Craft distillers drive spirited growth of gin

THE craft gin revolution and the growth of premium brands helped the industry grow by 9.6 per cent in the last year, trade figures show.

People are getting an increasing taste for gin. Picture: Neil Hanna
People are getting an increasing taste for gin. Picture: Neil Hanna

Research from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said it was “an incredibly exciting time” for the “quintessentially British” spirit, but warned that high taxation was endangering the success story.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “Gin has such a fantastic history and it is great to see elements of that woven into the artisan gin distillers operating in the UK today.

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“But these small, often family owned companies cannot afford to invest in their businesses under the current tax regime for spirits.”

It comes as the WSTA and the Scotch Whisky Association are campaigning for a 2 per cent drop in alcohol duty in this month’s Budget, which they argue would lead to industry-wide investment and job creation.

Gin has moved beyond its London heartland as craft distilleries opened up around the UK, including a number in Scotland.

Edinburgh Gin, Pickering’s Gin, and North Berwick-based NB are just some of the names that have set up north of the Border.

The WSTA’s research also shows the huge export potential for British gin, with growing consumption in all of the top five global markets and UK firms accounting for 20 per cent of the world’s supply.