Agriculture and Food

Gloucester Docks' brewery unveils the engine driving its expansion - a 100-litre distillery

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 12 June 2020 8:06

Gloucester Docks' brewery unveils the engine driving its expansion - a 100-litre distillery

Its bar Tank a popular haunt for those who like real beer in stylish surroundings, now the never static Gloucester Brewery team has unveiled its latest offering – gin. 

In what is described as an expansion of its business, the dockside operation has revealed a new 100-litre distillery is now in action producing what it is calling its range of Fox’s Kiln Distillery Gin. 

It sees the business, with which Gloucester Rugby club owner Martin St Quinton became officially involved late last year, push off into a sector whole value past £2 billion last year 2019, according to figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA). 

Named after the Victorian docks warehouse the brewery calls home, and where the gin is distilled and bottled, the spirit claims all the provenance you would expect from a business which has its eye on its environmental and ethical credentials. 

Some of the ingredients for the four flavours - which include a raspberry and rose pink gin, rhubarb and ginger and blood orange - “are made using natural ingredients many of which are sourced locally”. 

Jared Brown, Gloucester Brewery managing director, said: “Beer is our passion and priority and we are committed to expanding our brewery and reaching more people with our evolving range of beers. 

“However, we are really excited to be taking the brewery in a new direction with our first venture into the spirits market. Alongside our beer production, the Fox’s Kiln Distillery brand is an important part of the planned growth for the business in the future.”

He added: “We pride ourselves on producing hand crafted, small batch gins using only the finest natural botanicals and real fruits. 

“Nothing artificial goes in our gins and often our fruits and flowers are picked locally from Over Farm which makes them totally unique.” 

Its Elderflower Gin, due to release later this this summer, is described as “a collaboration with Over Farm made using elderflowers handpicked from the farm”. It will be available online and from the farm, just off the A40 on the Gloucester to Ross-on-Wye road. 

The Fox’s Kiln Distillery can make up to 100 70cl bottles (at £29 each) at a time and it hopes to branch out into further spirits in the future. 

“Right now, we are focused on gins, but vodka is likely to follow and being based in the historic Gloucester Docks we're itching to make a rum at some point,” Mr Brown added. 

The brewery decided to go ahead with the launch of the gins despite the impact of COVID-19 on the business. 

“We had been planning to release the gins just before lockdown was announced which of course delayed things slightly. In the end we decided to continue with the plans as we were unsure how long lockdown would last and were too excited to wait any longer,” he said. 

Lockdown has seen the business hard at its housekeeping - revamping its website and shop to be able to cater for the demand in online sales. 

It has also introduced free delivery to many local postcodes six days a week providing often a next-day service for customers. 

"Lockdown has significantly changed how we operate as pre-lockdown most of our beer was put into cask and kegs then sent to pubs,” Jared said. 

“Now nearly all of our beer is packaged into bottles and cans and delivered directly to people's homes in the local area. It’s great to have this support from our customers and to know even if they can't make it to the pub, they still love drinking our beer.”

Thirsty for more? Read: Boutique gin distillery bubbling away nicely – despite pandemic.