkers and tapping into growing consumer interest in products’ provenance.

The firm’s gin is set to comprise about 50 per cent of its revenues this year, with this balance expected to readjust to an equal split between beer, gin and whisky once the latter is on sale.